Creating a professional quality yearbook in Google Slides requires lessons on photography, graphic design, and yearbook layouts with guides. These lessons also require teacher feedback.
Take the example below which shows 3 different variations. The 2nd and 3rd revisions improve with specific teacher feedback. Some feedback is basic - what looks good. The rest of the feedback is more technical, which is why this website and online course exist.
Day 1 - Original Student Creation
In this example, I will give my student an alternative name and blur the photos to protect her privacy. "Joy" is a junior high school student and a member of the yearbook class. She has no prior experience with graphic design, yet exhibits a special talent that will grow with lessons, practice, and teacher feedback.
Joy's original design was impressive with room to grow. Joy used a high-quality photo from the UnSplash Google Slides Add-on. The background reflections the colors that are in the photos. Joy wrote captions for each photo with a carefully selected font pair. The captions are a font size 11, which is the standard for printed materials.
Feedback for Growth
The title "Basic Yearbook" does not contrast with the background. The dark gradient colors in the Word Art do not pop out of the dark red background.
Suggestion 1: Change the Word Art color to a light color. Another option is to make the border line thicker with a light color while keeping the gray gradient. The goal is to make the title stand out against the dark red background.
The top and margins are not equally spaced. Use the arrow keys to move the title, top photo, and bottom photo down.
Suggestion 2: Use the arrow keys to move the title, photos, and captions down. You can also click on the photo and select Format options -> Size & position -> and set the Y position.
Make sure that the photos are equally spaced.
Suggestion 3: Click on Shift and select all three photos. Go to Arrange -> Distribute -> Vertically. This will equally space the three photos. Next, select the three photos again and use Arrange -> Align -> Center
Day 2 Layout Revision
Positive Feedback Day 2
Joy has done an excellent revision! The audience can now read the title with ease. The title is no longer touching the top margin. The photos are lined up vertically and equally spaced. Now for more feedback.
Feedback 2 for Growth
Guide lines are important, especially when identifying the margins. Follow these directions when you are the only one in the collaborative slide deck. We noticed that Edit guides acts strange when multiple people are in the slide deck.
Suggestion 1: Go to View -> Guides -> Set guides. Use these margins:
What would the design look like if the tile was moved closer to the left margin instead of in the center of the page?
Suggestion 2: Use the arrow key to move the title to the left.
Yesterday, we forgot to Align the captions with the photos. Select one caption and its photo.
Suggestion 3: Select the photo and its caption. Use Arrange -> Align -> experiment with Top, Middle, and Bottom to find a layout you like. Be consistent with each photo and its caption.
Day 3 Layout Revision
Joy's layout and design have improved tremendously. Joy changed the font of the title and moved it to the left. Each photo has a border and the captions are aligned center with its photo. Joy displays a creative touch that will make our school yearbook created in Google Slides have a professional quality.
Is there room for my junior high school student to grow as a graphic design artist? Of course! That is the beauty of teaching students to create a yearbook in Google Slides - they are the graphic designers, not an expensive yearbook company.
Joy and her classmates' creative genius will grow through the year as they learn how to navigate the tools in the ever-improving Google Slides. Those skills will improve even further as these students utilize the SlidesYearbook graphic design lessons found on this website and online course.
Teacher feedback, as well as a great deal of practice and multiple revisions, will help students nurture their creative genius as they capture their memories in a professional-quality, printed school yearbook.