As the school year is drawing to an end, it is time to get creative and do your best to assemble the perfect parting gift for you and your fellow students — the school yearbook. Yearbooks are the perfect way to preserve school memories and capture the essence of school life. So obviously then, quality yearbook printing and publishing is something you should pay attention to.
Yearbooks are a time-honored tradition in the U.S., one which is increasingly gaining popularity worldwide. They showcase dates, events, people, and accomplishments, but more important, they capture the personality of the students mentioned on their pages.
In addition to compiling the materials and deciding on the design concept, you’ll also need to consider the issue of yearbook printing as an important production aspect in terms of time and money being spent.
When it comes to turning piles of compiled stories, photos, and events into a yearbook, there are several important aspects to think through, depending on your needs, desires, and budget. This includes decisions about the number of pages and copies you want published, the shape and size of the yearbook, the choice of cover, binding, colors, and theme, as well as the photos you want to include.
The shape and content of yearbooks have varied throughout history. At first, yearbooks were nothing more than scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings, personal notes, and flowers. Later versions resembled old photo albums.
The advent of modern-day yearbook printing techniques allowed mass production of yearbooks, making them more affordable. As time went by, yearbooks became more colorful and their authors more creative. Students started using computers and desktop publishing tools to create their yearbooks.
Nowadays, most schools do their yearbook printing online, as it is a convenient and cost-effective way to produce yearbooks while encouraging student creativity.
Self-publishing basically means that you gather the material for the yearbook, decide on the concept (design template, layout, theme), place an order with an online printing company, and receive the final product.
These companies offer many important benefits compared to their traditional counterparts; and not surprisingly, this method of publication is now gaining wide acceptance.
Customization — this attractive feature allows you to personalize individual yearbooks by editing photos and texts, adding special effects and customizing the layouts. This way, each yearbook can reflect the achievements and carry the mark of individual students.
If you decide to self-publish your yearbook, this is one of the features you and your classmates will definitely love.
Faster production — with online self-publishing, it takes much less time to submit the yearbook materials, send them to print, and receive the final product. Turnaround time is much shorter, so you can spend more time compiling the material and designing a perfect yearbook.
Prepress proofing — allows you to review the images, illustrations, text, and colors one more time before the yearbook goes to print. The more convenient, time-saving option is the e-proof (a pdf file of the yearbook in its final formatting); but if you prefer holding the book in your hands, you can ask for a hard copy.
Proofing is a very important step in the self-publishing process, as it prevents typos and other errors from finding their way into the printed version of your yearbook.
Quick price estimate — online self-publishers provide easy-to-use pricing tools allowing you to effortlessly calculate production and delivery costs.
Easy access to past projects — client files are stored on servers, which comes in handy if you need to reprint copies of the yearbook. A year from now, if you decide you want thirty more copies of the yearbook, it can be done in a snap.
Product versatility — self-publishing companies offer a wide variety of products and templates for the production of yearbooks, brochures, calendars, etc. If you are at a creative loss for design ideas, you can simply select one of the available templates. And then of course, if you feel inspired, you can create your own design concept.
Regardless of the publishing method, you should always consider the three main facets of production — speed, quality, and affordability.
Affordability is a key advantage of self-publishing. Namely, yearbook printing online comes at significantly lower costs, usually at half the cost of traditional printing.
This is mainly due to the lower operating costs associated with running an online business as opposed to a traditional print shop. Thus, online printing companies can afford to lower the prices to the benefit of the client.
One of the conveniences of using an online printing service to self-publish your yearbook is the possibility to place your order day or night, since the online printing business is not confined to traditional working hours.
Furthermore, customer support is generally available 24/7 for your questions and concerns. This also means you don’t have to actually visit the print shop to place an order. Usually, simple file upload is all it takes. This will save you time and money that you would otherwise plan for travel.
Most self-publishing companies do not have large minimum order requirements, which is another convenient and cost-saving feature of online self-publishing. In other words, you can order the exact number of yearbooks you want, instead of having to purchase (for example) 200 or 300 copies.
This eliminates the possibility of getting stuck with a surplus of yearbooks or even worse, leaving students without a copy because you miscalculated the demand.
The excellent print and image quality is another reason to choose the services of an online printing company. Some companies also offer to send free samples, so you can check the paper and color quality. Basically, you will receive a high-quality professional service at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
Regardless of your choice of publishing, keep in mind that when it comes to yearbooks, thorough planning and management are crucial if you want the job done well and on time.
If you start planning and compiling materials early, you will effectively capture the essence and the spirit of the entire school year, making your yearbook a precious reminder of good times gone by.
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