Top 10 Tips for Developing a Theme or Concept
YOU CAN’T PULL A THEME OUT OF A HAT. TAKE A MOMENT WITH THESE BRAINSTORMING SUGGESTIONS TO PICK THE PERFECT UNIFIER FOR YOUR SCHOOL THIS YEAR.
1. List what is unique to your school this year.
2. Check theme lists. But, make it work for you.
3. Make sure it is memorable and flexible enough to be developed into sidebar mods.
4. Keep the visuals – type, colors, shapes and patters – consistent throughout the book.
5. Decide how to carry the theme through the book. Put it on the cover, endsheets, title page, opening, dividers, mini-magazine, sectional graphics, folios and index.
6. Develop mini themes for coverage mods within traditional or unique sections.
7. Create mock-ups of the theme pages and hang them around the room. Live with the theme for a few days to decide on final details.
8. Brainstorm coverage ideas to use throughout the book and promote the theme/concept.
9. Create a stylebook to ensure consistency. Consider all type treatments for headlines, copy, captions, mods, profiles and folios.
10. Incorporate the theme with sales campaigns to hint at the theme/concept without giving it away.
Walk into Evan Williams’ classroom at Clay Middle School in Carmel, Indiana, and you might think you’ve walked into a professional journalism office. There’s not a desk to be seen.
All right, here’s the secret: We care about people, not things. That’s it. When it comes to yearbook copy, we want to remember how we felt about the year, not just the dates on which events happened and what their outcomes were.
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