Yearbook staff begins creating senior ads, explain designing process

Meghan Kennedy, Staff Writer

Senior year is unlike any other.
The last, first day of high school.
The last Blue Valley football game.
The last time you’ll hear “Pizza, Pizza, Pizza, Dance, Dance, Dance” on the announcements.
The last, last day of high school.
The last Yearbook you’ll ever receive, with something many seniors look forward to every year: senior ads.
Senior ads are located in the back of the yearbook, with pictures and a note from your family saying how proud they are of you and your accomplishments.
Yearbook senior ads editor junior Abby Piero said designing senior ads can be difficult at first, but since they all use the same basic spreads, it gets easier to understand.
Piero said the staffers first create spreads on InDesign, going off a binder in the classroom with page assignments for each senior.
The designer then goes on to create boxes on the spread corresponding to the size of the ad.
“Then, we import pictures, the copy and design the spread to our liking,” Piero said. “After the ad’s finished, myself, [editor-in-chief senior] Rachel [Bergeson] and [journalism advisor Michelle] Wilmes check the spread for error. We then print the ads, and they get a parent form attached so parents can come up to make changes. We call the parents and they get a week to change the ads. We go back and fix whatever they want changed.”
Bergeson said it can be challenging to teach new staffers how to design ads pages.
“It’s sometimes difficult, not because the  new staffers aren’t capable, but because it requires skills that they have never used before,” she said. “The program we use to design the ads is complex, so it can be hard to learn all of the details of how to use it. Most of the kids learn how to design quickly, it’s just starting off that can be a challenge.”
Bergeson said all the staffers work on ads.
“It’s a great way for them to get used to designing before they move on to the more complex designs in the yearbook,” she said.
Piero said her advice to ad customers would be to e-mail everything to the staffers.
“It makes it so much easier on everybody,” she said. “Book your pictures early so that you don’t have to go to the late deadline. Don’t send your most precious baby pictures, things can go wrong and we don’t want to lose someone’s favorite picture.”
Bergeson said it’s important to be patient and open-minded when it comes to the design process.
“Make sure you clearly communicate to the yearbook staff what you want in your ad,” she said. “People submitting ads shouldn’t have rigid design guidelines for the staff to follow, and they need to understand that the staff will mold their content to fit the overall design of the yearbook.”
Piero said the seniors on staff have the option of designing their own ad, but very few do.
“It’s a personal choice,” she said. “A few people design them and have someone else put the copy in because they want the surprise.”