Designing your yearbook ladder

Your coverage style should inform your structure

Whether you’re new to yearbook, or a new editor, Carrie Faust has some ladder pro tips to share. She’s been doing this YBK thing for a while and has lots of accolades to prove it.

First things first: What’s your coverage plan?

Types of coverage plans

Your content should lead your ladder.

  • Traditional: Topic-based ladder designed at the beginning of the year and doesn’t change.
  • Chronological: Time-based ladder is based on the calendar and allows for evolving school year.
  • Umbrella/Concept: Theme-based ladder is based on exploration and allows for complete customization throughout the year.

Faust’s staff has been using Chrono for years and stands behind it as a coverage technique. She’s also quick to praise Umbrella for being smart — but acknowledges it can be daunting for new advisers and staffs.

She says the planning should start on paper, then move to the computer whether it’s Google Drive or eDesign to put the pieces into place.

Finding coverage balance

Once you remove the ads, index and theme pages, break up the following pages like Faust recommends.

  • Student Life (25 percent)
  • Academics (15 percent)
  • Clubs/Activities (10 percent)
  • Sports (15 percent)
  • People (25 percent)

Get a plan in place for what will go on each page. Learn about different coverage options so you can plan your book. Watch the video. (Don’t miss out: Link expires on Oct. 15.)