Crafted by you. Curated by Herff.

Here, we turn the reporting over to you to tell us the intent and inspiration behind the book. Then, creative director Steve Kent and magazine staffers offer their takes. When you’re ready for the world to see your book, DM us @HJyearbook. We’re saving space just for you.

Moanalua High School
Moanalua High School
Moanalua High School
Moanalua High School


Honolulu, Hawaii

Adviser: Chela Sheets

Editors: Kacie Yamamoto, Sarah Monje, Justin Yip, Jadee Sumabat and Karisa Yuasa

“This cover is something very new. We usually do not put pictures on our cover, but we wanted a change. We wanted something fresh and something new for our staff and our students. The theme ‘Still life’ is like pressing pause and looking at the monumental moments, taking time to breathe and admire. As busy and intriguing as the picture on the cover may be, we decided to place a big white box on top of it and punch the letters of our concept through it. The picture catches our students’ eyes and the white box allows breathing space so it doesn’t seem as busy.’” – AAron Quillopo

This is that book we get and are almost afraid to open because we so want the inside to live up to the promise made by the cover. Whew! Here, the interior surpasses it. The white mortise on the front lid, though, had me at type design. “Still life” showed me something smart. And, restrained. (Notice a recurring theme?) The endsheets and opening develop the visual voice with more shoreline photos and type setting the mood. “It’s not just a trend. It’s a life style.” is a great verbal spin for their “menemag.” Added coverage comes in the form of as many as 10 talking heads on some spreads. Fun cutouts showing students seemingly interacting with their words prove you don’t have to do the same book year after year. Though, in this case, it’ll be hard to top for 2019. Better you than me! //sk

Blue Valley West High School


Overland Park, Kansas

Adviser: Deborah Glenn

Editors: Lauren Flowers and Lauren Michelson

“Most of our parents read Silverstein’s The Giving Tree to us as small children. That book planted the notion, ‘We rise by lifting others,’ and anything is possible. We chose to do a wood cover for Illumination as a nod to the childhood story, a symbol that items once thought to be used up could be made into something new, and as an introduction to our vintage theme. Individual stories of many members of our school family rising above the odds and turning hardships into positives are told throughout the 424 pages.”  — Lauren Michelson

We decided to show only this book’s cover because we wanted it to be as large as possible. The cover is actual wood, not printed texture. This step-ahead-of-the-trends staff chose special order cherry-finish luan and designed distressed art to be etched by lasers. The fine craftspeople in our Montgomery, Alabama, plant then quarterbound it to the traditional spine and back lid. The inside delivers, too. With the theme “Rise,” you’re not surprised to see a full-bleed sunrise photo on the front endsheets. Designers played up student personalities by layering profiles with hand-made art. Inspired by The Giving Tree, the book also includes a full 11 signatures of special-order, uncoated Refresh paper stock to bring it all together. A book, a love letter, a piece of art. //sk

Nardin Academy
Nardin Academy
Nardin Academy


Buffalo, New York

Advisers: Caitlin Snyder and Pamela Healy

Editors: Savana Castelli and Maura Ende

“As an all-girls school, we share the common thread of our roles as young women: Preparing to enter the world and make an impact. So, our theme ‘History is her story’ builds upon the concept of our individual stories that make us ourselves and allow our school to be so special to us. Our community explored a new realm of female education and empowerment, and we wanted young women to exit the school year holding onto the documentation of that significant transition, acknowledging what has been added to their stories.” — Maura Ende

An upscale book from upstate New York showing faded pinks and elevated space use. It impresses me at first glance, as does the laser-cut “HER” on the front lid. Designers did a masterful job of packaging elements to help us process what’s being shown. Supplemental coverage modules complete the story, or as they would say “her story.” I also appreciate the clearly planned separation space between types of coverage. When staffers show thoughtfulness in design and topic choices, it creates something special. Such as a story in which the head of school accentuates the importance of virtues, pointing out, as she said, “students are too often concerned with lengthening resumes when they should focus on meaningful experiences which make differences in the lives of others.” I’m with her. //sk

Temple City High School
Temple City High School
Temple City High School
Temple City High School
Temple City High School


Temple City, California

Adviser: Lynn Alvarez

Editors: Tiffany Guo, Evelyn Luu, Jennifer Nie, Michelle Vuong, Ivy Chen and Amanda Erstad

“The message of the book is to snap students into the present. In our spreads, we portrayed this message by using time-specific details, like the time stamps on photos, specific dates for copy and all coverage. This book is telling them to get out of their heads and get involved. The future is still going to be there, but the present is fleeting. Some moments will never happen again. If they don’t pay attention now, the experience we have at Temple City will
be forgotten.” — Tiffany Guo

So often, a time-based concept falls short because a staff doesn’t realize the time it will need to invest to make the effort work, or because a staff relies on all the trite approaches to fill its pages. Not so here! The staff impresses with an expertly executed chronological structure, time-stamping and interesting alternative reporting modules. Designers placed both vertical and horizontal theme development modules with quotes revealing where students were or what they were doing on a specific day as their contribution to the staff’s Zero Zeros commitment. With facts and figures on the cover to the all-out, magazine-styled, 11-page opening, reporters did their jobs. Coverage starts immediately with a photo package and complete captions on the front endsheets. Theme copy resembles poetry with staccato repetition. Stunning photography and sophisticated grid design prove the words “Time to stop watching. Time to start doing.” were taken to heart. //sk

Liberty High School
Liberty High School


Lake Saint Louis, Missouri

Adviser: Jonathan Hall

Editors: Alisha Grant and Chelsea Carballo

“Throughout the book, we kept the theme element we started with on the opening — a cutout in color overlaid on a black and white photo. We wanted to capture individual people’s reactions to a single moment. We also included student profiles, a module running throughout the book, and we turned our people section into space for mini profiles. This project was headed by photo editor Maddie Baker. We found interesting stories about different individuals on each spread of the people section, in total covering 19 students and two teachers.” — Alisha Grant

I’m always a sucker for special endsheets. Here, the staff wanted the paper to appear ripped, so it chose a laser-cut treatment. When I started reading the opening copy, though, I was all in. “We think we know people,” got my attention. “We’ve stopped having conversations.” Yep. Speaking my language. Talking heads with full-paragraph, storytelling quotes let student voices tell the stories. We get to know student after student because the editors live up to their opening copy. Profiles come in a handful of different treatments including these half-faced cutouts in the portrait section. Designers with an expert sense of depth wisely chose to make these grayscale so as not to compete with adjacent portraits. And they obeyed the grid, bringing space and organization to content. //sk

Texas High School
Texas High School
Texas High School


Texarkana, Texas

Advisers: Rebecca Potter and Clint Smith

Editors: Parker Ellyn Madlock, Gage McDonald, Frances Schroeder and Sarah Stark

“For the 100th yearbook, we wanted to celebrate while also keeping the book relevant to the student body. Our theme ‘To be continued’ represents all the traditions we have and all of the new things we hope to start. We wanted something that told the story of our past, but also shows the new things we did this year that will be continued. The concept is a timeless representation of how this year is connected to all the years in the past and all those ahead of us. This year is just another milestone.” — Parker Ellyn Madlock

The dreaded anniversary trap. Smartly, Parker Ellyn and her staff isolated anniversary coverage to a short-trimmed tip-in showing each of the previous 99 covers alongside a blurb for each. This allowed the group to focus on the important year: The current one. The concept is so subtle, we thankfully don’t realize it’s an anniversary book until already impressed by the smart cover — with room for 100 dots — and laser-cut endsheets which mimic the cover design, but with some of the dots cut. When I made the connection those dots represented 100 years, then when used only in threes became an ellipsis, I was blown away. A literal representation of the theme! The wows keep coming as each “chapter” begins with a full-bleed photo which folds out to reveal a student profile continuing onto the next spread. Alternative copy formats keep spreads lively as do a precise grid and separation space. //sk