How to Create an Award-Winning Yearbook • Inter-State Studio

How to Create an Award-Winning Yearbook

It’s hard to judge a yearbook. It’s difficult to decide what makes a yearbook truly award-worthy when they are all celebrations of moments in time that people will treasure for decades. But there are prizes to be awarded, so we must define what makes each yearbook special, and try to define what makes one extraordinary.

We’re sure most of you are currently working on a yearbook for the 17-18 school year; so we wanted to impart some tips about how to make your yearbook better than great, and hopefully you’ll enter it in next year’s Yearbook Legacy Contest!

Unfortunately, it’s too late to enter your yearbook for this year’s contest, but we will begin accepting your 17-18 yearbook submissions April 1st, 2018.

The criteria our judges use during the contest is listed below.

Design and Creativity

A creative, fun, and unique layout design that entices one to view the page content.

Use this tip: Candid pages can get really busy, especially if they feature a lot of group photos. Try alternating photos featuring one or two people with photos featuring groups. Or, for a page full of busy photos, try arranging them in straight lines instead of overlapping each other. This lets the energy shine through without making the page layout look messy.

Theme and Development

A creative theme that begins on the cover and is developed throughout the yearbook pages.

Use this tip: Take color and shape from the cover and continue it through the pages of the book.


The yearbook contains quality photographs, the subject of the photograph is clearly captured, and the image captures the essence of the moment.

Use this tip: Take pictures in the highest possible quality for your camera in case you want to enlarge them later. This will keep them from looking grainy when you enlarge them.

Written Content

The pages of the yearbook include well-written text that identifies the school and school year, headlines identify each page, and captions identify the subjects and the activity taking place.

Use this tip: This is where font counts! Stay away from fonts that are difficult to read and be sure to caption candid photos to give them context.

Overall Impression

The last category on which we judge yearbooks is Overall Impression.

We can really only give you one tip when it comes to this: If your yearbook is true to the spirit that embodies your school, you’re already a winner!

How to Create an Award-Winning Yearbook