Yearbook tips

  • Updated

Making a yearbook? Look here first

Blurb's print on demand service is a great way to create your yearbook, especially for smaller schools which don't need to order hundreds of copies. 

Every spring we see lots of orders for school yearbooks. So, yearbook makers of the world, based on past experience we've got a few tips for you. (You'll also want to check our pricing page as well as our different bookmaking tools). 

1. Give yourself more time than you think you'll need

Planning the design/layout of your book, gathering images and text, adding content to your pages, and proofreading and reviewing everything will inevitably take longer than you expect...often a lot longer. Give yourself extra time and you'll find the process to be much smoother and much less stressful. 

Blurb can't rush orders through production so leave enough time for your proof copy (see point 2) and the final order.

2. Order and review a proof copy first

  • A proof copy is simply a single, Blurb-printed copy of your book. It allows you to spot issues that may only show up in the printed book, such as dark images, content you've placed too close to the trim lines, or typos you overlooked before.
  • You should always order and review a proof copy of your yearbook before you place a large order or make it available for sale.

3. And don't forget these points...

Mind the trim areas and safe zones

  • Keep your important content like text, logos and people's heads away from the trim lines and inside the safe zone.
  • All of our bookmaking tools have some version of trim lines and safe zones to help you position your content properly.

Using margins or borders around your photos? 

  • If your image or background color doesn't reach all the way to the page edge (a full bleed) it will have a border. Make that border at least 1/2 inch (13mm) thick. Trimming can vary slightly and thicker borders help mask any slight variation.

Beware of dark images

  • If your images are dark to begin with, they'll print just as dark or even darker.
  • Back-lit images, images shot in low light with no flash, under-exposed images and images with lots of detail in the shadows generally need some lightening to print well. Read how to avoid problems in our dark images article.
  • Blurb does not lighten your images for you (unless you're using BookWright with image enhancement turned on). 

Paper and pen choices

Students may want to sign each other's yearbooks so keep that in mind when choosing your paper type. Check out our article on writing in your Blurb book to learn more about the best paper type and pen choices. In general, coated papers are more likely to smudge/smear compared to uncoated paper. But uncoated papers will have a textured matte finish compared to our coated papers.

Ready to upload? Check your work...and check it again.

  • Review your book, looking for typos, out of order page numbers, trim zone issues, incorrectly designed bleeds, etc. 
  • Pay extra attention to the names of students, especially if using spellcheck. You don't want to misspell those and you also don't want to let spellcheck change Barack to Ba rack or Malala to Malady.
  • After your first review, take a break for a while, come back, and review everything again before uploading the book. (It doesn't hurt to ask someone else to look things over as well). 
  • After you successfully upload your book, carefully review its online preview as a final check before you place your proof book order. 


Still have questions? Please contact our customer support team.

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