First, this video with Debbie Millman is worth watching. Debbie Millman is the host of the podcast Design Matters, which is the best thing ever if you like podcasts and design. (If you click on the link, you’ll see such a beautiful example of elegant-looking Helvetica against a dynamic colour-changing background that reminds of Hypercolour t-shirts from the 90s. We love her minimalist website.)
Advisors and students: You are designers. Not only are you designers of your school yearbook, by the nature of how you design the yearbook you can also be the designer of memories, of emotions. Memory has been proven to be fluid and able to be manipulated. How you portray your school, the stories you feature and how you tell them, the photographs you choose, can shape memories. If you paint a vivid enough picture, people feel like they were at that one pep rally, or that big game. Eventually, it can even become a memory of theirs. It’s neither good nor bad, necessarily, it’s just fascinating and incredible how much power you have to shape the experience of others through narration and depiction through photography and design.
You design meaning. The school yearbook is meant to create meaning out of a bunch of haphazard events. What did it MEAN to be a student at your school in your city in your province and country in the world of this year? What does it mean to be a person of your generation right now? Through the art, design, and photographic and literary storytelling of the yearbook, you create meaning out of what feels to some students as a time they want to hurry through to get to the good stuff or a time they don’t want to leave at all. Either way, your job is to remind them of what was worth remembering.
Your challenge is to make a yearbook that, when you are done, you can honestly say, “If we hadn’t have made this, and if I hadn’t have contributed, we all would have really missed out.” Contribute your original idea. Even if it’s just how the page folio will be designed.
You are designing history, memories, and meaning. It’s pretty cool.