Around the end of my sophomore year at Hillsdale College, the school hired me to be the editor in chief of the school’s annual yearbook. I interviewed the then-current editor, a graduating senior, and got a few files from her, but for the most part the plunge into editorship was a self-guided adventure. I found myself at the start of my junior year up to my neck in new responsibilities. I had a team of editors, designers, and photographers to hire and manage. I had a budget to maintain (and, as I found out soon, a deficit to recover). I had design decisions to make, files to assemble, information to gather, and publishers to meet with. It was a bit strenuous coming into it with no experience (and none of my team had worked on the yearbook before either), but I had a great team and great support from my faculty advisor and the publisher’s representative. And, of course, I had the internet.
The design I used was inspired partly by Facebook, which at the time still sported the two-column timeline design (the one that all my friends hated). I was trying to reconcile the problem of how to present both chronological information—events at the school, mostly—and non-chronological information—club information, Greek house profiles, etc. I also wanted a design that would encourage readers to look through the whole book and not just at their portrait or the one page that listed them as a club officer. My solution was to incorporate a timeline that would run throughout the book covering the top two thirds or so of the page, listing events as well as statistics and quotes from students and professors. The remaining third of the page, which I nicknamed the “encyclopedia,” listed clubs, Greek houses, departments, and honoraries along with pictures, names of their officers, lists of achievements, and so on.
Due to budget constraints, the design had to be almost entirely black and white (we put just the senior portrait pages in color), but I was pleased with the variety and interest of the design despite the limitations. The reception among the student body was very positive. Many thanks to my fantastic staff for all the time and effort they put into making the project possible and successful!