Yearbook Terms You Need to Know

Kristin McNamee

Assistant Marketing Manager at Jostens
Kristin was the Editor in Chief of the Warbler at Eastern Illinois University where she majored in Journalism. Since then, McNamee has worked with Jostens in various support and marketing roles, now leading up digital transformation initiatives within the yearbook department.

Yearbook nerds revel in jargon but to new advisers, it can feel daunting.

As soon as you look up yearbook tips online, you are thrown words like picas, rule of thirds, signatures and the like. We’ve pulled together some must-know words that will help you get off on the right foot.

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Colophon

A reader service that lists the staff, acknowledgments, printing specifications, awards and press association memberships.

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Cut-Out Photo

A photo treatment in which the background has been cut away from the subject. This technique is most effective for photo illustrations, rather than photojournalistic images, since removing the background alters the journalistic story the photo delivers. Also called a COB.

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Divider

Indicates a new section and provides design continuity throughout the yearbook.

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Endsheet

The heavy paper between the cover and the first and last pages that helps bond the inside pages into the cover.

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Folio

The page number and word or images that might accompany it.

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Gutter

The center of the spread, where the yearbook is bound with thread and glue into the spine. Typographic elements should not be placed in this area.

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Ladder

A page-by-page planner and deadline tracker used to identify content, record deadlines, plan color placement and track pages submitted and proofed. The ladder is organized by spreads, multiples and signatures. The ladder should be completed before yearbook production begins.

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Lead

The center of the spread, where the yearbook is bound with thread and glue into the spine. Typographic elements should not be placed in this area.

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Pica

 A unit of measurement in graphic design equal to 1/6 of a inch, used for measuring the width and height of content elements.

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Point

Increment used to ensure precise design measurement. A point is 1/72 (or 1/12 of a pica) of an inch and is used for measuring typography and rule lines.

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Proof

A final opportunity to review pages and make last-minute, critical corrections before printing. Proofs need to be checked, corrected and returned to the plant within three business days to avoid production delays. Page Designer pages are proofed online before submitting.

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Spread

Most common allocation of space, two facing pages presenting a variety of elements to tell a story; even and odd pages appearing as a unit.

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White Space

An unoccupied part of a design; so named because the white background is visible. All white space should be planned and includes margins, interior spacing and rails.