Having designed the yearbook for our Year 11 students since 2004, we have a wealth of experience in yearbook production. In the early days we handed the design files to an outside company who then printed the actual books. Since 2015 however, and our purchase of the thermal binder, we’ve been printing and binding them in-house, both for ourselves and other schools. Even within today’s social media connected students, a physical yearbook is still an extremely popular purchase, and it can be a lot cheaper than you might think.
Whilst we are happy to design your yearbook for you, most schools would rather put it together themselves using the software with which they are most comfortable, then convert the document to a high-resolution PDF for us to print. If you can’t convert to PDF don’t worry – we can handle most file formats. We’re more than happy to talk through your page setup and it’s usually helpful to send us a few finished pages at the start so we can check for anything that might cause printing or binding issues later. Once we have your final files we can either send you a PDF or printed proof for you to check and sign off, and then we’ll get to work.
We offer two basic options for Yearbooks: Hard Cover and Soft Cover
This is the format that our students have requested each year. Although it’s a more expensive option than soft cover, it’s not orders of magnitude more expensive and does provide far more long-term protection for the contents. As most people are going to store their yearbook potentially for decades, it is overwhelmingly the most popular option – not just at Notley, but in most secondary schools.
The covers themselves come in a wide variety of colours and capacities, so we can usually match your previous yearbooks. Please be aware of the lead time for ordering hard covers from our suplier however; we will need to know your final quantity at least 8 weeks before production can start.
Hard covers can be foil stamped with your school’s logo if required. Foil stamping does add a small cost per cover and requires a one-off fee for the original block. Foiling blocks are made from solid metal and as such can last for years and thousands of covers. We would therefore recommend that you make any foiling quite “generic”, rather than including extra information such as dates, which would require a new block each year.
As these are thermal bound along one edge (effectively “perfect bound”), the maximum limit is only constrained by the largest capacity cover available - around 120 sheets. You do however have to add 1cm to the internal margin to prevent your content being hidden by the binding. In addition to the pages being glued into the cover, we side-staple the sheets to prevent individual pages potentially becoming detached over time.
This tends to be a more popular format for primary school “yearbooks” but we have occasionally been asked to produce these for secondary schools. Although not as protective as the hard covers, using comparatively thick card stock such as 250gsm for the cover does result in quite a robust document. As the covers are fully printed, you can have them designed exactly to your specifications, including photos, quotes, dates etc. As they are printed with your yearbooks, unlike hard covers there’s no lead time involved so you don’t have to finalise your numbers as early in the process.
As with all centre stapled (“saddle stitched”) booklets, the number of designed pages in your year pages must be a multiple of 4, and the maximum we would suggest is 64 (i.e. printed on 16 A3 sheets), excluding the cover.
If you would like each yearbook to be personalised, we can offer this at minimal extra cost. For example, at Notley the first page of each yearbook includes the student’s name and final year photo. Please be aware that if you require a “buffer” of extra yearbooks to cover late orders or to give to members of staff, we would also have to produce a “generic” version.
In addition to including blank pages for students to sign or write personal messages, we can even include personal pre-signed pages if your yearbook will be given out after the students leave. Please let us know if this is something you might require and we can discuss options.
You are free to specify any weight or finish of paper stock for the contents of your yearbook, from basic 80g photocopier paper, right up to 250gsm card with a gloss or satin finish. However, the type and weight of stock does have some implications for price, maximum number of pages, and of course longevity.