By: Melanie Wisniacki, Sophomore; Giovanna Valentin, Junior
As the school year comes to an end, everyone awaits the moment-- the yearbook is out! This year, the yearbook staff consisted of six designers -- Aimet Ruiz, Giovanna Valentin, Marco Prevedello, Isabel Sewiol, Lindsey Greene, and Zoë Felfle -- led by their sponsor, Mr. Arrison. The theme is “It’s About You,” and I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Arrison and the yearbook club students, or so called “Yerds,” to get to know a little more about the backstory of this amazing publication.
In past years, iPrep’s yearbooks have resembled photo albums with no captions, context, or storyline. However, this year, the group’s mission was to use the many features available on Balfour’s Studioworks, the yearbook editing software they used, to add a journalistic aspect to the book. The Yerds were able to do this by creating spread layouts that encompass body text as well as captions and pictures. Using inspirations from other high school yearbooks and the help of their skilled Balfour representative, Stephanie Sherman, they were able to tell a story with every page.
According to Mr. Arrison, planning for next year’s book begins before the current one is handed out to the public. Planing a yearbook seems COMPLICATED!
Brainstorming for this yearbook began with Mr. Arrison and this year’s Co-Editor in Chief, Aimet Ruiz, in May of 2018. Though they settled with the theme “It’s Your Story” at the time, it later changed to “It’s About You” after Mr. Arrison attended the Annual Balfour Florida Yearbook Seminar in Orlando, FL over the Summer. After choosing the theme, they had to pick out fonts, texts, headings, alignments, color schemes, and shapes (the specifics on fonts, colors, shapes, and more aspects of the book can be found in the book’s Colophon located on page 191).
Every aspect they chose was written down in a notebook that they humorously call “the Bible.” The name stemmed from the fact that it served as a reference guide many times throughout the making of the book.
The creation of a two-page spread isn’t easy. After taking pictures at a school event, the designer must choose and upload the pictures they want to use. Based on the chosen pictures, they use Studioworks to create the template that best fits. Then, they write body text that explains and summarises the event(s) highlighted on the spread. Finally, they write the captions; in order to write identifiers under the pictures, they seek teachers’ help. This is one of the hardest parts of creating a spread as well as making sure their template fits the theme and choosing the right picture to be the visual focal point of the spread. Once they’re done, they must present their spread to the Editors in Chief, Aimet Ruiz and Giovanna Valentin. After the editors approve it, it goes to Mr. Arrison for publishing. That’s a lot of work!
As each spread was published, it was stored within its signature, which is a 16 page segment. When a signature is complete, it is sent to Balfour, where it is printed and stored until every signature in the book is done. On March 22, 2019, the last signature of the 200 page book was finally sent to Balfour for printing and binding.
Waiting for this piece of art was very nerve racking to the Yerds since they weren’t sure what others reactions towards the yearbook would be. In fact, Giovanna Valentin said,
“We see errors that other people may not see or find, and we can judge each other, within our group, in a constructive way. Unfortunately, other people tend to do this in a way of making fun of something.”
As students are handed their yearbooks, the pressure of them, their parents, and their teachers liking the book was still on. During my interview with them, the group let me know that they were most nervous about what their friends were going to think. In the end, their friends loved the book and were able to appreciate the hard work that went into making it. Marco Prevedello stated, “even though there is a lot of pressure, it’s really satisfying seeing the final result.”
Through the pressure and the deadlines, the Yerds managed to finish the book and even include a few cool features along the way. For example, this is the first iPrep Yearbook to feature an Index (pages 186-189) in the back of the book, where you can look for your name to see what pages you appear on. Another intriguing feature is the fact that ⅔ of the title is written in glossy, clear print, so many people didn’t notice it at first glance. They also let me in on some fun facts: Junior Stephen Sanchez is the only person in the entire yearbook who is pictured wearing a tanktop, and Sophomore Bruno Mauriello is the only one pictured in black and white.
Moreover, this year’s yearbook was definitely worth the hype; a true masterpiece. Luckily, if you haven’t bought a yearbook yet and don’t want to miss out on this incredible publication, it’s not too late; you can still buy one!
To conclude this exclusive interview, I asked the Yerds for a clue on what we can expect for next year. They stated, “the only thing we can say is...2020.” Honestly, all I can say is make sure to keep an eye out for next year’s book because we can’t wait to see what next year’s group of talented designers have in store.