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Whether a staff strives to be on the cutting edge or to create a unique book each year, yearbook designers constantly look for the latest graphic design trends. Just as fashion, hair and interior design trends change so do the trends in the graphic design world. Choose your trends wisely, as you would the perfect outfit. Wear them all at once, and you might look like your trying to be trendy.

Step one. Settle on the trends that make sense for your current theme, coverage strategy and designers’ skill levels. Narrowing down the trends provides a challenge. Three reoccurring trends in the professional and scholastic journalism world are personalization, non-rectangular modules and minimalist, environmental type.

A staff wins with personalization. The Rocklin High School staff pulled off a huge win with book jackets each student could personalize. The idea reflected the theme and created a buzz like no other.

Rocklin High School [CA]

Trendsetters don’t like to live in boxes. In an effort to re-invent their books each year, editors must think outside the box to make positive change. The use of non-rectangular modules and unconventional white space proves one of those trends.

“Rectangular mods were boring to my editors and did not provide enough design variety,” Jostens Ambassador Margaret Sorrows said. “They wanted to create mods with extreme verticals and horizontal shapes that would pose more of a design challenge. They love white space, totally wanted to use more to isolate and frame design elements.”

Bryant High School [AR]

Pantone’s color of the year, greenery, influenced the use of a minimalist, environmental type style. Headlines have a more quiet and restful design yet bold in appearance.

The Kodak logo is just that, simple yet bold. It gets the job done by grabbing the reader’s attention. Men’s Health pulls the reader’s eye to the copy with the bold yet simple number that bleeds off two sides. In a similar fashion, the ASICS advertisement features a dynamic full-bleed photo with a san serif stacked copy headline. The shape added to RUN and FLY works as the visual-verbal connection of the command.

Kodak Logo


Men’s Health