Category Archives: DIDP 2017-18

Our First Yearbook Page!

Today we’ll start at (almost) the beginning by designing our first official page for this year’s yearbook!

Page 1, the table of contents, is a tough one to do right, so we’ll skip it (for right now) and go to page 2, the messages from our administrators!

Here are a couple of samples from the past:



A lot of pages (like this one) have to wait until we actually get the content from other people. I don’t have this year’s writeups from the administrators. I don’t even know for sure whether there will be one or two blocks of text this year. Usually, on this page I use the photos that are taken alongside grad photos. I don’t have those yet. So we make up template pages that look right, but contain THE WRONG CONTENT and then REPLACE it later. Life is so much simpler if everything is done and all I need to do is place new files when I get the updated content. That’s where you come in.

Start with an InDesign page template. This page goes ON THE LEFT hand side and is only ONE page. The other side is a divider, which we’ll look at later.

You’ll need to PLACE two photos and two TEXT documents. You can use old writeups and new photos if you like. You can find files to use HERE.

Each page (except for the first and the last, usually) has a PAGE NUMBER somewhere. It should also have some kind of HEADING/TITLE, and of course a snazzy background image/design.

We will all come up with a design for this page, but obviously the real book can only have one, so we’ll look at all of your designs and decide which one we’ll actually use. Once we come up with a few pages together, you’ll be responsible for creating your own section for the actual book, so you can be assured that your designs will be used in the book, so make ’em good!

InDesign Yearbook Assignment – Part 1

As mentioned previously, you need to now be designing page layouts for this year’s yearbook. Using the cover that we chose as a guide, design what the pages inside of the book will look like. Try to incorporate similar colours/ideas, although they do not have to precisely match.

You can start (if you wish) by designing a page master (the basic look/layout) in Photoshop, but DO NOT add picture frames in Photoshop (you can’t, really). You can, though, add placeholders and put the frames on top using InDesign. Or you can just do the whole thing using InDesign. Start with the page template that has been provided by Friesens (the makers of our yearbook.) There are a couple of versions, depending on whether you want a single page or a spread, and depending on whether you want to use Photoshop or InDesign for the basic design/layout.

You will need a few different kinds of pages/layouts:

  • Table of Contents
  • Admin messages (each gets roughly 1/2 page to write about the year)
  • Divider pages (starts a new section)
  • Basic photo pages
  • Portrait pages
  • Grad photos (baby pics? Writeup?)

If you want, you can get more specific with different kinds of pages

  • clubs
  • activities
  • teams
  • special events
  • etc.

IMPORTANT: If you’re adding TEXT:
– if the text will CHANGE (e.g.: different headings, titles, names, etc) – DO THIS USING INDESIGN- if the text will stay the same (e.g.: St. James Collegiate, 2014-15, Jimmies, etc.) – this can be done in Photoshop

USE COPYRIGHT FREE OR LICENSED FONTS! The best choice is to use the poster on the wall under the clock! If you don’t have access to one of the fonts on the poster, ASK ME and I will make sure it’s unlocked for you! Some fonts are copyright protected and we can get in trouble or have our pages refused by the printer. CHOOSE WISELY! Make your text CLEARLY LEGIBLE. Some wacky fonts are really hard to read.

This is only PART 1 of the BIGGEST and MOST IMPORTANT assignment/task of the year! Get moving! Take this seriously!

Yearbook resources

InDesign Brochure

Hopefully by now you’ve designed an impressive postcard, packaged it up, and dropped it off.

Next you’ll use the powers of InDesign to create a brochure with pictures and information of your choosing. You can make your brochure about almost anything.

Some suggestions:

  • It might be great to have some of these advertising the yearbook as well.
  • I could also use some brochures advertising my technology courses, which I could hand out at our annual open house.
  • You could make a brochure for a different class/program here at St. James.
  • You could advertise a club or activity here. I’d love to have a Jimmie Jam Radio brochure!
  • A topic of interest to you! (dogs, cars, photography, etc!)

The photos should be yours (NOT from the Internet.) You will also need to PLACE a TEXT FILE with some information about the topic. This information can be “borrowed” from the Internet, if need be.

Download these files to follow along with the sample

Follow along with the tutorials here



Yearbook Cover Revisions

We’ve received some great yearbook covers so far, so THANK YOU to those of you who got a design in on time. There’s still time to submit your design for marks and for consideration, but time is running out!

No matter how great your idea is (and some of them are really great), there’s always some other idea that could make it even better. Often, it takes an impartial, objective observer to point out something that could be improved.

Your job today is to look at the yearbook cover submissions so far and IMPROVE THEM! You are responsible for downloading and improving AT LEAST 2 other covers. You can change anything you want about it, but make sure that you’re making an improvement.

Some tips:

  • BE NICE. Just because you don’t necessarily agree that a cover is beautiful, don’t be mean about it, just make some changes that will improve things.
  • You don’t have to agree with the changes that someone else is making to your cover, you just have to respect their input!
  • Check and make sure that the files are created using the right template, include elements that we can use without getting sued, and are laid out and SPELLED correctly! If the designer used blue & yellow, is it the CORRECT SHADE of blue & yellow? There’s a way to check, you know! Are all elements HIGH QUALITY and CLEAR?
  • If a cover looks great as it is and you can’t think of a way to improve it, you’re not trying hard enough. Every idea can be improved. But if you can’t think of something, choose another one. If you think a cover can’t be salvaged (you really don’t like it), that’s fine, just choose something else.
  • Your changes must be NOTICEABLE and make a clear improvement. If you change something so subtle that only you notice, it isn’t much of an improvement.

You need to DOWNLOAD the files you want to work with, then open them in Photoshop, then save and drop off the revised files.

Access the files here

Yearbook Templates

Our yearbook is printed by a Manitoba company called Friesens. They provide us with some important specifications that we must use, as well as some items that we can choose to use when making our yearbook.

All items used in the design of our yearbook must be either approved/provided by Friesens or they must be Creative Commons items! Use Creative Commons sources such as those on my Links page under Copyright Free Content when gathering materials for your cover & pages!

A collection of materials provided by Friesens can be accessed at this link

Cover templates:

Photoshop: YBCoverTemplate


If you need school logos or photos of the school ASK MR. ROBSON. DO NOT grab them off the Internet!

School logos


Photo Art

By now you should be a total pro at shooting great photos. Last time we worked on editing photos, converting them, and saving/dropping off properly. Remember that you were expected to drop off AT LEAST three photos. If you haven’t completed that assignment, please visit this link and do so ASAP.

From there we will work on adding to photos and creating original documents in Photoshop. We are working toward designing the covers for our yearbook, as well as creating a variety of promotional items and other documents.

First up, try this tutorial. It will help you to take a photo and add text and artwork to it. You can follow along with the example in the video by downloading THESE FILES. You will not drop off that sample, though, you will apply these techniques to one of your photos.

This is a great opportunity to create a really beautiful Christmas/New Year/Birthday card/whatever. Think about how happy someone in your family would be if you created something especially for them? Brownie points galore!

The Hour of Code 2017

This week is Computer Science Education Week, and there’s a huge worldwide activity going on this week called The Hour of Code, where millions of people will learn how fun and easy it can be to learn to write computer code. Whether you’re trying to build or fix your own website, animate your designs, write an app for your phone or tablet, or just see what you can teach computers to do, learning code is really important and fun. You have no idea how much you’re capable of doing right now, until you try.

These skills will help make you part of a growing workforce of people who require computer science skills. These skills are becoming more important in almost every area of society, and sadly, there aren’t nearly enough people with those skills to fill important positions. By increasing your skills, you give yourself a far greater chance of landing a good job in the future, and unlock worlds of new possibilities now.

Please Join our class:

OR you can try it out at Code Combat (a bit more challenging):

OR you can try it out at CodeHS (a bit more challenging):

Photo Editing

Start by getting some or all of the yearbook portrait pics that we’ve taken so far. We’ll be working on some basic ways to fix those up and share them.

Drop off AT LEAST 3 student photos with the following settings:

  • fix/adjust the colour and lighting
  • crop the photo so it is a tight photo of head & shoulders ONLY.
  • .jpg file
  • resolution 100
  • maximum size 1000 x 1000 pixels
  • file name should be the student’s name (eg: robson.jpg)

Once you’ve completed that, you should be looking at Photo Editing in Photoshop. Work through these tutorials please:

Start here for some basic photo editing skills

Use Photoshop to edit multiple photos

we will be moving on to create some posters, advertisements, and our yearbook cover in Photoshop.

Here’s a good project to get you started