We’ve all seen yearbooks before. We kinda know what to expect, right? I had just done the 1984 book and won a Best of Category award from the Printing Industries of America, and yet subscriptions were decreasing on a yearly basis and students felt disconnected from their book.
Myself and my staff decided to change the game…entirely. My concept was to make a dictionary instead. We enlisted every organization on campus, creative writing classes and our own staff to come up with appropriate words and definitions, thereby engaging the student body. Add to that a bit of never before seen promotion for the book and both sales and positive response soared, many saying that they had never seen “anything like it.”
Several themes were employed for this 430 page volume. Firstly we played off the double “Y” of the name with multiple uses and variations of inverted triangles. We committed to being better photo editors as well, reducing the number of images in preference to better pictures used bigger. The final touch, which was tough to convince our publisher to go along with, was to die cut the letter “tabs” on the side of the book. This was unheard of, a bit expensive, and had to be shopped out to another publisher, but we fought hard for it, as we were convinced that it was needed to drive home the theme.
The full digital version of this book is now viewable online through the UNC library digital archives.
1985 Yackety Yack: Book Design