Comments versus questions for yearbook profile pages

Student profile pages (which usually consist of each student’s photo and a comment, arranged into tutor groups/classes), make up the bulk of most yearbooks. If you are pressed for time – or have a very large year group – then you could choose to have the student photos with names above or beneath only and no individual comments. You can then get a whole form group onto one double page spread – saving cost as the yearbook will have less pages. It will also take less time to put together as you don’t need to collect in the individual comments. However, it does make the yearbook more personal if there is a comment written by each student to appear next to their photo and it’s the perfect place to record people’s aspirations for the future – there are several ways of presenting and collecting profile page comments.

The classic way is to give everyone a set number of words to write about themselves and their final message. The decision on the word count that you allow will depend on:

1. Your yearbook design
2. The font that you choose
3. The amount of space that you allocate each student on the page

As a rough guide, this is what schools who work with us find works well:

  • 2 students per page… 200 words per student
  • 3 students per page … 150 words per student
  • 4 students per page… 100 words per student
  • 5 students per page… 90 words per student
  • 6 students per page… 80 words per student
  • 7 students per page … 70 words per student
  • 8 students per page… 60 words per student
  • 9 students per page… 50 words per student

Whilst the classic ‘set word count’ comment will suit most, some people will struggle to come up with a comment. You could find that you get some very short comments and that some people will struggle to think of what to write. An alternative and very effective way of collecting yearbook comments in is to come up with a list of questions that everyone answers – such as their nickname, what they will most likely be remembered for, ‘myself in three words’, funniest memory, etc. How many questions you ask will again depend on how many students you have per page, the font you use and the design that you have chosen.

Here are some other questions that you might like to include…

  • What is your nickname?
  • What’s your favourite school memory?
  • What’s your worst school memory?
  • Where you’ll be in ten years’ time
  • What would you like to have achieved in ten years’ time?
  • My biggest mistake was…
  • Confessions
  • One word that sums you up
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • Yourself in three words
  • Most embarrassing moment
  • Favourite song

A variation is to get people to write a comment about a friend to appear in the yearbook next to their photo. Whilst this can be quite effective, it does take a lot of coordination and you will have to ensure that everyone has something written about them – and carefully check what has been written to make sure that it is appropriate!

If you are not sure how many words you need to allocate or have questions about which format would be best suited to you, just call SPC Yearbooks on 01480 410432 or email one of our yearbook advisors who will be happy to help you find the best solution for your yearbook.

Get your free copy of SPC Yearbooks’ Sample Guide by clicking here!

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