The fate of yearbooks

In conclusion, I have learned that there is no one way to incorporate digital media in the yearbook. Despite the heavy reliance on technology in our day, there is no way to substitute fully for what the yearbook stands for or the meaning that it can carry. However, you can incorporate many technological forms such as a photo slide show, CDs and DVDs of photographs and movies from games and other events that aren’t in the book, all to accompany the print yearbook. I do think that students, parents, and the rest of the community would be interested in having this sort of digital component to the yearbook, but it would pale in comparison to the experiences that the  print yearbook carries, as well as the memories it holds: the receiving of the book, the signing of the book, flipping through it with friends and family now and years later.  All of these experiences cannot be enjoyed with a solely digital book. I have done a lot of thinking about this issue with this project, and have really reevaluated the importance of the yearbook–what it stands for and what yearbooks mean for the camaraderie and friendship, first loves, the dances, the sports games, the performances, all are shared within the pages of a yearbook and the feeling of flipping through these memories cannot be replaced or replicated by technology.

These items are captured in time and are permanent and static within the pages of the yearbook, unlike technology and its dynamic presence. Design can only be mastered through practice, patience, trial and error, a willingness to learn, and by frequently coming into contact with inspiring and cutting edge, and innovative writing and design. This is how yearbooks can bring the story of the year alive. So, what I have discovered is that yearbooks will last a lifetime because memories do as well. You can use technological elements to enhance the print version by adding a digital component with unused photos and/or movies that captured the school dance or sports games, and you can also use online spaces to help promote the yearbook and get students and staff excited about the content–but the yearbook cannot be replicated and carry with it the same feel in a digital world. However, the print yearbook is a time capsule from the lives of students to be remembered forever, and this format is how to best highlight the year and the history is carries. There is a lot of work, responsibility, and research into those great writers and designers, but the end product will be well worth it.

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