Poetry Is In The Air (And in Yearbooks) – Entourage Yearbooks

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“We knew we needed to create templates that advisors could use even if they weren’t doing any in-person schooling, like most schools in California this year. So we reached out to our advisors, and we started thinking about what kind of content a school might already have,” said Lauren Karol, another Senior Account Manager who worked with Hunter on the initiative.

The final design, dubbed “Lit Mag” after school literary magazines, was completed by Assistant Account Manager Paige Connelly and includes space for student poems as well as short stories. Connelly was inspired by Scandinavian minimalist graphic design when creating the layout.

“It really lets the words be the showcase while being aesthetically pleasing for the eye. I also wanted it to fit into any yearbook where the colors could be changed if they had a palette already selected,” Connelly said.

While student writing has traditionally fallen under the auspices of school literary magazines–hence the template’s nickname–the lack of photos caused by the Coronavirus pandemic opened up a new publication option for aspiring student authors.

Asked how she hopes schools will use the template, Connelly replied: “I hope that schools use these templates as a jumping-off point for their student authors and use the yearbook as another resource to share their creations with their school. It’s always exciting to see writing on a printed page rather than a screen. This could very well be the first printed publication for a students’ creation. Who knows, they might be the next big author!”

Keeping one eye in the future is a hallmark for Entourage, the “next generation” of yearbook services. “Entourage is in a unique situation.” said Entourage CEO Elias Jo. “We get to see what schools are doing across the country. So we identify best practices, identify creative ideas, and we share them with our schools.”

Hunter and his team did just that when coming up with the ideas for the Start Your Project initiative. The team began by reaching out to thousands of schools to request their best “Coronavirus content” ideas, then gathered those and voted on them. Each team member also added their own template idea to the list. In some cases, as with the Lit Mag template, the same designer who came up with the idea also created the final design.

As spring unfolds and schools across the country are putting the finishing touches on their yearbook designs, Hunter hopes his team’s work will help advisors complete a book that may well be their most historic ever.

“In ten, twenty years when people are looking at old yearbooks, 2020 and 2021 are going to be the books they’ll want to see,” he said. “This is the year people will remember. We have to live up to that.”

Yearbooks may not be the first source that comes to mind for student poetry, but that–like so much else–can change. Entourage Yearbooks, after all, has always been about pioneering the future of yearbooks. Sometimes, that means adding new automated features or the latest in mobile technology. Other times, it’s about going back to the drawing board…literally.

Pictured Below Left: Student poetry showcase designed by FAITH Homeschool Group in Spring Lake, NC and Pictured Below (Right) Student Poetry Page by Circle of Independent Learning Charter School in Fremont, CA.

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