Navigating the page designer

Our new page designer give you lots of freedom, and has hundreds of options for you to choose from when creating your pages.

This tutorial helps you get to grips with the designer, and highlights some of the basic functions for you:

  • Adding pages
  • Undo & redo
  • Saving changes
  • Exiting the designer

Creating profile pages

Before you add profile pages you will need to set up profile questions, and profile groups.

Now you can use the page designer to add your profile pages 🙂

  • Add a spread first
  • Choose your layout (you can customise these later)
  • Choose which profile group to display on the page
  • Choose how many pages to add
  • Choose your theme

You may then like to customise your profile pages 🙂


Endpapers are a special feature of premium laminated hardback and leatherette books.  These are double page spreads, printed on the inside of the cover, at the front and back of the book.
Your endpapers will act as both introduction and ending to your book, so you can really define your style with then. A big advantage of endpapers is they don’t have a middle “gutter”, allowing photos to go across two pages without losing peoples faces in the middle. You can also have text written across the spread, allowing you to welcome people to the book. Maybe you’d like to leave them a message at the end, letting them know when the reunion is?

Here are a few examples we’ve made in the past, but feel free to come up with something unique! 🙂


Print size comparison chart

If you’ve been chatting to us about your design, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrases ‘high resolution’ and ‘print quality’ bandied around quite a bit – that’s because we want you to be amazed with the finished quality of your book. Getting your head around image resolutions and why they actually make a difference can be a little tricky so here is a little overview to explain more 🙂

Put in simple terms, the quality of your image is tied to the resolution. Every image you upload is created from lots of tiny dots, each capturing a little piece of the overall image. The greater the DPI (dots per inch) the more detail you’ll capture in your images.  If you have a low resolution image (anything >150dpi), you’ll find it looks a little pixelated, blurry and lacking in detail. With higher resolution images (300dpi), there is more information stored giving you a crisper, more defined image (and a bigger smile when you open your books) which is better for everybody!

You might find an image and think ‘this looks spot on’ and then be a little surprised when we ask for a higher resolution version. This is because print resolution is generally much larger than screen resolution, click the image below if you don’t believe me 🙂 quite a difference right?


So now we have a bit of an understanding about resolutions, lets see it in action! Lets say I want to make my yearbook cover using our logo…

AYB Logo

The logo looks fine here right? Nice and clear and no problems. As we start to enlarge this towards print resolution, you’ll see the edges have started to get a little pixelated and it’s all starting to look a little fuzzy  😦AYB Logo1

You wouldn’t be pleased if your books arrived looking less than perfect and nor would we be so as a general rule for logos, you’ll need to chat to a staff member- usually anything you’ll find online is teeny-tiny and sadly there is no magical way to make transform them into beautiful high quality images for you.

If the image isn’t swamping your laptop screen it’s probably going to be low resolution and unsuitable for printing on a larger scale i.e. as your cover/ endpapers/ double page photos or as a custom background. The key is to look at your image objectively and check:

  • clarity– does the image look sharp and clear?
  • source– where has this image come from? Could I find a better version from somewhere else?
  • size– what are the dimensions of the image? Check our guides to covers for more info 🙂

Awards Page Design

Awards are great for really bringing your book to life 🙂 Personal to you, they are fun, humorous and a great way to remember your time at school. Whether you hold your awards voting online or offline, you can use our system to create some fantastic pages to add to your book. We expect to launch our awards page design tools in early 2015, you can get the ball rolling in the meantime with our favourite awards suggestions.

Editors: To create your awards, simply click the Votes & awards button in the Design & manage tab. You’ll notice as you add in each of your awards categories that it will default to using all members as nominees. If you’d prefer to choose only specific members click the custom nominees option, pop your nominees into the box and click save 🙂

To vote on awards you’ll need to click into the votes tab and cast your votes for each category using the drop down menus. Remember to click the green cast votes button when you are finished to register and complete your voting!

Designing your own cover

You want your yearbook cover to be unique, creative and really geared to your year group, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to design the cover yourselves. Our designers are happy to work with your own designs; either realising rough drafts or polishing your finished design.

Your cover design can be anything at all, but here are some specific things you need to bear in mind so it will look good!

  • Size: design your front and back covers to be a single sheet of B5 each. B5 is 17.5cm wide by 25cm high. For designing front and back as one document, see below
  • Image quality: use good original digital camera photos (not social website downloads) and high quality logos and images throughout
  • Design file quality:  ensure your design document is created at 300dpi or higher. For pixel sizes for B5 pages, look here:
  • Keep your design editable: when you save JPG versions of your cover, ALWAYS keep a version you can re-edit near to hand – it may well need tweaks!

Your design can be designed in any program, or hand drawn, inked, painted (or finger-painted!) on paper. When designing in a program, save your design as a high quality JPG or PDF file to send to us, with any extra instructions. Scan paper designs at high resolution (300 dpi) and send it to us with your other instructions.

Designing Front and Back

Your cover will be a full colour design on both front and back, and running together over the spine. If you want to design your cover in this way, then create your design file according to the guide set out below. Remember to leave off spine text and email us with what you want on there – we will add it to your finished draft.

Click image to view large and right click for download options


Adding backgrounds to your custom pages

You can add backgrounds to your custom pages to make them a bit more interesting, exactly how you do this depends of the software package you use, and you can find instructions in the software help, or by using google.  I’ve put instructions below for MS Word 2007 as this is one of the more common programs people use.

If you want to add a plain background to your page click onto the ‘Page Layout’ menu and click ‘page colour’ in the ‘page background’ section.  You can choose from a lot of different colours/textures for your background from here.

If you want to use an image as the background, you need to add it as a watermark, not as a background.  To do this, click ‘Watermark’ (next to ‘page colour’ in the image above), then ‘custom watermark’, then tick the ‘picture watermark’ button as shown below.

Once you’ve browsed your computer and found the image you want using the ‘Select picture’ button you need to make sure ‘Washout’ is unticked.  Click ‘Apply’ to see your changes, and make sure the scale of the image is ok – ie that it covers all of the page!  Once you’re happy with it, you can click ok and then close.

Your background image might still look a bit desaturated (washed out) but it isn’t – the system fades it a bit so you can see clearly whilst you’re working, check the print preview for a more accurate view of your page 🙂

When you’ve finished, output your page to pdf (try the link below) and then you can upload it to the site!

Page size / page margins

Our yearbooks are now B5 size. The internal pages are slightly smaller (think about it – the paper doesn’t go up to the edge of the cover!). This was the same with our A4 yearbooks – the internal pages were slightly smaller.

If you create a page that’s exactly B5 size you’ll have no problems – there will be a few fit options online and we can easily tweak how the page fits. You don’t need to worry about creating a page exactly the right size – B5 is perfect.

If you create your pages exactly A4 size you needn’t worry either – if you upload A4 pages to the site, they will be scaled down, so just make sure that font sizes are big enough. B5 is 30% smaller so:
– 16pt at A4 = 11.2pt at B5
– 14pt = 10.2pt at B5
– 12pt = 8.4pt at B5
– 10pt = 7pt at B5

Technical B5 page dimensions are below, but first …


Margins, Trimbox and Bleed:

Our yearbook pages, as with all professional publishing, are printed on larger sheets and trimmed to size.  Trimming isn’t completely precise, so the background of a page should extend beyond the edges of the trim. Otherwise you can get a thin edge of white, unprinted paper.

Where the page is intended to the trimmed is called the trimbox. As explained above, this is a touch smaller than actual B5. The background that extends outside the trimbox is called bleed.

Our templates and designed pages all have a bleed – when you’re designing your own pages you should plan for this as well.  The way to ensure your background can “bleed” off the page, is to leave a good margin around the edges of your page without faces, important images or text.

As a rue of thumb, we recommend margins of 1-1.5cm all sides of each page (including where pages meet in a double page spread).  The background should fill these margins, but important page content should keep out!

Make your pages B5, at 300 dpi, with a comfortable margin and the background filling the page, and they will be perfect!


B5 Dimensions

Here are all the exact dimensions we use for internal pages, including bleed, for those clever bods who like to design on the edge!  They’re noted in points, mm and pixels (for 300dpi).

Trimbox: 482 x 695pt (vs 499 x 709pt actual B5)

Bleedbox: 499 x 712pt

Trimbox: 170 x 245mm (vs 176 x 250mm B5)
Bleedbox: 176 x 251mm

Pixels at 300dpi:
Trimbox: 2008 x 2896px (vs 2079 x 2953px B5)
Bleedbox: 2079 x 2967px

Custom page ideas

Stuck for inspiration for custom pages? Try these AYB favourites 😀


News headlines

Contents pages

Section dividers

I wish I’d never…

10 things you didn’t know about…

A cut out mask (make sure you leave the following page blank!)

Whats hot and what’s not



Spot the difference (for any keen photoshoppers out there)



School trends

Shopping lists (prices)

Staff message pages (for all those fond farewells!)

Charts (music, films etc)

You can also make your own custom profile pages, awards pages or collages if you’d like!


Custom pages

What is a custom page?

Custom pages are ones that you make yourselves and upload to the book once complete.  This is a great way of personalising your book – and putting the more artistic amongst you to work!

You can create pages in whichever software you prefer, do bear in mind that your pages should be B5 in size (or, if you make them A4, make your text around a third larger, as we will downsize your pages to fit the book) and that you need to leave some space between the edge and any important content such as faces/text (around 1-1.5 cms should be fine).

If you’d like exact dimensions for the pages, a single side should be 176x251mm (2079×2967 pixels at 300 dpi).

You can upload pages to the site as jpeg, png or pdf files – most desktop publishing/art software will be able to output to one of these formats, but do contact us if you’re struggling.

Creating placeholder sections

You need to do this before you are able to upload a complete page.  Go to the ‘Custom pages’ tab in your yearbook and click ‘Add custom pages’ (red arrow).  You can then title your section, and choose whether it will be a single or double page section (blue arrow). 

It’s a good idea to set up placeholders for all of your sections at the start of the yearbook process – this allows you  to put your layout together right from the outset, and as you complete the pages you just need to upload the ‘on top of’ the placeholders.

There are two options for your section, single page or double page.  Keeping sections as small blocks gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of adding headers. footers and backgrounds, and it also saves you a lot of time if you need to edit a page further down the line, as you only have to reupload a small section, not a huge document!

Uploading pages

So you have your list of custom sections, each of which has a blank placeholder in your ‘Book’ tab.  You now want to upload the pages you have made on top of these.  Click the section you want to work on and then click ‘Upload’.  Find the file from your computer using the ‘Browse’ button, and then click the blue ‘Upload’ button at the bottom.  For double page sections, you can either upload two separate pages, one as the left hand and one as the right hand side (they don’t have to be the same file type) or one 2-page document.

If you upload a pdf that is more than two pages long, it will be split up into multiple single page sections.  This allows you to move them around the book easier and as I mentioned above, if you spot a typo on page 43 of a 50 page document it means you can just correct and upload one page, not the whole lot!