Head Coach Denny, from the Marryville Saints Wrestling team, approached me with an offer to take over creating their yearbook in 2017. While I am not a big sports person, I love designing layouts and solving problems, and the past yearbooks had some problems. They gave me a copy of the previous prints and a few things stuck out to me. There was no cohesive design or much structure within the sections, each year had a different style, and there were many spelling errors.
My challenge was clear, I needed to not only make their 2017 yearbook, but also a template that they could update after I was gone that truly represented them as a team.
The timeline was fairly short for a 150 page book. Photos were priority showcasing the team as a whole, and highlighting each member individually. There are seven sections in total, each needing their own style of layout, however, I needed to create a master layout for branding that would tie it all together. For that, I focused on making the edges and section titles unique and cohesive to create a frame throughout the entire book.
The first section showcases each individual member along with their personal brands. At the beginning of every year, the wrestlers are tasked with making a logo as well as choosing a word that represents themselves. For this section I chose to create a column style layout to showcase a photo of the wrestler with their logo and their descriptions beneath. This is to showcase everyone at the same level as well as give flexibility for varying description sizes.
In the coach's section, I began to create a cohesive layout to showcase individuals by using colors, blocking, and type hierarchy to fill the page but still leave some pleasing whitespace. This was also used for the individual wrestler pages. Each coach has an about section, records, awards and accomplishments, and photos to showcase. Finding space for all those was, at times, a big challenge. The individual wrestler pages were broken down into two sections.
The seniors got four pages each, one showing all necessary information about them, a page of honors and awards, and two pages of photos they picked out to represent them. The freshman, sophomores,
and juniors got two pages to show the same.
The rest of the book showcases the team at their matches, championships, community service engagements, team outings, and history. A core necessity of this book was not only to show how successful as a team they are, but how much of a family they have become. It was an honor to help them showcase these moments.
I continued to help them create these yearbooks through 2019, three issues in total. Every year the coaches themselves would sit down next to me to assist in any way possible. Even going so far as to letting me teach them InDesign to help place photos and edit text. They were my first professional clients and I am forever grateful to have met them. Through the process of developing this book for them, they helped me cultivate important aspects of my personal design philosophy, empathy and connection.