Modular Design
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Modular Design. The newest trend in yearbook layout design. Modular Design.

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Modular Design

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Modular design

Modular Design

The newest trend in yearbook layout design

Modular design

Modular Design

  • The basic idea underlying modular design is to organize smaller, related units of design in an organized fashion to create a larger layout. Modular design allows for a more contemporary and creative design in your layout.

  • Modular design offers an interesting way to expand the possibilities of secondary coverage through side bars, info-graphs, and/or separate mods.

  • Modules may be made up of photos, while others feature verbal coverage like definitions, fast facts or top 10 lists. Other “mods” may consist of combinations of quotes and mug-shots, candid and personal profiles, or other combinations of visual and verbal coverage.

Modular design

Modular Design

  • Modular design provides framed edges by allowing for more white space between layout elements (body copy, photos, sidebars, etc.)

  • Modular design is a new trend in yearbook publishing that moves away from the traditional yearbook layout of one dominant photo clustered with 5-7 other photos, which is then surrounded by white space.

  • Rather than allowing for one pica of white space between layout elements, modular may allow for up to four picas between modules.

  • Modules are grouped by interest, theme, likeness, or subject. These grouping are often in the form of side bars, info-graphs, or feature boxes

Modular design

  • Why use modular design?

  • Modular design offers space to add secondary coverage that is related to the topic of your layout. By using smaller related “mods” on a layout, coverage can range from the obvious to the less obvious, yet more interesting topics. As long as the coverage of each mod is related to the overall topic of your layout, they can be used together to create a unique graphic layout.

  • For example, when a team working on the marching band spread decided that the play list for their award-winning half time show was not all that interesting, they might have decided to create an info-graph (small module) about how the band raised need funds to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

Modular design

First, let’s look at a traditional layout

Note the eye-line that ties this layout together. Everything on this page is anchored by the eye-line and all the text and photos are connected. Text and photos are grouped at the center and surrounded by white space at the edges.

Modular design

Module #2

Module #3:Side Bars offer the reader a unique angle on a feature of your layout.

Modular design provides lots of flexibility for width of elements and consistency as well. Modular design uses larger pica spaces to separate ideas and define sections. The white space creates a defined space to break up the modules so that secondary coverage be used.

Module #1

Modular design

Time lines make good use of modular design

Lines guide the readers eye around the page

A sidebar is a separate “module” in this layout. Side bars are a great way to highlight a separate topic/module

external marginsA nice wide, white frame for your spread allows for an open presentation that doesn’t appear crowded.

Modular design

This cluster of photos uses a dominant photo to grab the readers attention.

White box within a gray box gives layered effect.

Putting the title at the bottom helps to separate this module from other modules.

A gray scaled background highlights another mod on this layout.

Modular design

Consistency Matters…..

  • Remember that you do need to provide consistency in modular design through the use of similar theme, coverage, and text fonts so that your layout seems unified and uncluttered.

  • Publishing standards require that yearbooks maintain a certain level of consistency. If you choose to use modular design in your yearbook, you should rely on the Herff Jones design library (a place to store separate mods) so that your mods will be consistent.

  • A great way to use module design is through the use of side-bars, info-graphs, and feature boxes. Lets view some samples...

Modular design

Question & Answer boxes with quotes from students give space for students to offer their own perspective on the topic being covered.

Sample sidebars, info-graphs, etc…

Info-graphs provide space to display unique facts about a layout.

Modular design

More sidebars, info-graphs, etc…

This side bar features one students idea about the topic of the layout. The gray box helps to keep it separate from the focus of the story while drawing the reader’s attention.

This side bar offers facts & statistics that are related to the layout.

Modular design

more sidebars, info-graphs, etc…

This side bar provides the reader with three different perspectives on the topic being covered. The framed edge keeps it separate from the rest of the layout.

Modular design

  • Go to and locate a modular design for one of the sections. Print it and circle the modules. Be prepared to explain why it is a good example of modular design.

  • Open a layout and create a unique side bar that you may want to use in a section of our book (student life, sports, academics, clubs). If approved by your advisor, save it to the design library so it can be used later.

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