Alyssa Emmett: Behind the Scenes of the Yearbook: The Making of Yonahians 100th edition

Alyssa Emmett remembers falling in love with designing the layout for the yearbook when joining the Yonahian yearbook her freshman year in the fall of 2016. Emmett and her fellow classmate Sarah Bittner participated in Piedmont College’s Symposium by giving a presentation on Behind the Scenes of the Yearbook: The Making of Yonahian’s 100th edition.   

“Yearbooks are timeless. Once they are printed, a person has the book to keep with them forever.” Emmet said. “It’s very different versus a digital copy or on a CD. When you have a printed yearbook, it stays the same forever.”     

Emmett’s virtual presentation was held during the 2020 Piedmont Symposium. Emmet described what goes into making the yearbook and then showed off the layout for this year’s Piedmont edition. Being the 100th edition of Yonahian, the staff added a different element to this year’s book. 

“We also include a historical timeline in this publication,” Emmett said, adding that Bittner was responsible for the creation of the timeline.  

Working with Emmett, Bittner wasn’t just helping produce this year’s book, but was also training for the future as she will be editor-in-chief next year. 

 “As a freshman, I’m still learning a lot of new information when it comes to designing a book,” Bittner said. “But I’d say I now know the basic “rules” that go into a page/book layout. Such as the typography, spacing, design elements, how pages should be laid out in a spread, and in what order is best.  

With such a focus on Piedmont history in this year’s book, Emmett described a major obstacle during her research.   

“I had a hard time finding research about yearbooks specifically at colleges and universities.” Emmett said. “A lot of schools around the country have stopped publishing a yearly publication.” 

“Yearbooks are so important to me because I found my passion for creating and leading others through this publication,” Emmet said. “The Yonahian yearbook is the reason I am a mass communications major and a graphic design minor.”  

 As she looks to graduation, Emmett credits her involvement with the yearbook as a driving force in her Piedmont education. 

“The thing I most enjoyed about this project is being able to share my love for this publication. It truly has shaped me into the person I am today, and I couldn’t imagine my life without having joined yearbook.” she said. “It has allowed me to find my passion and meet some amazing people.”    

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