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How Personalization & On-Demand Technologies Have Changed the Face of Yearbooks

With print-on-demand solutions, schools can order later in the school year and include a more comprehensive review for the students and their families.

Rick Hanaway
Major Accounts Director

By Rick Hanaway

With over 50,000,000 students enrolled in K-12 schools, Yearbooks continue to be a relevant and valued memory keepsake for students and their families. The Yearbook market has been part of the American school experience for over a century, is currently valued at more than a $2 billion marketplace, and is serviced by ‘traditional’ and ‘upstart’ publishing companies.

One of the biggest changes from Yearbooks of the past are the personalization capabilities available now as a result of advances in technology. Whereas the ‘old school’ Yearbook would be a single version for all students, today’s Yearbooks can be customized to the individual.

So, if a student wants to add unique pages of their own photos to better commemorate events from the school year, there are technology tools offered by publishers to do so. A student could highlight their sports team, club, Homecoming dance, or other pictures that make the Yearbook unique. Students and their Yearbook committees / advisors can be comfortable with the available technology, and Yearbook publishers can provide easy-to-use templates and instructions for usage of the technology.

Another advantage of the personalization technology is the timing of the Yearbook with the utilization of print-on-demand solutions.   With the previous model of traditional offset printing, printers manufactured many books for a school with no personalization and a long production cycle. Therefore, many spring activities were left out of the Yearbook due to the turnaround time. With print-on-demand solutions, schools can order later in the school year and include a more comprehensive review for the students and their families.

At RPI, we support numerous Yearbook publishers by manufacturing Personalized Yearbooks on our fleet of digital presses. With our in-house technology suite and production capabilities, each Yearbook can be unique to the student, not just the school. These Yearbooks are not just for the school year, but for a lifetime!

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