Written by Austin Schumacher; Media by Zach Bonner
It certainly has been a year of change when it comes to the usual Greenville College yearbook. Bringing on a different style of format that has not been seen in ten years, the designers have decided to experiment with something new for the upcoming years. Starting the “new” Vista this last semester in a magazine-style format, there was a bit of commotion over the idea of breaking tradition from the typical yearbook that students are used to. However, according to Artistic Designer Logan Shaw, they were able to work with some of the feedback they got from last semester’s design and bring about something that is a little more practical and more likable than its predecessor. The great question is, have they been successful?
Some of the motivation behind the switch lies in what appears to be disinterest in the Vista. There was limited interest in staffing and students did not appear interested in working to get the yearbook released. It was also more expensive than the new magazine format, and, according to Vista staff, students didn’t seem to be picking up yearbooks when they did come in. Some students did grab them, but it would appear that the majority did not, which left the Vista crew with boxes and boxes of unused yearbooks. The new format for the Vista is designed to feature more articles, which includes broader outside topics. While there were a considerable amount of these in the fall issue, Vista staff took in students opinions and redesigned the spring issue with more focus on the GC campus featuring the plays, athletics, and other students’ activities although it does keep some outside articles.
What you can expect out of this new issue of the Vista is something that’s a little bit closer to home than the last issue, the first experiment. Using GC Moments, which feature athletics and group trips, it tries to maintain that yearbook feel while giving Journalism or English students a chance to practice writing, and DM students real-world experience as they are able to produce work for their portfolios. In addition, things added to this spring issue not included in the typical yearbook are sports statistics including players names and a list of games with their scores. I have been informed that this list will be published once a year so that the list can be as up to date as possible at the date of publication. Also, since there is a deadline for the printed version before school is over, a digital copy of the Vista will be available online after May 13th. This will include pages of AgapeFest as well Junior/Senior and a couple of additional articles.
Now, turning to the printed Vista itself. I think that this issue has both its ups and downs depending on what viewpoint you’re coming from. If one is the type of person that really enjoyed the traditional yearbook format, then you might find a couple of nice things, but I think you will be overall rather disappointed. However, if you were one of those that never picked up a yearbook because you thought they were lame, I would suggest checking one of these out. Putting a bit of an interesting spin on the idea of a yearbook and the memories it encompasses, this also hands out a few extra goodies that are not usually found in the typical yearbook. In fact, if one is using it for the purpose of memories, I may argue that it does a pretty decent job.
One thing that I really like is the little extras that we get in this new format. Although it’s a small thing, the inclusion of the sport’s seasons and the players names is really cool. Also, featuring a “Student Art Gallery” is a very nice touch in that it includes something extra that is very popular at GC, but has never had a place in the yearbook. Along with that, featuring articles based on things that have gone on throughout the year both on campus and off helps to spur the memories of what happened this year in a more comprehensive manner. Finally, I do believe that the design and layout is better in this issue than last semesters, though that one did win an ADDY award for design, and I hope that they continue to make it better.
A couple of critiques that I do have lie in some of the lack of photography. While I do appreciate the use of graphics as something new, featuring campus bands and senior recitals without photos leaves them a bit empty. Also, for some reason, perhaps it’s the fact that there is so much text in this one, it feels a bit overwhelming and sometimes crowded with some difficulty differentiating one article from another. I think that there could be some good ways to break up the text a little bit more or perhaps make it clearer where the boundaries between certain article lie.
In closing, I think it’s a very interesting turn for the Vista to take and provides some potential for good design in the future. However, they will still be in need of good designers to continue the work that has been started. Always ready for new recruits, if you have something such as an article or piece of artwork or want to help design the Vista for next year, feel free to contact Jess Wilcoxen (Email at: email@example.com) to get started with that. There will be some paid and unpaid positions available for staff next year. Also, go ahead and pick up your own copy of the new Vista, which can be found around campus, and let them know what you think. The staff is always ready to hear suggestions and comments.
All images are taken from The Vista with permission from Jessa Wilcoxen.