Last year I picked up an old high school yearbook at my local thrift store. Really old. I planned to use it for collage ephemera. But once I started flipping through it, I had second thoughts. Based on the handwritten notes covering the pages, I figured the yearbook's owner, Marjorie, had been a popular girl. Or at least "swell," the word almost every classmate had used to describe her.
My favorite part, besides the film noir feel, was what the graduating seniors listed as their life ambitions. I read each one, comparing the goal with the face of its aspirant. One very ambitious girl promised to be "the first woman U.S. president." No, it wasn't Hillary. But she did have an impressive career.
These ambitions inspired a new accordion book collage.
The senior portraits were just the right size for the book's small sections (2.5" x 4"). I chose 6 students, then paired each photo with a compelling ambition. The text itself was too small, so I transcribed it using my dad's old Smith-Corona typewriter (which is about as old as the yearbook).
For backgrounds, I used security envelopes and copies of old newspapers.
For a pop of color, I cut shapes out of paint chips. Washi tape pulls the different sections together.
Here's what the small booklet looks like:
I didn't want to spend much time on the back of the book. I grabbed my colored pencils to make simple colored blocks.
Using a retro alphabet stencil, I wrote "Primer." As in "primary colors" or "primary goal" or "school primer" or… who knows what else my subconscious had in mind.
So what do you think? Is it ok to cut apart a 74-year-old yearbook?