Student Press of Braden River High School

Louder than ever

The Cannon releases 2019 theme for yearbook.

In any other year, the River’s best kept secret is the yearbook theme. However, after 14 volumes of pirate history, 2019’s theme was announced to the student population through a release party hosted in the courtyard Jan. 10. The theme “Louder & Louder” lived up to its name through blaring music, brightly colored balloons and pins and an explosive front cover design.

“Putting your nine months of work out for 2100 people to see is a little nerve-wracking but it’s way more exciting than it was nerve-wracking,” The Cannon co-editor-in-chief Winona Nasser said. “I couldn’t sleep the night before the theme release… but [I was] so excited about something seemingly so simple to other people…Seeing people’s reactions in the courtyard when they heard this loud dramatic music and saw huge pink balloons and wondering what’s going on, just seeing how people reacted to our hard work was really rewarding.”

The Cannon Yearbook established its theme after graduation 2018. Following up on 2018’s “Tell Me About It” theme, 2019’s theme is a symbol of the student population’s voice and passion.

“‘Louder & Louder’ came up as one version of an idea that we’d been brainstorming for several months at the end of last school year,” co-editor-in-chief Alana Kelly said. “The concept that it arose from involved drawing attention to individuals and their actions, essentially pinpointing instances where students were making a difference. Especially in a time when we are so much more interconnected with technology and exposed to a free flow of ideas, we felt that it was important to represent ourselves and our generation as a body that’s growing in community spirit and in passion. We had gone through a few variations…but I think we finally hit our stride with something that reflects the same uniqueness that we recognize within our student body. ‘Louder & Louder’ provides a familiarity with its simplicity that allows us to be dynamic with the variety of things that we cover and the voice that we portray.”

Along with the theme, the 2019 cover was released. This cover bursts against the previous white-and-black editions with the screaming image of senior Kat Polaski overlayed in the theme’s neon pink.

Photos courtesy of the Cannon Yearbook.

“When I first saw the cover, there were two yearbook girls in my 7th period, so they pulled me to the side like right when I walked in,” Polaski said. “They basically surrounded me. ‘We have something to show you but don’t tell anybody.’ And I was like, ‘Okay’. I didn’t really think anything of it. So I think my first initial reaction was because they were so excited was ‘Wow’…I was just so shocked. I couldn’t process that it was me and most of the kids in school would have it [the yearbook]. I think that as soon as I sat down and they gave me a copy of it, I thought it was really cool and the whole concept of the yearbook and me being the front page of that concept, I really liked it.”

Shocking other students as well, the cover only features one student. Putting a photo on the cover at all broke boundaries; it was a decision never made before and one encouraged by the publishers of the book. Although it may be seen as controversial, Nasser explains how the decision was made.

“Overall, Kat is just a very loud person in general, and we were able to catch a moment where she was actually being loud and using her voice,” Nasser said. “That’s what we wanted the theme to capture, which is why we used that picture. It was more because we happened to have that picture of her representing our theme. We didn’t say, ‘Hey, Kat, come pose for us. It just happened and it fit our theme, so that’s why we put it on the cover.”

Video courtesy of the Cannon Yearbook.

Covering campus news chronologically, The Cannon spends the year photographing, writing and designing in order to compile the spreads. The book follows the school timeline, categorized by month and season rather than club or event.

“So with chronological coverage we cover events as they happen,” asst. editor Sophia Torlucci said. “This allows for both accurate coverage and some freedom with the subjects of our spreads. It ends up being really enjoyable to read because it starts off with summer memories and the first day of school and ends with all the spring events. It really captures that concept of a memory book and reliving the year, which, of course, is our goal in yearbook.”

Through purchasing a yearbook – now $80 – customers also receive access to the augmented reality (AR) component. Using the AR app, students can scan various pages of the yearbook and connect to YouTube videos, social media accounts, articles and additional coverage to events.

“[The AR function] is my favorite part of the book,” Nasser said. “I think a story can be told when there is a visual aid instead of just pictures and words. For example, we have a story on a guy who is very good at yo-yoing. So we thought, ‘What would make this story better than a video of him yo-yoing?’ You download [the app on your phone] and there is a list at the front of the book of pages that has stuff to scan. So you just hold your camera over the picture and something pops up.”

Since 2017, the book has made several major changes that lead up to a whole new image. The Cannon has kept up with the latest yearbook trends, meaning the book is no longer just the picture album of the past. Beginning with 2018’s book, design and storytelling were elevated to create a memorable keepsake up-to-date with trend and technology.

“Last year we were going for a very sleek and modern look,” Nasser said. “We switched publishers, two new editors-in-chief who were juniors at the time, a whole new staff…Everything was super, super, super new last year and there were growing pains that went with that. So this year we were able to take all the stuff we learned last year and put it toward something new…This year we were like, ‘There are no rules. The sky is the limit. Lots of color. Pictures on the cover…So basically, a lot has changed from two years ago, but there’s still a lot of significant change between last year and now.”

Feature photo courtesy of the Cannon Yearbook.

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