Customizable School Yearbooks Hit the Presses this Week
REDWOOD CITY, CA—April 08, 2010—How many times were you in your school yearbook? With TreeRing, which began printing its first custom school yearbooks this week, parents and students can, for the first time, customize their own copy of the yearbook with personalized pages that make the school yearbook a true reflection of that year for each and every student. TreeRing combines on-demand printing and online social media technology with a selection of do-it-yourself customization features to bring America's yearbook tradition into the 21st century.
School yearbooks are high on the list of things that people will keep forever, but most yearbooks are reminders of the school and not the student. This is because yearbook editors are forced to cover hundreds of students in a limited number of pages.
TreeRing has built an elegant but simple solution that allows schools to create a traditional "core" yearbook that includes the entire school, but also invite parents and students to customize their own yearbook pages at www.treering.com. Pages can be customized with a combination of personal photos, photos shared by other parents and students, and information captured about each student's stage in life (e.g., best friends, favorite activities, future aspirations, etc.). In this way, each yearbook can truly become a record of one student’s entire year—both in and out of the classroom. TreeRing's state-of-the-art digital printing technology then prints each student's custom version of the yearbook.
Schools across the U.S. are already taking advantage of TreeRing, including Fall Creek Elementary School, whose yearbooks went to press this week:
"Every year, the first thing that students do when the yearbook arrives is look for photos of themselves. We try, but it's impossible to make sure each child's activities, clubs, and overall personal experience is included," said Patricia Freund, Yearbook Editor & PTO member at Fall Creek Elementary School in Fishers, Indiana. "TreeRing has solved this problem for us. Now, in addition to the core book we create for the students, each family can personalize the yearbook with their own photos and artwork. Now that we are using TreeRing, we can't wait for the students' eyes to light up when they receive their personalized yearbook."
Furthermore, at a time when many schools are struggling with tight budgets, TreeRing saves schools money by eliminating all yearbook costs for the school by having families order online directly from TreeRing. This means schools are no longer required to place burdensome deposits for yearbooks. There are also no minimum purchase commitments and no leftover inventory at year end. Additionally, this efficient yearbook creation process has kept yearbook prices extremely low for parents.
"We are now able to offer customizable yearbooks in full color for about the same price as an old-fashioned black and white yearbook," remarked Dunya Shaw, Principal at Our Savior's Lutheran School in San Clemente, California. "Parents want to see photos of their children in the yearbook, and student wants to look back at their specific memories. Because of the simple customization capabilities at TreeRing, we can now offer yearbooks that are just as much about the student as they are about the school."
TreeRing yearbooks are initially produced in much the same way as old-fashioned yearbooks. A team of dedicated individuals – teachers, students, parents, or some combination of all three – assembles a collection of student head shots, faculty pictures and images that commemorate select school events such as athletics, arts and the like. Thanks to TreeRing's on-demand printing, however, schools have a much later publication date for their yearbooks, meaning that events and personal photos from later in the year can still be incorporated into the yearbook.
"After years of struggling with yearbook deadlines, I couldn't believe how easy it has been to put the yearbook together this year using TreeRing," according to Mary Mcgowan, PTA Member & Yearbook Editor, Colonial School, Pelham, New York. "The best part of the process is that no child is left behind, so to speak. Every student is the star of their own yearbook."
TreeRing also offers a greener alternative to the traditional yearbook. Through their partnership with non-profit organization Trees for the Future a tree will be planted for each yearbook purchased in an effort to not only preserve students' past memories, but also help preserve our planet for their future.
"We've had an incredible response to our product in our first year," remarked TreeRing co-founder, Kevin Zerber. "For something that has been around for as long as the school yearbook, it's incredible how out-of-date the current publishing model is, and how much technology improves the entire process, from creation to publishing. Once they hear about TreeRing's approach, most schools wonder why they've been doing it any other way."
A brief demonstration of TreeRing is available at: http://www.treering.com/Watch-the-TreeRing-Personalized-Yearbook-Demo.php
TreeRing creates yearbooks for the Internet generation. The Silicon Valley, CA-based company combines the efficiency of just-in-time digital printing and the collaborative power of online social networks to create personalized printed yearbooks that commemorate each child's unique school experience. The process reduces the yearbook creation and financial burden for schools and invests in our planet's future by planting a tree for every yearbook printed. For more information, visit www.treering.com.