Yearbook review: El Camino Real successfully captures year

El Camino Real released volume 63 of their long-anticipated yearbook at the distribution and signing party on May 4.

At first glance, the single fractured text slayed across the cover already gives off a powerful impression. Its minimalist design spotlights the central theme of “breakthrough,” a word that accurately portrays the topics covered inside. Skillfully incorporated throughout the yearbook, the main idea focuses on the personal growth and successes of both students and faculty.

The most notable aspect was that the yearbook did not fear from covering sensitive and unusual topics. Aside from the typical subjects of fashion and travels, there were spreads featuring a homeless student, LGBT+ struggles, and the school walkout honoring the Parkland shooting—all of which touch on deeply personal details. It was refreshing to not only relive the events of the past year, but also learn about the more intimate aspects of the people who walk the halls of San Gabriel High School.

Flipping through the yearbook, a variety of beautiful spreads catch the eye. The aesthetics were on-point with the stunning photography and design. The highlight of the visuals were the full page spreads. For instance, the pages on Alyssa Bao’s style icon offer insight on her fashion and photography interests, complimented by a striking photo of her accessorized self. Designed by Khang Ho and photographed by Michelle Ho, the spread was, in short, phenomenal.

Nonetheless, while every page was well-crafted, the yearbook fell short in representing a diverse selection of groups. Sport teams were covered extensively, taking up a total of 31 pages, but other smaller organizations were not given recognition outside of their respective club pictures.

In addition, there seemed to be several pages of filler content where the stories were just there to fill up the remaining white space. The work itself was very well-done, but the topics of choice were bland and unengaging. Despite the effort to bring the stories to life, it simply did not work, and these were the pages that seemed tempting to skip over.

However, for $75, the yearbook offers a quality memento that encapsulates this year’s memories. It is definitely worth its price point for a 244-page, full color, hardcover book that will stand the test of time. Editors-in-chief Khang Ho, Jacob Rodriguez, and Sydney Tran and their staff deserve to be commended for this accomplished, student-produced work.

Students can purchase a yearbook at the student bank and pick it up at H2 during lunch. Covers for $3 and inserts for $2 are also available for purchase at H2.

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