The SNO Report: Get creative with your staff page

Functionally, staff pages, and the profiles they’re made of, just make sense. Who wouldn’t want a nice, tidy individual profile collecting all of his or her own published work in one place? What a benefit, right? (Mom and dad nodding; college journos applying for jobs aggressively nodding.)

Stylistically, well, staff pages can turn into impressive design elements, and all it takes is a few minutes of focused tinkering.

Within the Staff Page settings on your SNO Design Options page, set a style (Preview Tiles, Photo Blocks, or List View) and take off from there. Also remember, how you build each staff profile matters, too — get started by adding new ones or editing existing ones from the Staff Profiles link on the left-hand side of the WordPress dashboard.

Set a professional tone with short, straightforward bios and studio-quality headshots.

The staff of The Mirror at De Smet Jesuit High School, St. Louis, achieved a sharp look from the Preview Tiles setting with formal headshots set against the same background while cutting bios altogether. Customizing it beyond the standard options, they changed all backgrounds to white. Shiny and new.

Using the Photo Blocks option to create a grid, The Rider Online at Legacy High School, Mansfield, Texas, created an excellent design out of repetition. They account for their large staff by setting up the grid as five columns of photos per row, as not to create a staff page that’s oversized. Anyone can do this (customized T-shirts, not included). Depending on your staff size, you may feature photos in 1 to 6 columns across a single row.

Show your staff’s personality by thinking outside the box.

Staffs of The Smoke Signal and the Knight Errant picked fun themes with their staff profiles — and in grayscale, no less.

The Smoke Signal at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale, N.J., using the Preview Tiles setting, put every staff member behind bars last year for their mugshots, paying attention to every detail — black and white photos against the same well-known background with each person holding a sign identifying who they are. But the best part is the staff bios, modeled to continue their theme.

The staff of the Knight Errant at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School, St. Louis Park, Minn., dove into a wizarding theme, utilizing props to bring some color to their black and white photos within the Photo Blocks layout.

Both in layout and theme, the possibilities are endless for your staff.

Each staff profile should have a photo of the student. One those are taken, you can set the page layout options. How many photos do you want in a single row? (The fewer columns, the larger the photos.) Which photo orientation do you want to work with? (Horizontal? Or, new to the settings, vertical?) What about margins between those photos? Background colors? And, of course, which style? (Photo Blocks, Preview Tiles, or List?)

Put your thinking caps on and don’t be afraid to have some fun with it.