Friday, May 9, 2014

homecoming theme selection guide.

It's May and I'm already thinking about next year's Homecoming..?

Yes! Yes, I am!

If you're on Student Council, you'll know that executing Homecoming requires a large amount of planning. To clarify, I am referring to the Homecoming competition (The Float parade, Spirit Day, etc.), not the actual game or dance.  It requires so much planning, in fact, that our class has already selected our theme for the end of next September. 

If you're in high school, I'm sure this topic has/will come up soon. The time to decide is now. However, from my last two Homecoming competitions, I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge in regard to what works best. I'm here today to share that with you!

Homecoming Theme Selection Guide.
{what to think about before you finalize your theme}

Your theme is great.. but does it make a great Homecoming Theme?
A specific theme may sound fun to dress up for or may create a beautiful T-shirt, but Homecoming requires much more than that. Here’s what to look for in a theme..

Hard at work! :)

Does the theme allow a variety of creative slogans?
Slogans are essential. Your theme should have a variety so that T-Shirts and posters feature varying slogans. 10 different slogans is a safe number. The more slogans, the better!

Is the theme going to produce a creative, well-executed rock?
NOTE: Not all schools have a Homecoming rock. The rock design should be do-able and should be inspired by the overall theme, but should not use the exact same elements and designs as other aspects of the theme. DON'T JUST PAINT THE ROCK, USE THE ROCK AS AN ACCESSORY.

Don't laugh. Our Freshmen Fiesta rock. While not the most well-executed, I will admit that our intentions were good. Rather than simply painting a design on, our class used the rock as an accessory to a bigger idea. A for effort?

Is theme going to produce a creative, well-executed banner unlike most aspects of the theme?
The banner design should be attractive and utilize space well (No unintentional white space! Make sure it is possible to incorporate your class or graduation year into the banner. A word of advice: Do not make the banner just words. Bad idea..

What's a bad example?

Freshmen year was full of good intentions.. Naive and clueless, we painted "Freshman Fiesta" in Fiesta-inspired words. Look at all that white space. It makes me want to cry!

A better example? 
Our sophomore year banner! Excuse the flaws, but you'll admit it's a huge improvement. I might be bias when I say I like it (I painted it entirely by myself by hand), but I feel that the design is balanced and represents our Egyptian theme well.

Is the theme able to inspire a variety of cohesive posters?
A theme should have enough ideas within it that it can produce a variety of posters. You'll want to make sure each poster is an individual work of art and uses up all the space in the poster.

I hope the photo below makes you as said as it makes me. The posters are not well done, are boring in color, and don't utilize the space well at all. Use these as a reference for what not to do! :/

Does the theme have a lot of objects within it?
Let me clarify. Objects essentially refers to elements. For example, my class is currently in a large debate over "Justice League Juniors". Aside from problems with it being copyrighted, many of those who are angry about the theme not chosen are not considering this: there are no original elements other than a cape under a "Superhero" theme. A theme needs more than just a person as an element. Superheroes. That's it. Trust me, you do not want to base your entire theme off of sculpting and painting human beings. So.much.stress. We chose an Under The Sea Theme (cute alliteration coming soon!) for our Junior Year, and I love it. There are so many elements of the theme we can utilize to make it interesting. Jellyfish, fish, turtles, seaweed, coral, mermaids, scuba divers, an octopus, a whale, a shark, sea shells: the options are endless, which ultimately results in a cohesive theme with unique categories (Ex: the banner, the float, and the posters don't all have the same thing on it, but fit the theme well.)

Does the theme feature colors that will be noticed?
There was a point where our class was considering Jailbreak Juniors. We didn't pick it. *sighs of relief*. The biggest problem with this theme (aside from it limiting what we could do with all aspects of the competition) is that the colors we're limited to are black, white, and a bit of orange. In my experience, I have learned that the most colorful themes succeed. I suggest that yours are bright for the most part.

Is the theme going to produce a creative, well-executed float that utilizes space to full potential and nicely encapsulates the spirit of Homecoming and the theme?
An empty float is not visually pleasing. A float should represent the Homecoming spirit and overall theme well. Make sure the float utilizes all the space to the greatest ability while remaining clean in design. You want one element of the float to be the largest and to stand out, but you will want to include smaller elements to completely use up the space given.

Here's an example of our float Freshmen Year - under the theme Freshmen Fiesta. It was a great idea- it could've been fun! But we had no clue what we were doing. As you can see, it's all over the place! There's no dominant element, and we didn't use the space well.

What does a good float look like? 

The Juniors and Seniors last year executed perfect floats. The Senior float is personally my favorite. Both have a dominant element, are well-executed, and utilize all of the given space in a clean, creative manner.

Will the Homecoming theme spark any inappropriate behaviors or dressing styles?
In a competition, it’s fairly simple to get points deducted for revealing outfits and a misbehaving class. Try to select a theme that isn’t centered around violence and is unlikely to provoke breaking the dress code.

Now I know that's a lot to think about, but that's why it's planned in May and not September. If you consider all of the above points, I can guarantee your theme will be a success.

What is your favorite Homecoming theme? How does your school do the competitions? Tell me about your past or future Homecoming themes!

Good luck!

Have a beautiful day,



  1. I'm on student council as well! Sadly we don't have homecoming at my school :(!

    1. That's a shame - but Homecoming is only the beginning of the year. My Student Council (and I'm sure yours) is involved in so much more throughout the year and it's great :)

  2. wow your school puts a lot of work into homecoming! so cool!

  3. Haha thank you! It's a huge thing for us - an entire week devoted to presenting all elements of Homecoming leading up to the game and dance. But it's so much fun! I don't know where else I'd be painting so many camel cartoons..