How to Design a Senior Yearbook Ad

Making a stellar senior yearbook ad can feel like a pop quiz in creativity. A senior page should reflect the student’s personality and document who they are at this exciting time in their life. Since it’s going to be immortalized in the yearbook, it also needs to look good—which can be a tough thing to accomplish if you have zero graphic design experience.

Whether you’re designing an ad as a surprise for your fave senior or you’re a graduate-to-be who’s DIY-ing your own page, PicMonkey has plenty of tools and inspiration to help you craft a polished, personalized look.

What you’ll need

Before you put the pedal to the metal—or, ya know, the cursor to the canvas—round up a few things. Having everything at the ready makes designing a lot easier.

  • Photos. Senior ads usually feature multiple photos. These can be senior portraits, childhood pics, candid shots that show off their favorite activities—whatever you like. And if a great pic seems unusable thanks to a blemish, easily banish that zit with our touch up tools.

  • Dimensions. Decide whether you’re designing a full, half, or quarter page senior ad. If you only know the dimensions in inches, multiply each dimension by 300 to convert it to pixels (we also have a handy chart if you don’t wanna math it). This will help you set the right canvas or collage dimensions, so you can keep an eye on proportions, avoid image quality issues, and get a better idea of how your design will look when it’s published. You can resize your creation with our Resize tool, or specify your dimensions in the bottom toolbar if you’re using our collage maker.

  • Words. Decide what kind of message you want to include, so you know about how much space you’ll need for words. Many ads feature well wishes and expressions of love and support from family members. Others feature a favorite quote or info about the graduate’s plans, and some simply display the senior’s name and graduation year.

Designing your senior yearbook ad

There are at least 5,698,907 different design possibilities for your senior ad. To find the one that works best for you, you’ll probably want to start with a blank canvas or an empty collage. You can do both from the PicMonkey editor. Open Templates and choose a blank or a collage.

Now that you know how to get started, here’s some design inspo and info on how to get each look.

This senior ad design is good as gold, with a trio of black and white pics offsetting one in-color image. To make this look your own, create a collage with your smaller pics and save it to your computer or Hub. Then set up a blank canvas and open your collage and larger photo as graphics. Top it off with a couple graphic graphics (we used a flower from our Bursting Blossoms graphic group) and the grad’s name in a fun font. You’ll find a bunch in the Text tab, or you can use your own fonts with our tools. Get all the BYO info in our article about using your own stuff with our tools.

It’s not hip to be square—and high school is all about being hip. (Just don’t use the actual word “hip” to a high schooler, or you’ll age yourself by about two decades.)

Anyhoo, to un-square your images, open them in the Editor (hover over the Edit button on the Picmonkey homepage) and head to the Frames tab. Click Shape Cutouts, and pick a shape. That’s it—now add your shapely photos to a blank canvas as graphics.

To give your design a background that isn’t just a plain color, head to the Textures tab, where you’ll find textures ranging from outer space to chalkboard and paper. These bad boys will automatically cover your entire canvas. You can even use your own image as a texture, like we did with this design—just click the Your Own button at the top of the tab.

This design is all about one great pic and dressed-up words. Vertical text is a big, bold trend in senior ad design, and it’s super easy to make with our Text tool. Choose a font, type your words, then use the top handle on the text box to swing it into position.

To make a backdrop for your text, check out the options in the Graphics tab. Then just place your text box on top of the graphic.

Shapes are another big senior page design trend. To add some to your masterpiece, check out our Geometric Shapes group in the Graphics tab. Move them around, adjust the size, and erase parts of the graphic until you’ve completed the puzzle.

When it comes to colors, try to stick to a palette of up to three. Too many, and your design may not look as polished. To make a graphic or text match a hue in your photo, use the eyedropper tool. You’ll find it on the palette that hovers over your image when you click a text box or graphic.

If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy-yet-super-stylish way to display multiple photos in your senior ad, Collage is where it’s at. Open your photos, plunk ‘em down, add effects and text, and you’re good to go.

To fill in a cell for your text, head to the Swatches tab in Collage. You’ll find beautiful graphic patterns and solid colors that you can use to fill in a cell. Then click Export to Editor to add text, graphics, effects, and textures. Check out our intro to collage video to learn how to use all of our collage features.

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This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make powerful images that level up your business.