Rock it Smart with School U

Our School U theme is gorgeous as all getout. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop playing beach volleyball, barbecuing in the back yard, or catching fireflies to buckle down and get serious about back-to-school! These school photo effects will rock your summer pics and kick off great graphics and non-school projects year-round.

We’re incredibly proud to offer a slew of exclusive, custom graphics, by illustrator Jordan Kay. These hand-drawn lovelies show off Jordan’s unique linework style and a nostalgic nod to education through the ages. For a peek at what inspired our designers for this theme, check out our School Inspiration board on Pinterest, and get ready to smile.

Check out all the different looks you can create with School U content and effects in our photo editor…

Chalk Board

Make your subway art, Pinterest quote pins, and blog graphics insanely on-trend with this popular look. You can add some of your own custom doodles using the Draw tool (Effects tab). If you want a more sophisticated look, drop titles into Engraved Banners (main Graphics tab), and add lots of Garnishes and Flourishes.

  • Chalkboard backgrounds: Boards texture

  • Pencil Pete, Eraser Dust, and Sketch Block fonts

  • School bus, apple, pencil: School Supplies graphics

  • Dashed line: Dashed & Lined graphic

Editing tips: To make a chalkboard background, apply the Boards texture across any photograph; set the blend mode to “Normal” and the fade to zero (notice we also have chalkboard as a Shape-it graphic, too). If you’re using two-color graphics, be sure to make one color white and the other transparent.


This look evokes the kind of doodly, scribbly notes that we would, um, never have passed in class when we were in school.  *cough* *morning detention*  You can use it  for scrapbook pages, classroom signs, and texture-rich, touchable blog graphics.

  • Paper background: Paper texture (also available as a Shape-It graphic)

  • Paper airplane and Sharpie pen: School Supplies graphic

  • Graph paper: Paper texture

  • Stroke Dimension, Sketch Block fonts

  • Washi tape: Tape graphic

  • Hipster guy in a tie: Jordan’s boyfriend, not available in all stores

Editing tips: You can use the color palette to choose the exact color you want, for all the Tape graphics. Use “Open your own graphic” button, in the Graphic tab, to add photos on top of your background. To move a graphic on top or behind another graphic, right-click on the graphic to see options for layering.

Elementary School

Nothing says grade school as well as flat-color primary graphics! Those of you who are homeschoolers and teachers can make your own curricular materials, with several options for school-lined paper. You can make cutting instructions with the dashed line graphic (Dashed & Lined) and place the scissors graphic (School Supplies) next to it. Bunting flags would make great greeting card graphics, spelling out words with a different letter in every shape.

  • Lined paper background: a swatch in Collage (also available as an Dashed & Lined graphic)

  • Flag border: Bunting graphic

  • Learning Curve font

  • Apple and crayon: School Supplies graphics

  • Super!: Up-Notes graphic

Editing tips: School-lined paper is available as both a swatch in Collage and a graphic (Dashed and Lined). If you’re creating a worksheet with a photo or drawing and just a few lines for journaling, you’ll want to use the graphic.

Awards and Boards

Achievement certificates? Sports booster flyers? Oh heck, yes. We can imagine this up-age, retro look for high school and college level communications and greetings. And a virtual corkboard like this would make an awesome Facebook cover photo or Twitter header image.

  • Corkboard and wood desk background: Boards textures

  • Trophy graphic and laurel leaves: Awards graphics

  • Freshman font

  • Label: Notebook label graphic

  • Cellophane tape: Tape graphic

Editing tip: Combine the Awards graphics together to create different certificate emblems (laurels with a trophy, ringed seal with wings, stars bracketing a snazzy title).


Check out our Class Cutups frames, for making class tally graphics; cute primary shapes will frame up cherubic faces, including apples and stars.

  • Paper background: Paper texture

  • Oval frame: Class Cutups frame

  • Star arches: Awards graphics

  • BFF and #1 notes: Up Notes graphics

  • Graph paper and crinkled paper: Paper graphics

  • Pencil Pete font

Editing tip: The effects we’ve pulled together for the School U theme add a touch of yesteryear to your photos. Class Pix, Yearbook, and Polaroid will adjust the color and add a bit of vignette to the edges; Newspaper and Archives switch out

Turn inspiration into action. Join now, and treat yourself to the PicMonkey creative toolkit.

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.