Here's Where to Find Free Yearbook Clipart (And How to Use It)

yearbook clipart art

Here’s the painful truth about yearbook clipart: it’s really hard to find good looking stuff that can make your yearbook pages look good.

On top of that, you need to find new stuff year after year.  You can’t use the same music notes on the school band page, or the same film reel on your movie night collage, or the same bubbling beaker for science fair coverage. That would get boring.

You gotta mix it up.

And that means you end up right back at the beginning: It’s hard to find good looking yearbook clipart. Talk about a vicious cycle.

Instead of sticking to the same ol’ library of yearbook clipart each year, we built you a list of places you can go to get free, good-looking pieces of clipart. (And we even packaged up a bunch of our own yearbook clipart for you to download.)

Read on, and you’ll get that list, along with a bunch of tips on how to use clipart on your yearbook pages.

Why Fuss About Yearbook Clipart?

Yearbook clipart is about as guaranteed to be included in an elementary school yearbook as student portraits. Everybody loves it that much.

Like we said before, though, a lot of that clipart is, well, not very nice looking. Add in the fact that lots of yearbook pages are jammed full of the stuff, and you end up with a super busy page with a bunch of stuff that detracts from the most important things on the page: photos of kids.

That’s why we’re making such a fuss about it.

Elementary school yearbook advisers can avoid that reality and create some awesome pages, if they have access to good, free yearbook clipart and a few tips on how to best incorporate clipart into yearbook design.

Where to Find Good, Free Yearbook Clipart

One thing that’s super important to remember when looking for yearbook clipart: you want to make sure it’s free to use and you’re not infringing on anybody’s copyright.

To do that, look for images that belong in the public domain or are free for reuse under the Creative Commons license.

Here are our top suggestions for places to find good, free yearbook clipart:

  • We’ve pulled together a few sources where you can get free clip art. Free Classroom Clipart and Pixabay and great places to start. It’s got a little bit of everything: sports, art, animal mascots, photo frames, memes, you name it.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers. A lot of the stuff here costs money, but it’s super-high quality and sold by teachers, for teachers.
  • Google Image Search. The mack-daddy of all image searches, Google’s a no-brainer, right? Just be sure to adjust your search tools, so that you’re only searching through images you can use for free. To do that, click “Search Tools,” then “Usage Rights.” You’ll want to stick with the “labeled for non-commercial reuse” option.
  • Pinterest. A great place for anything creative, Pinterest has a ton of yearbook clipart options out there. Because it’s a site where people share whatever they find online, though, you’ll need to do a little extra work to make sure you’re allowed to use the image you find.

One final tip:

When you’re searching for and downloading clipart for your yearbook, make sure it’s in a file supported by your yearbook software and that any background is transparent. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up with a white boxes around the image.

That’s fine if you’re putting your clipart on white pages, but super annoying if you’re using any sort of background.

How to Use Yearbook Clipart Like a Pro

While it’s up to you to create a layout that best represents your school year, yearbook designers commonly add clipart to:

  • Decorate page borders
  • Add texture to backgrounds
  • Create interesting divider pages
  • Accent or complement titles or imagery
  • Frame photos and yearbook spreads with borders

Clipart can also come in handy when you’re fresh out of good photos, but have huge blank spaces on a page. It’s almost like safety net.

Still, avoid using it too much.

When Shakespeare wrote about the perils of having “too much of a good thing”, he very well may have been writing about yearbook clipart.

We kid, of course. But it’s true that while yearbook clipart is a good thing, too much of it can muddle up your layout. Here are some rules to follow:

Ways to Use Clipart

  • Use clipart in moderation.
  • Keep image size small.
  • Choose simple and fresh styles.
  • Make sure image colors complement your design layout.  
  • Pair imagery with text to create puns, play on words, and highlight moments to remember.

Ways Not to Use Clipart

  • Overwhelm a page with too many pieces of art.
  • Vary sizes and styles too much on one page.
  • Make a piece of clipart the focal point of a page.
  • Use art with lots of vibrant color on an already-colorful page.
  • Add obscure images that readers may not recognize.  

Yearbook clipart can help you keep your elementary school’s yearbook fresh and fun.

Despite those pros, though, don’t spend time spinning your wheels scratching your head on where you’re going to find good looking yearbook clipart. Use our list, and then use our tips.

And remember: It only takes a little bit of yearbook clipart to add a lot of character.

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