Shutterstock Back To School Image Search Trend Report

There’s so much more to Back-to-School imagery in our collection than meets the eye. We looked at our popular category searches for the Back-to-School season and picked five trends to spotlight: Backgrounds/Textures, People, Nature, Animals, and Vectors. Check out some of curator Liz Lapp’s fresh and unexpected image selections below and get some inspiration for your next Back-to-School design project.


Left: Funny Children Background by Tom and Kwikki | Right: Color Basket Weave by prasit chansareekorn

“Always topping the list as a popular search, Backgrounds/Textures can also be an interesting first layer for any design. Try some playful doodles or colorful textures to add some school spirit.”


Left: Child with Rucksack on Books by ollyy | Right: Portrait of a Woman in a Library by Stokkete

“When looking for People, I try to find images that have well-styled models and interesting settings. I’m also a fan of people photographed in natural environments and lighting, but I stray away from the “travel snapshot” look and feel.”


Left: Two Fly Agaric Mushrooms by Amy Johansson | Right: Red Apple Close-Up by Sergey Peterman

“With the changing of the season, there is change in Nature. From floral to fruit, the transformation into the Autumn color palette is a quick visual key when transitioning your design into the back-to-school season motif.”


Left: Piglets in a Farm by BMJ | Right: Pen and Ink Cat in Red Glasses by Radiocat

“An essential part of any curriculum is the Animal Kingdom. The use of animals in a design has a wide-range of appeal and, depending on what you want to communicate, you can choose from a sophisticated photo of farm animals or a whimsical high-quality illustration of a cat in glasses.


Left: Sketch of Mouth by file404 | Right: Skateboard by Cristian Amoretti

“One of our more versatile types of images is the almighty Vector. Due to the many changing properties of this type of illustration, I’d recommend going really creative and starting out with an edgy and modern vector that you can tailor to your back-to-school designs.”