6 original ways to create custom yearbook backgrounds

create yearbook backgrounds - banner

The photos, texts, accents and backgrounds all play a vital role in completing the look of each page. In this article, we will be focusing on original ways to create custom yearbook backgrounds.

What exactly is a background?  
In your page, the background is the canvas.  It is where you put things together.  Just think of a house and how each room can have a different colored wall.  Some walls have paint while others have wallpaper or tiles.  Each wall is decorated and carefully planned with the room’s purpose in mind.  In layout design, the background is just like that wall.  It can be customized and changed to set the mood and tone of your design.

Got it? Then, let’s get started :)

01. Using solid colors to create your backgrounds

Using solid colors is a popular pick when it comes to page backgrounds.  It is simple yet very versatile since it can easily adapt to any look.  For a classic and understated look, neutral muted tones are the colors of choice.  On the other hand, bright and vibrant colors work well for layouts that exude a more exciting vibe.

Let’s see how you can do it in Fusion. Keep in mind that the following operation will start the same way for all the step-by-steps we’ll see in this post.

To get started drag your selected page type to your book. Click on the pencil icon to edit.

custom yearbook backgrounds - create a page

Once you are in the editor, you will find the background tab on the left. To access the images, just click on this icon and scroll down to see the options.

custom yearbook backgrounds - backgrounds

You can select the color that you want on the palette on the left side.  Notice how your canvas’ background changes as you click on each different color.

custom yearbook backgrounds - default color

Looking for a different shade?  Just click on your canvas to access the tool bar on top.  Just make sure that a background color is applied to your page.  Click on the tiny box on the tool bar above your canvas and wait for the color wheel to appear.  Here you can select a more specific shade and even type in a color code if needed.

custom yearbook backgrounds - color palette

Here are some examples of solid colored backgrounds.  You can clearly see how the color sets the tone of the page.

custom yearbook backgrounds - examples - colored backgrounds


> Make sure you use complementary colors

> Try this color palette generator from Coolors to see what could work for you.

> Be mindful of your fonts – make sure to use dark colored fonts on light background and light ones on dark background


> Avoid fluorescent backgrounds – the colors on your computer’s screen are never exactly the same when printed.  Fluorescent colors tend to come out less vibrant on paper.

02. Using textures and patterns as backgrounds

Using textures and patterns can add extra dimension to your design.  Textures add more depth and contrast to your design while patterns add a more dynamic look to your page.  Just remember to pick the correct backgrounds that will work well with the rest of your content.  Really busy and heavy designs will most likely distract the viewer from appreciating the other elements you will put on your page.

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The selection of textured and patterned backgrounds can be found under the solid color palettes.  These designs can be customized further – just click on your page to access options such as color and filters on the tool bar.  

custom yearbook backgrounds - textures patterns

See how the textured and patterned backgrounds were able to enhance the look of these pages.


Keep it neat – make sure that you pick patterns that enhance and not distract your readers from your photos and content.


> Avoid heavy textures that will make it difficult for your text to be seen.

03. Using premium images as backgrounds

Aside from colors, textures, and patterns the Fusion image library has a huge collection of awesome images to use as backgrounds.  Some are completely free to use however, most are premium images and are priced at $1.

These images will have a Canva logo watermark on them during the editing stage and in your low res PDFs.  But don’t worry, the watermark will be gone when you generate your high-resolution PDF and definitely when your book goes to print.

To check how many credits you have left, you can find the piggy bank icon at the lower right part of the page.

custom yearbook backgrounds credits - premium images

Just scroll down to see all the available premium images in the background tab library.  Once you’ve selected just click on the image and it will automatically appear on your page.

custom yearbook backgrounds - premium images

You can also use the search bar to look for more specific images.  All relevant free images will appear at the top.  Once you’ve decided on your image, just drag it to your page.

custom yearbook backgrounds - search bar

You will have to manually adjust the image for it to cover the whole page.  You can do this by dragging the black points on the image outward.

Alternately, you can also make use of a grid so that the image will automatically fit to size.  To do this, Just click on the elements tab on the right and select the grids folder.  Click on the very first grid and it will automatically be applied to your page.  After this go back to the search bar and type the name of the image you are looking for.  Just drag the image into the grid and it will automatically fit to fill.  Just double click on the image if you feel that you need to adjust the placement or if you want to zoom in.

custom yearbook backgrounds - photo filter

Don’t forget to explore the filter tab and see the many image editing options available!


> Use relevant images that will complete the message of your page


> Avoid heavy textures that will make it difficult for your text to be seen.

But what if you want a specific look that is not found in the library?  Or what if you want to make your Yearbook a little more personalized?  Let’s explore exciting options such as using your own photographs and artworks.

04. Using your own photographs as backgrounds

Your very own photographs can be used as backgrounds!  Photos of walls, foliage, textured surfaces like the street, wood and other interesting images that can be used to highlight your theme.  But before anything else, don’t forget to check this article for some great photography tips.

Once you have your photos, you can now upload them on the system.  Don’t forget to utilize the folders to keep all your uploaded photos organized. You can read more about the photo folders here.

 To use your photo, just place a whole page grid on your work area and just drag your photo in.

custom yearbook backgrounds - backgrounds filter

In this example we used photo of a soccer ball on the field.  This background will be perfect for a sports page!  You can also take photos of the school gym, grass, swimming pool and track field.  Close up photos of the sports equipment or player uniforms are also excellent choices.  Just make sure to adjust the photo’s settings so that the your content will be clear and readable.  

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For darker images, aside from using light colored fonts, you can also choose to add a light colored box instead to make the text stand out.

By the way, downloading random images from the internet to use as a background is not a good idea.  Most of the time, these backgrounds are very low quality and very pixelated.  Some backgrounds also have watermarks in them – yes, we’ve seen it happen!


> Use only high-resolution images. Your photo has to be a high quality image because it will be stretched to fit the page. Low-resolution photos will result in a fuzzy and pixelated background.

> Generate your own color palette from a photo using the Canva color palette generator. This will help you choose the right colors for your fonts and elements.


> Do not use randomly downloaded images from the internet. Most of these photos are low quality and have watermarks. Keep in mind that there are many high quality images to choose from in the Fusion Library.

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05. Using your own artworks as backgrounds

Artworks can be used as background too, but be sure to select an image that will complement your page and not steal the show.  Works that feature patterns and textures are usually the perfect picks.

custom yearbook backgrounds - paintings textures

You can also make your own textures by playing with paint and other art materials.  You can look for tips in artbooks or search for cool tutorials like this online.

Once you have picked out your artworks make sure that you have good digital versions that you can upload into the system.  You can check this article out for more info.  These tips can work for not only photographs but artwork as well.


> Make use of the image editor to adjust your image’s brightness and opacity

> Use artworks that are relevant and will help enhance your page


> Avoid busy artworks that will be too distracting.

06. Using Clipart to create custom yearbook backgrounds

You can also make use of the shapes and elements on the system to make your background. This part is really fun because you get to decide which shape goes where and also change its size, color, and opacity. You also have plenty of options with regards to the placement of the images – you can overlap, scatter or arrange them neatly to form a pattern.

In the example, we are making a background that is suitable for a class trip to the beach.

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Just place your elements according to how you want and adjust the transparency.  It’s that simple :)

custom yearbook backgrounds - shapes clipart


> Have fun and check all the clipart in the elements folders.

> Adjust the colors and opacity of your elements accordingly.


> Don’t be afraid to experiment – explore options such as layering and size adjustments to make your design more interesting.

So, how can you create 100% custom yearbook backgrounds?

Backgrounds are an important part of the design and should help complement and complete your layout.  You have a lot of options to choose from: solid colors, textures, patterns, images and artworks.

I hope I was able to help give you ideas on how to select the right background for your page.  Remember, don’t be scared to experiment and have fun!  Leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions or have any questions!

For more background tips and ideas, you can check out this awesome article on background design.

Have fun creating your yearbook!

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Katrina is like the Cat Woman of our design team. Being responsible for some of the most beautiful layouts and clipart available in our online yearbook builder, chances are she already helped you create beautiful things. Oh also... She loves everything cat and dreams of running a cat sanctuary in the future.

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