By: Genevieve Ross

8 Themes for more meaningful Back-to-School stories

Breathe life into your back-to-school stories with vibrant, genuine, and true-to-life visuals. Say goodbye to generic symbols that represent basic school themes and embrace stock imagery and stock footage that capture the genuinely profound emotional and developmental significance of a fresh school year. By telling heartfelt stories through visuals, you’ll create an experience that helps your audience fully anticipate the joy of returning to the classroom.

Here are our key themes to keep your audience engaged and moved by back-to-school storytelling:

Back-to-School Excitement

By the time the new school year comes around, everyone—kids and parents alike (especially parents)—is rearing to dive back into routine and begin a new chapter. Capture the essence of this potent feeling with visuals that convey a sense of excitement and anticipation, as well as independence, reconnection, and joy.


Back to Friends

Returning to school is about returning to a sense of community, friendship, and belonging. Capture the carefree moments, contagious laughter, and pure delight kids find in each other. Celebrate images that reveal the authentic bonds formed during the back-to-school season as kids embark on new adventures, share laughter, and navigate the ups and downs of school life together.


Back to Being Sparked

Learning satisfies children’s innate curiosity about the world, allowing them to explore new ideas and concepts. Engagement, focus, and creativity provide a sense of accomplishment and mastery as they acquire new skills and knowledge, boosting their self-esteem and confidence. Tap into these themes with visuals that reflect children’s innate curiosity about the world, and show them deeply engaged in learning or exploring new ideas and concepts.

New Year, New Looks

Kids seem to love getting older. Part of the fun of going back to school is that you get to show off how much you’ve grown and changed. The opportunity to dress differently or show off a new haircut is exciting because it represents a fresh start and a tangible expression of their developing personality.

New Year, New Stuff

The fun of getting all new things each year (new stationary, new books, new pens, and supplies) is no small thrill. The prospect of selecting, organizing, and designing their tools instills kids with a sense of anticipation and enthusiasm for the learning journey ahead. Bring this theme to life with vibrant colors, fun designs, and kids preparing for the new year.

New Year, New Milestones

Each year in a child’s school career presents new milestones and opportunities for achievement. Milestones are powerful visual symbols, touching us as markers of time, growth, and progress. They’re also bittersweet—as they count down the stages until kids are all grown up. First days, first bike to school, prom, graduation, and arriving at college are just a few significant milestones to celebrate.

…. And New Growing Pains

Growing up doesn’t come without its struggles. Don’t shy away from reflecting on the pain points of changing bodies, experiences, and expectations. Through these honest reflections, we can bring sincerity, humor, and poignancy to our stories.


Back-to-School is for Everyone

They say it takes a village to raise a child. At the very least, it takes involved parents, dedicated teachers, and everything that goes into supporting our education systems. Visuals that reflect notions of community, inclusion, support, commitment, and care give credit to the broader ecosystem that allows kids to succeed in school and in life.

Browse our curated collection for more inspiration!