Creative Graduation Announcements During Times Of Uncertainty

No matter how you celebrate, share your grad’s achievements with personalized graduation announcements. Whether graduating from elementary, high school, or college, close friends and family love to be informed of major life accomplishments. One of the best parts about achievement is getting to share your success with others.

As the COVID-19 outbreak is changing the way the world connects, celebrates and communicates, we want to share with you that, together, we can figure out how to move forward during these uncertain times. Graduation may look different this year, but our commitment to grad hasn’t. We’ve put together tips on how to make custom graduation announcements, like grad photo inspiration ideas, announcement wording and etiquette, and designs for our unique time of uncertainty. With our Date-Flexible Designs, you won’t need to add a date to your graduation announcement so your plans can stay flexible while still celebrating the grad as usual.

Date Flexible Graduation Announcement Designs

Whether you know your grad’s commencement ceremony date or not, there are several ways you can customize your graduation announcement while keeping it flexible. During times of uncertainty, don’t worry about changing plans. With Shutterfly’s Date-Flexible Designs, you can still create a fully custom graduation announcement without having to worry about adding a date. Even though times are uncertain, you’ll still be able to celebrate your grad just like normal. Instead of a graduation ceremony date, consider the following announcement card ideas below.

Graduation Announcement With Event Date

Add the date of your commencement or virtual ceremony to your graduation announcement if there’s one set in stone.

Grad announcement with full school name and event date

Graduation Announcement With Semester + Year

If the graduation ceremony details are up in the air, leave out an exact date and add the semester and year to your grad’s card.

Graduation announcement card featuring semester and year

Graduation Announcement With Name + School

To play it safe, design a graduation announcement with just the grad’s name and the name of their school.

Graduation announcement with student name and school name

How To Make Your Own Graduation Announcements

Graduation is more than just a day – it’s about honoring years of hard work and dedication. It celebrates not only how far the graduate has come, but also the excitement of a new journey to start with. This milestone is worth sharing with those who have cheered you on since Day 1. So, share your achievement with custom graduation announcements. In this guide, you’ll find the tools you need to make your own graduation announcements.

1. Choose Any Design You Like

We offer a diverse array of styles, designs, and colors for grad announcements, ranging from bold and striking to elegant and classic, so you can find a theme that fits your personality perfectly. We also specialize in high-quality photo graduation announcements that can really showcase your achievements and how far you have come.

Class of 2021 multi-photo graduation announcement with polaroid photo design

Take advantage of all the custom borders, colors, and other enhancements to transform each announcement into a one of a kind product. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to celebrate your accomplishments is to design graduation announcements that you and your loved ones will cherish as mementos. Graduation gifts like photo books, personalized phone cases, and more are also great ways to create a personal and meaningful keepsake of this momentous occasion.

2. Personalize Your Graduation Announcements Wording

After you’ve settled on a theme, you’ll be prompted to personalize the wording. Graduation announcements or college send off invitation wording can vary whether it’s celebrating a graduation from high school or college. Here are some details to include:

  • The graduate’s name: Display your name somewhere prominent – it’s your time to shine!
  • School name: Include the full name of the school you are graduating from. For high school graduates, consider including the name of the school you are attending next.
  • Degree type or area of study: For college graduates, highlight the field of study and degree you’ve earned.
  • Class year: While Shutterfly graduation announcements will typically declare the class year automatically, the exact date is optional. If the exact date is included in a particular design and plans are uncertain, it can easily be edited out or written over to something less specific such as “Spring.”
  • Additional details: Opt for a design that features a backer, where there’s space to include your passions, sports teams, and special honors. Here, you’ll also have plenty of space to feature future plans, whether it’s the school you’re attending next, a city you’re moving to, or a new job. It’s also a great place to give a personal thank you to all those who helped you along the way.

If you already sent graduation announcements and need to change the date or details of your event, Shutterfly will reprint any event-based cards you create with us for free, honoring our Date-Change Promise.

3. Upload Your Photos

Every recipient is going to want to see your senior portraits, so be sure to add several to your custom graduation announcements. If you don’t have any senior portraits yet, plan for a graduation photo shoot that showcases the incredible person you have become. Your big news deserves to shine, so whether you want a formal theme with impressive photos or something more casual and fun, your grad announcement can reflect your personality. Go with a simple announcement that features just one photo or a collage-style that adds some depth to the card.

boy graduation portrait

4. Preview Your Custom Graduation Announcement

After you’re done designing your completely personalized graduation announcement, preview it on the screen to make sure it’s exactly how you want. You’ll have a chance to go back and make edits if needed and then you can add a few more options if wanted. When you’re ready to purchase, simply add the announcement to your cart.

When you’ve spent time creating an announcement card you love, it can become a special memento. You can always store your graduation announcements, graduation cards, and other keepsakes from your journey inside a graduation photo book. A keepsake photo book is a great way to preserve your photos and tell the story of your achievement.

Creative Graduation Announcement Ideas

Choose the perfect graduation announcement idea that celebrates you. You can subtly drop some hints about how loved ones can support you in your new endeavors. After all, this is the ideal opportunity to prepare for the future, thank those who were part of this accomplishment, and create a meaningful memento.

Custom graduation announcement card from family congratulation student with photo on front and back

Then And Now Photos

Show how far you’ve come with a then-and-now collage style graduation announcement, whatever illustrates your journey to the diploma. Tell a story of your graduation by incorporating pictures of your transformation from a student to an adult. Your recipients will be smiling at how much you have changed from year to year.

A Design To Remember

If you have artistic talent, then invest some of it into your graduation announcement design. While Shutterfly may have a lot of ready-to-use templates, we also make it easy for you to upload your own design. Take your time and make this the perfect graduation announcement with whatever meaningful photograph, text, and colors your heart desires.

Photoshoot At Home

Since it’s a difficult time to get outside and take pictures, take this as an opportunity to give your graduation photos an intimate and personable feel with an in-home photoshoot. Capture shots on the steps of your front porch, near a tree you love to study under, or the backyard you grew up with. You could even create some DIY decorations or order them online to make an exciting photo backdrop. Set up some graduation balloons with fringe and star garland and start snapping some fun photos.

creative graduation photo

The Next Milestone

There’s no better time than now to talk about your ambitions than when you graduate. When choosing the right graduation announcement idea, show off your pride. In addition to highlighting your upcoming graduation, add some depth to your grad announcements with a fun folded card design that has a collection of your favorite photos and announcement of what your next steps are. This might gently influence your friends and family to consider how they could support you.

2021 graduate announcement card with photo of student and pet dog

Virtual Graduation

If you’re having a graduation during an uncertain time like COVID-19, consider celebrating with a virtual graduation. Depending on where you live, it might even be necessary. For your virtual graduation celebration, you can design graduation invitations with space to include information about where your friends and family can log in virtually to celebrate together. If your school is having a virtual graduation ceremony, you can have everyone watch and then stay online for a virtual party afterward. On your graduation invitation, let everyone know what time to log in as well as the instructions, whether they need to go to a single link or download an app first. Some virtual graduation ideas you can use include:

  • Party box – Since you can’t be together in person, bring the party to everyone! Put together a party box that you can send out before the virtual graduation that includes graduation decorations and signs for everyone to use and see over video.
  • Virtual meal – If you can’t go out to eat together, bring the experience into your home. Before the graduation, send out a simple recipe to your friends and family. On the day of, have everyone cook the same recipe and share it together over video.
  • Graduation video – If you’re the parent of the grad, put together a quick celebration video that everyone can watch together over a video call. Include baby photos and photos throughout the years as well as sweet messages.
  • Virtual toast – If you don’t want to spend time organizing anything, you can always celebrate with a quick virtual toast. Have everyone join a video call at the same time and let everyone who wants to speak and tell fun stories about the grad.

A Fantastic Thank You

From parents, to impactful teachers, to generous relatives, to fellow students, you probably didn’t reach this point all by yourself. Your graduation is the ideal opportunity to say thank you and show your appreciation for all the help you received along the way. Thanking all those who supported how hard you worked will remind your friends and family that you will never forget their part in your success.

Graduation Announcement Etiquette

Here are some graduation announcement etiquette tips and tricks that will make your graduation planning remain stress-free. To help you, we’ve answered some common questions about graduation correspondence you may come across while creating, addressing and sending your formal graduation announcements.

When To Send Grad Announcements

Graduation announcements can be sent within a wide time frame – you can send them out before or after the actual graduation. If you’re sending them before graduating, we suggest you send them at least two weeks before. If you plan to send out graduation announcements after graduating, you can send them up to six weeks afterward.

Who To Send Them To

Family members, both immediate and extended, will of course be thrilled to receive a graduation announcement. Parents and other important family members will have probably already been informed of all the details. Still, they sure wouldn’t mind hanging up personalized graduation announcements on the fridge for all to admire. Extended family like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, family that you may not see every day but still have a great impact in your life, will want to hear about your accomplishments. Though, not necessary to send to friends in the same year as your grad, it’s a good idea to send to childhood friends who have stayed in touch. And last but not least, anyone who may have helped you along the way, from math tutors to basketball coaches, or even favorite teachers from elementary school.

Using Shutterfly’s Date-Change Promise

As part of our uncertain times, we want to keep your order as stress-free as possible. If the date of your graduation celebration changes, you can take advantage of our Date-Change Promise. We offer flexibility so you can reprint your cards with a new date at no extra cost. Have peace of mind knowing that you can still use your beautiful graduation cards even through uncertain circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Announcing your graduation is not something you get to do every day. Take pride in this moment, and share the news in a way that’s meaningful to you. Whether you opt for the formal, thankful, artistic or any of the other styles described above, the important thing is to get the word out so the people in your life can celebrate with you.

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