Graphic designers tend to get a lot of work around the holidays, and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. Many businesses try to capitalize on the holiday spirit, festive moods, thematic association and – at this time of year – tax returns through direct-marketing materials such as brochures, postcards, catalogs, sales letters and door hangers. You can help your clients achieve success by incorporating the right St. Patrick’s Day theme elements into their designs.
Here are a few St. Patrick’s Day graphic design ideas and concepts you can use to spark your imagination and creativity:
Set the tone for your clients’ St. Patrick’s Day promotions right away. Are they offering a great, limited-time sale or are they seeking to increase company recognition through a thematic association? A bank might play on the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, for instance; while a casino might benefit from the phrase “Luck o’ the Irish.” Decide whether the target audience will be more likely to respond to bold or subtle design.
St. Patty’s Day is largely associated with the color green, so using varying shades of green on your clients’ promotional materials will lend to a thematic association. This doesn’t mean the entire background must be green (though it could be); the subtle use of green bars, circles and other shapes on a white background could make up a striking design that sets your clients’ materials apart and increases their return on investment (and gets you additional business during the next holiday). Orange is also associated with St. Patrick’s Day, and you don’t have to limit yourself to the use of green or orange. For instance, a blue shamrock would look great on marketing materials from a company with a blue logo or you could even place the logo in the outline of the shamrock.
Shapes and icons
Try using shapes and icons for a thematic association. These include leprechauns, shamrocks, pots of gold, etc. Using shapes as a silhouetted background, as bullet points, or to draw attention to a specific section of a postcard, sales letter, or brochure is one idea. Another idea would be to use actual photos of a pot of gold, a shamrock, and – if you can find one – a leprechaun. It is important that you don’t include shapes and icons simply for the sake of thematic association – you must work them in with the flow of the layout and text so that their use aligns with your clients’ messages. An image of a pot of gold is just an image of a pot of gold, for instance, unless paired with a phrase such as, “You don’t need to go chasing rainbows to build your wealth.”
History and tradition
You can draw on history and tradition when designing promotional St. Patrick’s Day materials. Patrick was a saint, after all, and many stories and legends abound about this historical figure and how he impacted Ireland. Traditions such as wearing green to avoid being pinched, green beer (and other beverages) and woolen Irish caps are other examples.
The St. Patrick’s Day challenge is not necessarily in picking your tone, colors or theme; rather, it’s in figuring out how to design those things in a way that is different and above all more compelling that the competition. Think outside the box and fuse relevance with creativity, and you’ll be on the fast track to crafting outstanding St. Patty’s Day designs.