Graphic design for Memorial Day projects can be especially challenging since so many designers capitalize on similar themes. Themes that are expected include patriotism, veterans, gratitude, remembrance and Old Glory. A secondary theme for Memorial Day has emerged in recent years, though it's no less troublesome for graphic designers. As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day designs can also consist of beaches, blue skies, summer sports, lemonade and general fun in the sun.
The trick is to somehow adapt these tried and true themes to an original design that captures attention, sets your designs apart from the competition and ultimately delivers a powerful message. The following graphic design ideas for Memorial Day are a start.
Meld your logo with Old Glory
Not all Memorial Day graphic designs have to be completely red, white and blue. You can be subtly patriotic by changing your logo colors into those of Old Glory. Or, infuse the stars and stripes right over your logo colors. If you're going with a summer theme, you could also consider turning your logo into a sun with rays of light coming right out of it; or better yet, fuse these two ideas so your logo is spreading rays of patriotism.
Turn a mascot into Uncle Sam
This has been done before, but it's still an eye-catcher. Give your mascot an Uncle Sam hat and an American flag; or depict your mascot enjoying your product or service under the sun, at the beach or with a tall glass of lemonade. If you don't have a mascot, use a well-recognized company representative.
Put soldiers front and center
Memorial Day is, after all, about those who sacrificed everything in the name of freedom for all. See if you can find a way to liken your products and services to the bravery and resolve of American soldiers and turn it into a theme for your postcards, posters and flyers. Perhaps your anti-virus software packs the power of a Patriot missile, or your team of attorneys attacks the front lines like World War II vets did. Or maybe you would depict what might have happened if the military had your technology during a major battle - General Custer, for example, had he had GPS or infrared technology.
Match your theme to your paper
One way to help your graphic designs stand out or to add poignancy is to match the tone of your graphic designs to your paper stock. Bright, lively designs benefit from gloss paper stocks - especially if a thick UV coating is added. More subdued, rich designs look better on matte paper stock, which do not reflect light as brightly and allow for deep shades and shadows. It's important to know what paper medium you'll be printing on before you set out to create your design so you can craft a consistent feel throughout the entire piece.