Memorial Day is a hot spot holiday for retailers marketing to consumers just before the summer season begins, which also makes it a great time for graphic designers to cash in on postcard, brochure, booklet, catalog, poster and flyer design. Fortunately, finding graphic design resources for Memorial Day marketing isn't difficult when you know where to look.
Old Glory, done right
Did you know that the American flag has very specific color designations for its red, white and blue? Despite this fact, you'll see many variations of Old Glory's colors everywhere you look on Memorial Day. If you're a traditionalist or just want to get it right, check out this post about flag colors at About.com, which reveals that the American flag is designed with PMS 193 (red), white and PMS 281 (blue). These colors differ from those of similar flags, such as the Union Jack.
Brush up on history
Inspiration is one of your greatest assets, and knowing the history and meaning of Memorial Day will help you develop unique and compelling themes for your artwork. For a quick brush up, start with Wikipedia's Memorial Day page. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has an interesting and in-depth look at Memorial Day. To see what designers of old used to do (back when it was called "Decoration Day"), visit US Memorial Day to get a look at vintage postcards from the early 1900s.
Get free Memorial Day images
Run a search for Memorial Day images at the National Archives. Many of the images you find through this portal are in the public domain and are free to use as you'd like (always double-check licenses).
From there you can move on to Creative Commons (creativecommons.org) and search for works that are free for commercial use. A quick Google or Bing search will likewise reveal tons of Memorial Day and general patriotic icons, shapes, vectors, clipart, illustrations, stock photos and brushes you can use in your Memorial Day designs. Of course, there are also paid stock image websites (such as istockphoto.com) you can tap into for Memorial Day graphics.
Be inspired by others
You've long known that admiring others work can help you come up with new and creative themes of your own. The Behance Network lets you search and browse others' portfolios so you can find contemporary inspiration. Use search phrases such as "Memorial Day," "patriotism," "American flag" and others with relevance to help you find related work by other graphic designers. Don't copy ... but don't be afraid to be inspired either!
Streamline file setup
One of the most tedious tasks when you begin any project is file setup. You can effortlessly streamline this process by downloading free print templates to help you get started on Memorial Day postcards, brochures, posters, catalogs, calendars and other projects. The templates have no design elements; rather, they are prepared in the correct color mode, size, and resolution and include bleed lines, cutlines and safe area lines so you can ensure proper screen-to-press transfer.