It’s that time of year when our newsfeeds and inboxes start flooding with the colors of the season. Everyone seems to be putting out holiday-themed graphics. And as a small business owner, you probably want to dress up your stuff too.
But creating holiday graphics is not always easy. It’s not just about throwing green and red glitter on your Instagram posts. You want to tap into the mood of the holidays, but without compromising all the hard work you’ve put into building your brand.
Color has a lot of power and it’s often where well-meaning holiday graphics go quickly off track. That’s because color draws more attention than your fonts, layout, and images. It makes a faster impression than anything else in your graphics.
That innocent little Santa hat can easily become an attention hog and completely distract from your brand message.
The best way to choose a seasonal color scheme is to base it off your existing colors. That way, your holiday graphics can help build your brand, not detract from it. They can feel like a natural part of your branding and flow with what you’ve been so carefully building.
Here four ways you can create a thoughtful and intentional color scheme that supports your brand, complete with real life examples from some brands that I love:
Add a hint of the perfect red
Red is the traditional color of the season. But red is also a really strong color that draws a ton of attention. So if you’re not careful, adding red to your graphics can quickly veer you completely off brand.
How can you safely add red to your holiday graphics? First, think about whether red goes with the colors already in your color pallette. Red works really well with neutrals like black, gray and white and also with blues and greens.
Then, figure out what kind of red is going to work best for your brand. You don’t have to go with Rudolph’s-nose-red. If your brand colors are neutral, dark, or toned down, consider a burgundy or deeper red tone. Finally, find a way to add to add subtle hints of red that add a festive feeling without completely taking over.
Willow & Birch has beautiful branding that feels both earthy and classic. They use several tones of green and a lot of white space.
A touch of red is perfect for them because it plays off their existing pallette in an understated way that matches the tone and feel of the brand.
Find a supporting festive color
Walk down any holiday aisle and you’ll know green and red are not the only holiday colors anymore. If red doesn’t feel right for your brand, that’s ok. You have so many other festive options!
Try to think of your brand as a person. How would she decorate her home for the holidays? What colors would she be drawn to? Let the cards, gift wrap, and bauble sets you think she would choose be your inspiration.
I happen to know that the owner of Peony & Pine is particularly fond of teal. A lot of her jewelry ends up with hits of her favorite color and her logo and packaging match too. A bright red wouldn’t necessarily look bad, but it also wouldn’t capture the brand’s casual-polished feel.
A deep pink paired with her logo’s teal feels fun and festive in a way that matches up with the brand’s personality.
Amp up your saturation
I’m gonna get just a little bit design-nerd for a moment. Bear with me. Desaturated colors are darker or toned down; saturated colors are bright and vibrant. Desaturated colors come across as serious, mature, and high-end. Saturated colors are seen as fun, childlike, and upbeat.
If your brand color scheme is made up of desaturated colors, all you might need to do to is trade your toned down hues for their brighter versions. This works particularly well for unconventional, non-traditional, quirky and adventurous brands because veering away from any kind of obvious holiday colors makes a statement.
Baby Fox & Co. is all about celebrating unconventional decisions, so this option is perfect for their brand.
Using the brand’s existing pattern helps keep everything tied together, even though the colors are strikingly brighter than what their audience is used to.
Don’t change a thing!
And, finally, if your color pallette already works perfectly well for the holidays, don’t overthink it! It’s better to go with what you have than to try to force colors that are going to feel off-brand.
Brands with green, red, gold, and silver-based color schemes can just stick with their regular colors. Emphasize the most festive color in your pallette and see how you can use your brand graphics to make things feel a little more special.
Susie Moreno is already working with a lovely shade of burgundy and hints of bronze. There’s really no reason to add anything else!
By letting her red take center stage and rearranging her flowers into an elegant border, we instantly get a festive look that feels totally on-brand.
The holidays provide so many great opportunities to grow your business and brand. Make sure your holiday color scheme is helping you communicate your brand message, attract the right people, and take your brand to the next level. That way, you’ll be able to convert more of those holiday shoppers into loyal fans.
And if you’re freaking out because you don’t have holiday graphics or the time to fiddle with color choices, I’ve got your back! For the first time ever, I’m opening up a few last-minute holiday graphics slots. I’ll help you create 3 on-brand print or web graphics of your choice for $350, just in time for the holiday marketing frenzy!
Get in touch with me today to book this seasonal offering!
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