Graphics ideas for the Holidays
Once the late fall season kicks in designers find themselves stretched for time. After the holidays, they can take a breather because business activities will slope off. But this season is the time to promote and get your message out there. As a time-saving measure we sometimes skimp. But if you keep some of these ideas and techniques in mind, you'll not have to spend much time to come up with some rather eye-pleasing designs. All it takes is a little clip art that you can modify to make your own.
Find good resources you can adapt Above is a fairly nice cornucopia clip piece. It's usable by itself, but what caught our attention was the selection of sub-images available for use elsewhere. This clip is from the Dynamic Graphics archives, and they did most of the work by making each element in the design its own grouped graphic. So, it's easy to pull it apart to find illustration that can be put to use elsewhere.
Likewise, some years ago the graphic at right were produced in a holiday collection of script images. You can create these kinds of script heading with a little inventiveness and a nice script. With the new OpenType font formats, sometimes you'll find all sorts of swashes and flourishes that you can clip away and use to decorate your type. Take a look at my "Poetica Chancery" article from a few years back and see how a quiet, unassuming font can turn into some spectacular calligraphy. If hand-tooling typography is not your cup of tea, then consider purchasing any of the very inexpensive "Calligraphy Alphabets" books from Dover Publications. Ordering from Amazon, you can have some wonderful script and calligraphic solutions at your doorstep by lunchtime Tuesday. Just search Amazon, Dover, Calligraphic. In the Design Center's Publishers' Warehouse, you'll find a vast collection of calligraphic clips that you can apply right away.
Now, it's a simple matter of pulling apart the Cornucopia art, finding elements we want to use, and combine with our script by quickly dragging and dropping the elements into a second Adobe Illustrator file ...
Layering and separation for creativityIn the same regard, the holiday ornament clip was 'found' in an archive collection, and it looked it could be used as a rather special addition to some colorized script. Note that the script colors are warm, and visually come forward in the viewer's eye... remember the old design rule that's still true today:
"Warm advances, Cool Recedes."
So, we can use that to our advantage because the type is warm and the ornament clip is cool.
This makes a nice piece -- but grabbing the green holly sprig, and moving it to its own layer, forward, gives the art just a little dimensionality, separating it from the typical assemblage. To promote the look of layering, we moved the holly just a bit so it overlapped the descenders in the script.
Next, let's take a quick look at some other tricks as we develop a piece of
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