5 Visual Clues for a Great Winter Campaign Design

Winter is here, and the colder days open up a seasonal opportunity for brands and businesses, no matter what industry they belong to. 

Winter-themed marketing can be very effective when done right, and doing it through visual content is one of the easiest ways to achieve it. 

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Here we give you quick and easy tips to make the best of your winter campaign design!

Why Winter Campaigns – The Basics of Seasonal Marketing 

Adjusting your marketing actions to the year’s season is a great way of showing your audience your company is up to date and strongly engaged with the world’s latest happenings – nothing puts potential customers off more than a brand whose ads are generic or months old. 

Plus, focusing your efforts on marketing new products and services that help make winter better or are better enjoyed during the cold season makes perfect sense from a business perspective. Hence, a winter marketing campaign becomes a must to boost sales.

But equally important, each season has its particular emotional atmosphere, and the winter months are heavily associated with various concepts and emotions that, when exploited, are a marketing goldmine. 

Not only do big and well-loved holidays happen during winter, but it’s also a time many connect to family time, homesickness and appreciation of the home, romance, reunion, end-of-year balances, new year resolutions, and more. 

Any creative director can tell you that winter marketing campaigns are a good strategy for almost every business and brand. 

And it’s not that hard to create your campaign design yourself, as you’re about to discover our best creative tips for winter season campaigns!

Quick tip: Have a look at the 5 mistakes to avoid in visual communication!

4 Visual Tips for a Great Winter Campaign Design

As it couldn’t be otherwise, we will focus on the visual aspect of campaign designs. Follow these main suggestions in your design process, and create your best visuals for the season!

Note: Ensuring the highest quality in images is a must, so if your picture is ideal for a campaign but has a lot of imperfections, you can use an image cleaner to beautify it.

#1 – Authentic and Human-Centric Photography

winter campaign design - couple walking in the snow by Photocase
Copyright: Ulrike Adam / photocase.com

A marketing campaign is nothing without the visual element, and no visual is more impactful than photography. 

Luckily, there is a huge depository of winter-themed stock photos on the web, where you can find the perfect image for your design that will shout “winter” at first glance, celebrating the best of the cold days or portraying the dreary aspects of it. 

The best-performing photos are authentic, and truly convey the spirit of winter and the human emotions associated with it in a natural and non-posed way. The most important factor is the human connection. Winter is a perfect time to highlight concepts like romance and family ties. 

You can go for a couple walking through a snowed-in path in dim light to invoke the intimate feel of chilly winter mornings, or a family snuggling by a fireplace with steamy hot chocolate mugs in their hands, to connect your audience with that cozy warm feeling of a warm house, or even of a particular holiday. 

#2 – Winter Invoking Visual Elements

photocase photo id 988801 square > 5 Visual Clues for a Great Winter Campaign Design
Copyright: VICUSCHKA / photocase.com

Besides photography, you can use illustrations, icons, and isolated photographic elements to spark your design. To create a frame background for your text to stand out, for example, or to add a visual element to an otherwise dull page. 

In this case, there are lots of items that immediately link to winter and cold days. Snowflakes, snowmen, sleights, and pine trees, for example. Or if you prefer to invoke the indoors and warm feelings, things winter clothing (mittens, scarves, Christmas sweaters, etc.) would work great. 

As they’re cliché winter elements, always try to give these conceptual items a modern twist. Pink glittery snowflakes, why not? 

#3 – Cool Down the Colors

photocase photo id 4747957 square > 5 Visual Clues for a Great Winter Campaign Design
Copyright: Juliana Raikowski / photocase.com

A key factor for your whole campaign design is the color theme, which gives a cohesive sense to your campaign across all visual elements. Color combinations make or break designs.

There are certain well-established “winter colors” that we all know by now: white, of course, gray and silver, light ice blue, and any hue that evokes snow, cold, and the outdoors in the wintertime. Then you have your reds and greens from pine trees, winter berries, and smoked-in fireplaces. 

If these colors align nicely with your brand colors, then you can always adopt them for your new campaign and mix them up with your brand’s staple colors. But remember to find unique and modern tones and combinations to escape the typical and overused winter color palette

Or, you could choose to go a different path. For example, you can use cooler tones of your regular brand colors to signify the seasonal spirit and give your business a general winter look. Another way is to ditch the traditional palette and spice things up with unexpected color combinations that stay in theme. Reds and oranges from the fireplace’s flames or muted browns from hot cocoa, for example. 

#4 – Regional Approach to Winter Images

photocase photo id 3789522 landscape > 5 Visual Clues for a Great Winter Campaign Design
Copyright: Nelson Martínez / photocase.com

It’s a given that winter takes place at different times of the calendar year, depending on where in the world you are. But it’s also true that the winter season doesn’t look the same in all regions, not even within the same hemisphere. December days might look similar in New York and Toronto, but winter landscapes in London and Moscow don’t resemble each other.  

To make your winter campaigns more personalized and engaging, it’s a good idea to regionalize your visual content for where the targeted consumers are. For example, if you’re promoting winter break holidays in a non-snowing destination, don’t use a photo of winter sports, but feature a person in dreamy outdoors wearing warm clothes. 

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#5 – Channel-Specific Visuals (Social Media)

photocase photo id 4031026 landscape > 5 Visual Clues for a Great Winter Campaign Design
Copyright: Davidpradoperucha / photocase.com

Marketing campaigns play out a lot on social media these days. While it’s important to keep a visual cohesion across platforms, it’s also crucial to customize the designs for each channel, as everyone has different user bases and defined aesthetics. 

Instagram –  is THE visual realm for excellence. Photography and videos are Instagrammer’s language, choosing photos for Instagram is an art in itself. Not only do you need to pick professional and high-quality photography, but you also must choose authentic photos that are up to date with visual trends –inclusive, diverse, socially aware–and thread a visual narrative. Whether it is an Instagram story or a multi-picture post, images on this channel need to stitch together to create a bigger picture that tells your followers what your brand is like. Keep in mind Instagram is where the younger audiences, millennials and Gen Zs, hang out.

Facebook – here, you get to combine text and images for powerful message delivery. Users still prefer natural-looking photos, but while Instagram is more whimsical and aspirational, Facebook is straight-to-the-point. For Facebook visuals, prefer images that stay on topic and show exactly what you mean. For example, if you run a Facebook ad for a ski resort, photos of people skiing are a better idea than pictures of the property. Worth knowing is that Facebook users are mostly baby boomers and millennials.

BONUS: Stock Photos for Winter Campaigns

If shooting your own photos or hiring a photographer isn’t in your budget, stock photography is the answer to your needs. This is our recommendation for stock photo sites with awesome winter themed photography, cleared for marketing use. 

Photocase – The Most Authentic Style

www.photocase.com homepage

Photocase is a niche stock photo site that more people should discover and exploit. Its relatively modest but super artistic library is full of photos that scream “modern marketing campaign,” just like the ones accompanying this article. They’re unique; they’re fun; they’re appealing. Look here for the most authentic winter imagery! 

Stockphotos.com – The Budget-Friendliest 

stockphotos 400 logo > 5 Visual Clues for a Great Winter Campaign Design

Stockphotos.com is a stock photo agency that caters to small and medium-sized businesses that require professional images at affordable prices, and they provide just that. Their collection with 8 million+ files has all the winter pictures you could need at some of the lowest and most convenient plans and prices! 

Shutterstock – The Biggest Catalog 

wwww.shutterstock.com homepage

Shutterstock is one of the leading stock photo companies and carved a name for itself as the owner of one of the largest stock image catalogs on the web. With 425 million+ pictures available (yes, you read that number right), every winter theme and photo composition can be found on their website in high resolution and ready to download and use!

iStock – The Highly Curated Library

www.istockphoto.com homepage

iStock is a renowned stock photo site that is under the umbrella of the prestigious Getty Images. Its famed catalog splits into two curated collections, one non-exclusive and lower-priced, the other exclusive and high-value. On both, you can find millions of winter-themed pictures for your designs!

Adobe Stock – The Trendiest Photography

www.adobe.com homepage

Adobe Stock is Adobe’s native stock photo service that is also seamlessly integrated into Creative Cloud applications. As it’s strongly geared toward the creative community, this depository is full of fresh, trendy imagery in the highest resolution. If you are looking for the latest trends in winter photos, this is where you’ll find them!

Spark Up the Season with Winter-Themed Visuals

Winter imagery and concepts are great opportunities to gear up your campaign designs. 

With strong links to the audience’s emotions and primary needs, the winter theme is one that you can easily convey and exploit using winter-themed photos and illustrations. 

So get down to designing before the cold days are gone!

Ivanna Attié
Ivanna Attié

I am Content Manager, Researcher, and Author in StockPhotoSecrets.com and Stock Photo Press and its many stock media-oriented publications. I am a passionate communicator with a love for visual imagery and an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. Lucky enough to enter the wonderful world of stock photography working side-by-side with experienced experts, I am happy to share my research, insights, and advice about image licensing, stock photography offers, and the stock media industry with everyone in the creative community. My background is in Communication and Journalism, and I also love literature and performing arts.

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