Ultimate Christmas Design Guide PLUS over 50 Free Packs of Brushes, PNGs and More!

 

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It’s almost time for Christmas, a commonly celebrated holiday to some degree worldwide and especially in predominantly Christian countries. Want to spread a little Christmas cheer? Here are some tips and goodies to get you started designing this year!

 

Design Basics: Why Christmas?

If you live in a country where Christmas isn’t celebrated much or is purely secular in nature, you might not be familiar with all of the Western nuances of Christmas. (Westerners, bear with me… :-) )

What is Christmas? Well, it all started to honor the birth of Jesus Christ (Christ means Messiah), hence the name “Christmas.” Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and came to earth to save humankind from their sins and restore their relationships with God. Today, Christmas is one of the pivotal holidays for Christians (along with Easter).

During Medieval times, celebrating Epiphany (Theophany) was actually more popular than Christmas.  However, Christmas as a holiday was revitalized in popularity during Victorian times (1800s), in part due to the popularity of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol.  Since then, families have adopted all sorts of traditions across the world, including Santa Claus bringing gifts each Christmas Eve, decorating homes with evergreen garland and decorated trees, hosting parties for family and friends and much more.

Most countries celebrate Christmas—the day of Jesus’ birth—on December 25th, although this date 5-Godey'streeDec1850 is commonly believed to be more tied to ancient Roman celebrations of the winter solstice than on the actual date Jesus was born.  Some countries such as Russia, Georgia, Egypt, Armenia, the Ukraine and Serbia celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar which places the date of Jesus’ birth on January 7th.  Some branches of Christianity still celebrate Epiphany as much or more than Christmas.  Christmas is not a formal public holiday in China, (excepting Hong Kong and Macao), Japan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Thailand, Nepal, Iran, Turkey and North Korea.

Christmas is a time…

  • to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah
  • to spend time with our family and friends
  • to be charitable towards those less fortunate
  • to go to church to worship God through mass, advent services or other Christmas events
  • to give gifts to the ones we love as the Biblical Magi (wisemen) gave gifts to baby Jesus
  • to appreciate the beauty of wintertime, snow and nature
  • to celebrate Santa Claus bringing gifts to boys and girls
  • to enjoy wintertime activities like sledding, caroling, skiing, sleigh rides, etc.

Here are a handful of places where you can learn more about Christmas:

Design Motifs

Here are some typical symbols of the holiday season to include in your art:

  • nativity scenes and/or images of Jesus
  • stars
  • wreaths
  • Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus
  • Decorated Christmas trees
  • Evergreen trees and shrubs
  • holly with red berries 800px-Ilex-aquifolium_(Europaeische_Stechpalme-1
  • ivy
  • bows and ribbons
  • garland
  • bells / church bells
  • snow
  • snowmen
  • snowflakes
  • snowballs
  • Christmas tree ornaments
  • Christmas tree tinsel
  • Christmas lights (around trees, houses, etc.)
  • angels
  • mangers / creche
  • Magi (wisemen) with Jesus or following a star 1-Greeting_Card_Christmas_Victorian_1870
  • silhouettes of Bethlehem where Jesus was born
  • Santa Claus
  • Santa’s sack of gifts
  • Santa’s hat
  • Santa’s sleigh
  • elves
  • reindeer (especially Rudolph with his red nose)
  • reindeer antlers
  • The North Pole (Santa’s home)
  • Jack Frost
  • winter cottages
  • snowy nature scenes
  • penguins (animal associated with the cold/winter)
  • polar bears (animal associated with cold/winter)
  • camels (it is assumed that the Magi visiting Jesus came by camel)
  • donkeys, cows, lambs, sheep (animals assumed to be in a stable or with shepherds during Jesus’ birth)
  • shepherds (received an announcement the night Jesus was born from God’s angels)
  • redbirds or robins (on holly trees, mailboxes with Christmas cards)
  • doves / turtle doves with olive branch (since of peace; comes from Biblical Noah)
  • the Bible
  • skating rinks 2-FatherChristmastrial
  • sleds
  • sleighs
  • horse-drawn carriages
  • chimneys
  • fireplaces
  • stockings
  • gifts / packages
  • gift tags
  • trumpets or French horns
  • gold rings (from 12 days of Christmas)
  • toys (like stuffed bears, balls, wagons, etc.)
  • gingerbread men cookies
  • sugar cookies in Christmas shapes
  • candy canes
  • gumdrops
  • nutcrackers
  • pinecones 3-Scrooges_third_visitor-John_Leech,1843
  • poinsettias
  • yule logs
  • candles
  • ice- or snow-covered tree branches
  • mistletoe
  • icicles
  • winter clothes: scarves, mittens, hats, jackets, boots
  • winter faeries
  • little drummer boy
  • toy drum and drumsticks
  • toy trains
  • moose or elk
  • teapots and hot chocolate mugs (or tea or coffee)
  • Scotty dogs (or other dogs or cats) in plaid or winter wear or antlers
  • Victorian architecture and/or lampposts
  • Children (especially Victorian children) sledding, etc.
  • Christmas carolers (adults in children dressed in warm clothes going door-to-door to sign Christmas hymns or “carols” to neighbors (often to raise money for charity)
  • snowcapped mountains
  • holiday feasts, with turkey or ham, etc.
  • fruitcakes

Typical Design Colors

  • red
  • gold
  • green
  • blue
  • white
  • silver

Ready for the Super-Freebies???

Here are a few Christmas- and winter-themed freebies to help you create some inspired artwork and designs for the holidays. Most all of them can be used commercially as well as personally, but always check the terms of use.  Some require attribution.

Enjoy, re-tweet & please leave a comment – thanks!

Merry Christmas! :-)

 

Freebie Photoshop Brushes

 

SUPER-FREEBIE #1:  Cute Christmas brush pack

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #2:  Christmas tree brushes pack

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #3:  Christmas vector brushes and PNGs

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #4:  Snow brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #5:  Snowflake vector brushes and images pack

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #6:  Snowflake brushes pack

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #7:  Another snowflake brush package

christmas-05

download


SUPER-FREEBIE #8:  Snow + Flakes brushes and PNG images pack

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #9:  Christmas ornament brush pack

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #10:  Christmas Tweee Brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #11:  Coolwing’s Christmas Brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #12:  Holiday brushes and vectors

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #13:  Christmas tree branches brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #14:  Frost Brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #15:  Christmasy Brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #16:  Christmas Brushes by Yasny-Chan

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #17:  Snowtime brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #18:  Christmas Cookie Brushes

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #19:  Holiday Brushes (some Hanukkah as well)

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download


Freebie Photoshop Patterns

SUPER-FREEBIE #20:  PS Christmas Patterns

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #21:  Vintage Retro Christmas Patterns

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #22:  Cute Christmas Patterns

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #23:  36 Christmas 09 Patterns

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #24:  Christmas Day Patterns

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #25:  Gold & Silver Snowflake Patterns

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download


Freebie Vectors & PNGs & Clipart!

SUPER-FREEBIE #26:  19 Awesome Christmas Vectors

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #27:  Christmas free vector set vol. 2 by Pink Moustache

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #28:  Christmas free vector set vol. 1 by Pink Moustache

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #29:  Snowflake vectors

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #30:  Christmas lights transparent PNGs

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #31:  Christmas Ribbons and Ornaments transparent PNGs

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #32:  Christmas gift and background vector set

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #33:  Vector Christmas backgrounds and titles

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #34:  Vector Christmas ornaments on background

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #35:  Christmas vector frames

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #36:  Christmas vector icons

Basic RGB

download


SUPER-FREEBIE #37:  Stylized Christmas tree vector set

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #38:  Christmas ornament vectors

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #39:  Christmas vectors + brush sample set

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #40:  Gingerbread cookies vectors

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #41:  Doodled Christmas tree vector patterns

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #42:  Santa vector

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #43:  Vintage Christmas Clipart (Many pieces of clipart to choose from)

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #44:  Christian-Themed Christmas Clipart (Many pieces of clipart to choose)

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #45:  Tons of free Christmas clipart (lots of vintage Victorian)

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #46:  Christmas elf vector

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download


Other Stuff

SUPER-FREEBIE #47:  Vintage Christmas Photoshop Actions

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #48:  Gimp Animated Snowfall Action

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #49:  Snow text Photoshop Action

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download


SUPER-FREEBIE #50:  Christmas Photoshop Styles

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download


BONUS: SUPER-FREEBIE #51:  Photoshop Christmas Styles

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download


I hope you enjoyed this article.  Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Merry Christmas! Andolaurina.

Author: andolaurina

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