Creative Assets for All Seasons

Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, as designers, we are often working months ahead to create pieces that are ready in the proper season. So here to help with your next seasonal design project are creative assets for all seasons, including templates, color palettes, textures, brushes, icons, and fonts.

Assets for All Seasons

This concert/venue 4-pack contains Photoshop templates which are layered, have easy-to-replace text, and are ready to print or export. Each flyer is A4 size and features rich colors; I am loving the absence of overdone pastels for the spring version. The bundle is $17 and each template can also be purchased separately.

Movies often remind me of specific seasons, with the color choices evoking emotions much like seasons tend to do. For instance, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” always makes me think of fall. The Cinema Palettes Twitter account uses film stills to craft color palettes, often with surprising results. Pro tip: I bring the stills into the Adobe Capture CC app (Color Module) and create a 5-color palette to save to my CC libraries.

Speaking of Adobe Color, you can search through others’ color palettes to find seasonal inspiration using their Color portal. Use the Explore option and enter your favorite season in the search field, even limiting the search to just tag or title if you want. You can edit a copy, download an .ase file, or save a palette directly to one of your CC libraries. Just be forewarned, there are lots of duplicate palettes, and I’ve often downloaded the same palette multiple times.

If you create sales graphics for Instagram—or any digital space where square is in—check out this seasonal sales 12-pack. The $12 bundle includes layered Photoshop files with photos included. Links to the 100% free, okay-for-commercial-use Google fonts are also provided.

Creating a seasonal mood board? There’s a template for that! These InDesign templates allow you to get right to work curating images for your project. There are spaces for you to easily drop color swatches into—consider using the Color Theme tool to sample placed images—and various image frame sizes to feature specific images. Both IDML and INDD files are included for the low, low price of $5 and you can optionally purchase Photoshop versions.

Cool Autumn Treats

Even after living in a place for years that had a sparse tree population, autumn still means dry leaves swirling and crunching under my feet. This free photo bundle features autumn elements you’d expect from the English countryside where they were taken: foliage, bark, dried leaves…even mud!

Whether you’re selling product on Instagram, or just pumpkin spicing up your favorite inspirational quote, you might find this fall sampler to your taste. The 10 square templates come in both Photoshop and Illustrator varieties, uses free fonts, and costs a tasty $8.

You didn’t think I was going to talk about autumn and not mention Halloween, did you? I have an embarrassing amount of spooky and creepy fonts for my favorite holiday and just added this Buffy-inspired beauty to my list. Yes, Halloween fonts are cheap, cheesy, and sometimes a little more than frightening. Incidentally, that’s how I like my holidays, thankyouverymuch.

Winter Warmth

Whether you just love snowflakes or you are proud to be one, Paper Snowflakes lets you create them all day long. This OpenType font features 39 no-two-alike glyphs and is a-ok for commercial use.

Do you want to fill the winter sky with starbursts or add a twinkle to your holiday cards? If so, then check out this free set of nearly 30 Photoshop brushes. They look so good, I can’t stop putting glints on every image, like some holiday-fueled J.J. Abrams. Deviant Artist “rL-Brushes” also offers Angel Dust, Faerie Dust, and Elven Magic brush sets.

Sometimes all it takes is a bit of type to make you nostalgic. When I saw the wintery Weehah font, I was instantly transported back to the days of waiting anxiously for our favorite holiday specials to air on television. The free whimsical wonderland font allows commercial use, sports 249 characters, and will look good on any holiday card or flyer.

Spring Forward

Springtime means gardening and woodland critters! Well, to some people, I imagine, not to me. If you want to add such iconic, well, icons to your spring things, take a look at these! This Colourbox collection features spring flora and fauna depicted by flat icons with long shadows. Super cute, even if there is a frog (ew). Available as part of a Colourbox subscription (which lets you keep unused rollovers) or as a single purchase.

If I say “springtime” and “painting,” do you conjure up images of an artist standing in a sun-drenched field of flowers in Europe somewhere? Just me? Well, if you’re painting—not with brush and easel, but digitally—consider adding these watercolor brushes to your Illustrator toolbox. The set includes 105 vector brushes for €24 and the creator, Andre Kröker, has tutorials for using these brushes on his YouTube site.

This collection of Illustrator banner templates provides the starting point for your spring-themed banner ad needs. Featuring a leafy motif, these 8 artboards in standard digital sizes—like square and sidebar/skyscraper—use Typekit fonts so you can get to creating right away. Since they’re from Adobe Stock, you can save the file directly to a CC library and the item will automatically be in Illustrator’s list of recent files. Just open a new file and you’re ready to grow…uh, I mean, “Go!”

Summer Fun

Summer brings to mind sweet treats like ice cream, popsicles, and running after the ice cream truck, no? This free digital poster from Angie Sandy lets you expand your summer palette both color-wise and culinarily with 14 summer flavors! Use it as inspiration for your summer creations, or download the convenient .ase file to load the swatches into your creator app. The creator provides a tutorial on using those files, though she left out poor InDesign in the process. Also, check out her tutorial on creating paint chips from those swatches.

Sometimes less is just less and that’s okay. This simple Illustrator pattern brush does one thing: create vines from your lines. The brush can give your designs a grown-over look or just add a sprig of greenery here and there. The brush contains no corner elements, so polygons don’t look complete, but you can always edit the brush to have those elements, should you need them.

Flip flops? Coconuts? Sunglasses? Check, check, and check! Apparently, summer is all about the beach—I prefer a good mountain hike, but to each his own—and these elements from Freepik with a 3-D flair have you covered. The elements are free-to-use with attribution for commercial use, though premium members can use without the attribution. If this set doesn’t satisfy your summer icon hunger, there are plenty more summer sets to choose from.

I hope you found a seasonal delight —or three—among these offerings that might find its way into your next project. Or at the very least, that you found a new source for obtaining those assets. Tell me, as seasoned (you know I just had to) veterans, is there a place you like to get your quality assets from? Let me know! I’m always looking for quality Halloween fonts, you know! Seasons greetings!

Header graphic: Tree vector created by Freepik

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Posted on: October 4, 2017

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for over 25 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She is a regular contributor to InDesign Magazine, tech edited How To Do Everything with Adobe InDesign CS4, and served as leader of the Denver InDesign User Group. After living as a nomad for almost a year, she recently put down roots in El Paso, Texas, where she hikes and bikes every chance she gets. Check out ericagamet.com to see all of Erica's upcoming events, tips and tricks, and workbooks.

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