Skip to content

Dash of Inspiration: Design for All Cultures

January 19, 2015

A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen

Design for All Cultures

One way to inspire yourself as a designer is to research another culture and begin collecting elements to aid in the design of new cards. Simply because it’s worth saying twice, RESEARCH is the key to creating cards for a culture you are not familiar with and creating cards that are highly marketable to the demographic and will sell.

Here are some tips from my experience and methodology when tackling unfamiliar territory in new card design:

  • Research the occasion/holiday by entering About ‘occasion’ in Google. Take the time to read and learn about the basics of what is being celebrated.
  • Study the symbols which represent the celebration such as; the menorah for Hanukkah or a Kwanzaa Kinara.
  • Find the colors associated with the occasion or holiday. When it comes to designing for cultures you are not familiar with, choosing to ‘be different’ by using a color palette which is non-traditional, may not only cause your card to lack marketability; but may also send a very different message than what was intended.
  • Look for elements, phrases, colors, words, symbols to avoid in your design which may be considered bad luck or offensive to the culture you’re designing cards for.
  • When you use words/phrases, common to the celebration for that culture, research to make sure what you are adding is correct and appropriate. Just because it’s all over the internet, or all over cards, doesn’t make it right. I like to search for blogs which speak and teach the language. I find those to be more accurate in the grammar and spelling. Then I seek a second opinion from someone who speaks and reads the language or is comfortable with the culture.
  • When designing cards, particularly for kids and for occasions such as; birthdays and other common occasions/holidays, remember to do variations of people from different ethnic backgrounds. This expands your market.

Here are some cultural treasures for those culture-specific designs.

Turkey Istanbul – Shapes for PhotoShop + AI and EPS Vector format

Indian Dancers

Papan Kita font

Shojumaru font

If you are new to using dingbat fonts, read this for some great tips on how to make these fun fonts work as elements in your card designs:


If you missed our first Design Challenge post, there’s still time. Entry deadline is January 26th, so be sure to check it out and submit your design. The winning artist gets some awesome promotion!


So until next week … Learn … Create … Inspire


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: