Valentine’s Day is a busy time for both amorous couples and for businesses catering to this most romantic of holidays.
So whether you’re looking for a unique greetings card design to delight your partner, or creating a Valentine-themed event or menu for your restaurant or venue, you’ll be sure to find something here to inspire you.
From flyers to text effects and everything in-between, find your Valentine’s Day design inspiration here.
1. Give Your Flyers Some Vintage Flair
This vintage-inspired flyer has a clean and stylish design that avoids the cliches of conventional Valentine’s flyers. Adaptable for club nights, music events, or restaurant promotions, this is a slick and alternative way to channel a Valentine’s vibe.
2. Say it in Neon
Perfect for adding to a card layout or flyer design, neon signs are an edgier way to express a romantic theme. Why not try it on a club night flyer or poster to give your design an atmospheric nighttime feel?
These neon sign text effects are available in vector format, meaning you can switch up the background and sign color for a more customized effect.
3. Paper Collage
Paper collage designs are sweet and naive, giving your designs a youthful feel that would make any partner feel cherished and adored.
Try dropping these images into an Adobe InDesign or Shutterstock Editor layout to create a unique card design.
Check out these 4 Amazing Tools to Design an Invitation and Step Up Your Card-Making Game.
4. Channel a 1950s Look
These retro-inspired card designs by Russian illustrator Alexander Baidin rely on a simple pared-back color palette of cream, blues, and reds to channel a screen-printed style.
Try setting your digital illustrations in a similar restricted palette and remove any outlines around silhouettes to mimic the look.
5. Use a Quirky Photo Concept
Two fingers hugging? It might not be the conventional image of a couple having a romantic meal, but conceptual photos can communicate the idea of romance in a much quirkier and more interesting way. Try using this cute image on a card or flyer to raise a smile and give a whimsical touch to your design.
6. Try Romantic Hand-Lettering
Calligraphy is effortlessly romantic, but you don’t need an ink set to create beautiful lettering for your Valentine’s designs. Try out these vectorized lettering designs to add a touch of romance and elegance to cards or menus.
7. Everybody Loves Glitter!
Choose from one of these fun and flirty card designs which have a stylish, feminine look. They would thrill any partner with a penchant for glitter and pink!
8. An Alternative Valentine’s for Architecture Lovers…
Creating a card for someone who is more into Frank Lloyd-Wright than kittens and roses? These beautiful lettering designs by architect and designer Besim Krosa are inspired by the buildings of American architect Louis Kahn.
Why not create a romantic message using a radically alternative style to tailor your card design to your partner’s interests and passions?
9. …and One for Pet Lovers
Is your partner inseparable from their beloved pet pooch? Look for witty canine photos that channel a romantic theme. It’ll be guaranteed to raise a smile and get you into their good books.
10. Create a Collage-Inspired Design
Update a vintage photo in an instant with a neon color palette and modern sans serif typography, as demonstrated by Irish art director Andrea Figueira.
Try adapting your own choice of vintage photos and give them a modern twist using Shutterstock Editor.
11. Try a Hand-Drawn Illustration
Naive, hand-drawn illustration is a big trend in card design right now, and it’s a great way of making your cards look light-hearted, fun, and youthful.
Try these collections of cute and quirky heart illustrations by contributor Creatarka, which are available in both vector and JPEG formats.
12. Go for Glamor
Whether you’re enticing shoppers into a Valentine’s promotion or looking for a stylish way to promote a romantic-themed event, try looking for romantic-themed photos with a high-fashion, glamorous vibe.
These stylish high-fashion images by contributor Subbotina Anna are perfect for pairing with elegant typography.
13. Say it With a Postcard
Who says cards have to be complicated? Single-page postcards are cute, quirky and easy to print and post. Take your cues from these beautifully simple postcard designs by Polish illustrator Claudia Kuzaj. A simple line drawing communicates the theme of romance in an instant.
14. Go 3D for Impact
Layer up your designs for a three-dimensional, immersive look. Simple to achieve in design software like Photoshop, layering your design and applying drop shadows and highlights can build up a design that really absorbs the viewer.
If you don’t want to create your own design from scratch, this 3D design by contributor Mahoney Studio is available in vector format, which means it can be easily customized.
15. Take a Symbolic Approach
These risograph-printed flyers by Russian designer Katerina Milan demonstrate how Valentine’s designs don’t need to be conventional. Inspired by emojis and app design, these quirky line-drawn designs for a student event are perfectly pitched for a more celebratory event.
16. Get Playful with Icons
Use this set of love- and magic-inspired illustrated icons to embellish cards, flyers or menus for a fun twist on the Valentine’s theme.
Team with hand-drawn typography for whimsical style.
17. Use a Romantic Pattern
Decorative patterns and backgrounds are incredibly versatile, and are perfect for adding to the backdrop of stationary or promotional media.
Try pairing this romantic floral background with calligraphy or serif typography for a classic, stylish look.
18. Color by Numbers
Want to get creative with your Valentine’s cards…but not too creative? These blank coloring book illustrations of lovebirds are beautiful and make for a relaxing activity to boot.
Why not color one bird with your choice of colors, and encourage your better half to get creative with their own?
19. Think Outside the Box
Valentine’s designs don’t all have to be love, hearts, and roses. Look to quirky romantic references for fresh inspiration.
These portraits by contributor margo_black look to Alice in Wonderland for inspiration. This image of a model with heart-painted lips would make a striking alternative to traditional hearts or flowers for a club night flyer or restaurant promotion.
20. Don’t Fret if Romance Hasn’t Gone Your Way
Be mindful that Valentine’s Day isn’t the most joyful of holidays if you’re not blissfully coupled up. For many single or broken-hearted people, Valentine’s Day can be alternatively sad or celebratory, and it’s a great opportunity for designers to champion this oft-neglected sector of the population on February 14th.
Sydney-based design agency Re| took this idea to heart with their “Bittersweet Valentine’s Day” booklet, which celebrates the ups and the downs of falling in love.
Top image via Taw4.
Looking for more romantic design inspiration? Here experts share 4 tips for capturing incredible wedding photos that will last a lifetime.
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