Your 2023 Holiday Design Guide

In Creator success, Holiday Season by Danielle Pederson October 5, 2023

Spring creators rake in a jaw-dropping 121% more sales over holidays than the rest of the year! 💰 It’s time to get those designs locked and loaded for launch, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. Check out all our tips and tricks to launch your best merch yet. 

Why are the holidays so lucrative? 

The holidays are filled with anticipation and excitement—and shopping! Having fresh designs for the holidays gives your fans something new to get excited about and drives more traffic to your store. But let’s dive deeper on why. 

Launching new merch for the holidays is…

  • exciting for fans who want to get into the holiday spirit, 
  • exclusive since they’re only around for a limited time,
  • and for everyone. People who shop during this time of year are looking for that special something new for themselves and loved ones. 

But how do you know what to create? Spring has 8 helpful tips to ensure your holiday products are poised for success. 

TIP 1: Crowdsource fans to discover what they want.

When it comes to crushing it as a creator, tuning into what your fans really want is key. Crowdsourcing design ideas is a direct hotline to your audience’s hearts. When you let your fans be part of the creative action, you’re not just selling products they love – you’re also stacking the odds in your favor.

So what exactly is crowdsourcing?

To break it down, crowdsourcing is like a brainstorming session on steroids. It’s all about gathering ideas from your fans and using them to craft merch that THEY want. 

The fastest way to get this info is by heading to where your fans hang out the most: social media. It’s not just quick and easy; it’s also a chill space where fans tend to be real and honest in their comments, rather than filling out stuffy feedback forms. But, you’ve gotta have a game plan for collecting this info. 

Don’t sweat it, though. Check out our crowdsourcing blog for five killer ideas to kick things off.

Tip 2: Launch new clothes

Clothing items are consistently top sellers, especially when you feature fun new designs. In fact, fashion and apparel was the most popular gift category during the holiday season in 2022. You don’t have to design from scratch, you can add a holiday-twist to a current best-seller or take a popular trend and holiday-ify it. 

Here’s what sold well in 2022: 

Hoodies: 

A top seller is the Unisex Classic Pullover Hoodie, featuring a classic fit and cotton-polyester blend. This hoodie is durable and soft to the touch. 

T-shirts:

T-shirt sales make up 65% of total global apparel sales! Tees can be worn alone in warmer months and layered in cooler months. You’ll want something stylish, yet durable. Go for classics like the Hanes tagless tee (people hate tags!), the Next Level tee (a premium quality T-shirt that can be dressed up or dressed down), or for a high-quality T-shirt that has a silky smooth feel, try the premium tee. 

Sweaters: 

Ugly sweaters rule the season. One in three people under 35 buys an ugly Christmas sweater every year! The crazier the better, so unleash your creativity. Spring has some basic sweatshirts you can use as your canvas and here are some design templates from Kittl you can use to speed up the process. Use the code SPRING23 for 40% off an annual plan! 

TIP 3: Use trendy color palettes

Here are some telling statistics:

93% of people believe that color/design is the #1 influencing factor in what they buy!

Within the first 90 seconds of seeing a product for the first time, we make a subconscious judgment. 90% of that judgment is made based on color alone! So how to apply color? 

Here are a couple color trends for this fall:

  • Shades of Pink and Purple – Hot last year and the popularity has not waned one bit. Rose (light pink), mauve (pale purple), and lavender (a light purple with a blue tint) are named after flowers. These shades bring a lighthearted, youthful energy to designs, whether you go with a shade that’s bright or muted. 
  • Neutrals – Earth tone shades work well on clothing and appeal to a broad consumer base. You can make designs stand out when including a bright pop of color (such as orange and yellow) or keep it chill. 
  • Shades of Blue – Blue consistently ranks as everyone’s favorite color, most likely due to its calming effect on the brain. But know what else is cool? Blue can work for a variety of Holiday designs, especially when tying in wintry themes. 
  • Or be on trend and use the 2023 color of the year Viva Magenta.

Tip 4: Create a branded ugly Christmas sweater.

With one in three people grabbing an ugly Christmas sweater each year, it’s a must-have holiday product to launch this year. 

But for your highest chance of success, you don’t want a standard, run-of-the-mill design. You want a design that’s uniquely YOU. 

Here are expert tips for an epic, on-brand holiday sweater:

  • On-Brand Theme: Start with a theme that matches your brand’s style. Infuse your brand’s values, messages, or symbols into the holiday vibe.
  • Color Palette: Stick to your brand’s colors, but don’t be shy about adding some festive shades. Keep it on-brand with a holiday pop.
  • Irregular Patterns: Ugly sweaters thrive on chaos. Think geometric shapes, uneven lines, and quirky arrangements. Keep it consistent with your brand’s style for instant recognition.
  • Playful Messaging: Inject your brand’s personality with cheeky messages or witty wordplay. Let your brand shine in the holiday theme.
  • Test It Out: Before the final masterpiece, share variations on social media and get feedback from your crew. It’ll make them feel valued and excited for the launch, ensuring the design’s success.

For design help and best practices, check out our Ugly Christmas Sweater Design Guide.

Tip 5: Offer stocking filler gifts

Stocking stuffers are always popular and many shoppers buy more than one! Try out some of our new products, which are ideal stocking stuffers for holiday gifting:  

  • Die-Cut Stickers – This means that the sticker is cut around the contour of your design. Unlike stickers in the standard shapes of a circle, square, or rectangle, die-cut stickers will be completely customized to the shape of your artwork. Any shape sticker you’re imagining is possible as a die cut. 
  •  Mugs – winter’s top accessory and a great canvas for your most popular designs.
  • Tumblers – A tumbler is an insulated mug or cup you can take on the go. Another great way to keep your brand in their hands all day long!
  • And of course, phone cases. Always in style, always needed.
  •  Notebook – decorative organization tool for lifestyle & wellness buffs.

Tip 6Launch a classic design

Tired of the holidays already? You don’t have to create a holiday theme if you don’t want to. The goal is to launch something shiny and new. Go for a classic design that fans can wear year-round. 

You can still lean into the colors that are trending (mentioned above) and the products that are top-sellers (like Tees and hoodies). 

There are plenty of people who don’t want to spend the next 3 months sporting pumpkins and santa hats. Give fans a variety to choose from so you can capture both the holiday-enthusiasts and the Grinches.

Tip 7: Hire a professional designer.

Short on time or seeking top-notch merch designs? Consider hiring a pro designer. 

Quality designs can significantly boost your sales, making it a worthwhile investment. 

With our AffinityX partnership, you can get a merch design tailored to your brand vision for just $17.

Learn more and place your custom merch graphic design request here.

We also offer store banners, promotional assets (think social posts, ads, etc.), and logos!

Tip 8: Take advantage of templates.

Unlock the power of design templates to craft amazing merch graphics and social posts. Our partnership with Kittl offers you access to a vast library of templates, including merch designs, logos, social graphics, and more.

Plus, you’ll enjoy an exclusive 40% discount on an annual membership when you use this special link and use the code SPRING23 at checkout! 

Templates are your time-saving secret weapon, allowing you to create top-notch, market-ready merch in mere minutes!

Final thoughts

Want more tips? Get them along with more inspiration at our Holiday Resource Hub. While there, check out the Countdown Calendar for key benchmark dates to keep on schedule so you can maximize those sales. The best part?—you can earn prizes, too (like free merch designs)! 

Keep in mind that the earlier you get your designs done the earlier you can start promoting, especially for products that need to ship in time for the holidays…Capitalize on that holiday excitement and start creating those holiday designs! Happy Holidays and Happy Selling!