Celebrate Father’s Day with authenticity using the right visuals and tone. These expertly curated collections and tips will help get you started.

Father’s Day is a special moment of recognition for our dads. Whether they admit it or not, they appreciate hearing that we are grateful for all they do for us.

Finding the right visuals is an important part of sharing that message. Every dad is special and unique, so using the right tone helps convey the message you want to send in a way he, or your audience, can appreciate. For this, we’ve created a Father’s Day pack with free assets, curated collections, and clever tips for you to use in celebration of dads everywhere.

The sections to follow contain resources for expertly curated assets, along with easy to follow tips, for creating your Father’s Day imagery for personal e-cards, social posts, and marketing purposes.

What Makes a Good Father’s Day Visual?

What is a good visual? It can mean many things to many people, so start with a general idea of the content of the image you would like to use. Then use these guidelines to fine tune your solution and connect with your audience:

Storytelling: Family, love, generations, playful and poignant moments. Images with these traits tell a story. Look for images that tell a good story, one that is relevant and real. Such stories will resonate more deeply with your viewers.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — Powerful Storytelling
Find a story about intergenerational bonds and family. Image via M2020.

Room for Many Narratives: This day means something different to everyone, so pick visuals that leave room for your audience. Also remember to use diversity in your story telling and subject matter. Leave it open to interpretation by your audience so they can find themselves in your story.

High-quality: The images in the resources provided here are all top-notch in resolution, concept, and professional quality. But “high-quality” also means finding the right tone and situation for your application.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — Room for Many Narratives
Leave room for the viewer. Image via Soloviova Liudmyla.

Authenticity is the real key to these guidelines. Using authentic images of true-to-life situations and relationships will strengthen your messaging and make your storytelling relevant. So, how can Father’s Day images capture that authenticity?

What to Look for in Father’s Day Stock Photos

When using quality stock image sources such as the ones located here, you can choose subject matter that illustrates your own experiences with your father. Whether tender, serious, funny, or any of the shades between, the imagery should reflect the relationship you want to portray.

Authenticity: Look for real settings, real people, doing things that real people can relate to. Pretty simple, really. This collection features authenticity at its core. Authentic images are relatable and don’t look so stock, and help connect viewers to the imagery.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — Seeking Authenticity
Use your images to tell real stories. Image via LightField Studios.

Diversity: Dads look different everywhere, and this article shows just how uniquely specific Father’s Day images can be. Use these images in your posts or as inspiration to help you think outside the box. “Dad” can mean different things to different people, as evidenced by the diverse and plentiful examples linked above.

Emotion: Father’s Day visuals should communicate a sense of fondness, either for the past or just how our dad makes us feel. Really try to connect with different scenarios happening in an image. Chances are good that you can communicate to someone else through these scenarios.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — Communicate and Connect
Help your audience find themselves in the picture. Image via Monkey Business Images.

If photographs aren’t quite cutting it for your visuals, you still have other options. Many of the same guidelines still apply, but authentic illustrations have a few of their own requirements. So, let’s take a look at the world of Father’s Day illustrations.

Using Illustration and Vectors

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — Using Illustrations and Vectors
Check the collection linked below for illustrations with built-in text for ready-made Father’s Day imagery, like this one. Image via Allies Interactive.

For your Father’s Day visuals, sometimes an illustration or vector image can convey a sensibility not found in photography. That’s totally okay, and sometimes can even mean connecting to more people, especially in a social post. Look here for solutions and find a treasure trove of curated illustrations, some with typography already provided. You can also edit the images by changing colors or adding your own unique elements and patterns.

Typography: Use a simple, direct message like “Happy Father’s Day” to augment your images, whether photography or illustration, and set it in a font that matches the general vibe of the fatherhood you want to convey. Some dads appreciate flourishing, swooping script, while others enjoy the stoic beauty of Futura Bold nestled perfectly in a blank space.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — Use Simple and Direct Messaging
Keep it simple but charismatic. Graphics via Peliken; background via VolodymyrSanych.

Character Design: Make modern choices for your characters. Modernity means more inclusivity than ever, so let it inform your good choices. This is another step in helping your audience find themselves in your posts.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — Modern Fatherhood
Celebrate the many faces of fatherhood. Image via Mary Long.

Symbols: Perhaps using a pattern or some symbolism is more your forté. Let universal symbols of love tell the story, and remove anthropomorphic characters altogether. Anyone can relate to these and a minimal set of designs or a single symbol can communicate all you need.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts — The Power of Symbolism
Take a slightly different path and use symbolism instead. Image via Maglara.

Tips for the Perfect Father’s Day Card

Using your own voice makes any card a personal message, going above and beyond any store-bought sentiment. Father’s Day cards are really no different. In other words, be yourself and craft the card as if you’re talking to your own Dad, or any father figure close to your heart. Or, if you’re making an on-brand social post, use the unique language your brand has developed.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts - Use Unique Language
Personalize the card by using unique language. Mockup via Olga Zarytzska. Illustration via Nadia Grapes.

Above all, an effective Father’s Day card is:

  • Straightforward — keep the message short and sweet
  • Authentic — use an emotional tone
  • Eye-catching — select high-quality imagery
Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts - The Power of Imagery
Create a hand-crafted look. Images via Ardea-studio.

For those who might stumble over the right phrasing for a Father’s Day card, imagery can be a powerful option. The right design choices can give a personal, emotional weight to your card, which in turn adds to your authenticity. As you design the card, keep in mind these simple graphic elements to include:

Vector Border or Pattern: Simple, single-stroke borders, background patterns, corner flourishes, etc. customize the look of your card and make it feel hand-crafted.

The Right Messaging: Add a tender greeting and a thoughtful supporting message. Again, keep it short, but don’t be afraid of showing emotion.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts - Add an Emotional Touch
Add an emotional touch with a thoughtful opening message. Illustration via tanyabosyk.

Good Font Choices: Readability is always your main goal. For instance, set a headline/greeting in a legible script font and pair it with a brief supporting message in sans serif.

Creative Ways to Add a Quote to an Image

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts - A Philosophical Approach
Use a quote from an accredited source for a philosophical approach. Illustration via Liliia_A.

Sometimes other people say it best. Adding a quote to an image lends a sense of wisdom and literary or philosophical weight. This can take your card or post to a loftier plane, where a simple “Happy Father’s Day” just won’t do. Some tips for adding quotes include:

  • Look for quotes from a mutually appreciated person. Also, always remember to attribute the quote.
  • Use general design advice to apply the quote. Place and size it in an area of the image where it’s readable.
  • Keep it short and sweet, but meaningful. It’s okay to edit for length, too.

Tips for Father’s Day Social Media Posts

For brands and social media teams, using the tips above can also inform your social posts, speaking to a broad range of both fathers and those who want to celebrate them. You can treat your post much the same as you would treat a printed card. Use the same resources and choose imagery from a variety of cultures and age groups to match your target audience. Think about how you can add layers of emotion to your messaging, too.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts - Add Layers of Emotion
In Editor, you can easily add and edit text, borders, or graphic elements. Image via Nadya Eugene. Text via LineByLine.

Shutterstock Editor is a free-to-use design program that allows you to quickly create posts using pre-sized templates for various platforms. Adding design elements from the provided assets is a snap. Just bring up the menus, choose the asset you want, and adjust for size and position. Customize the look with text, colors, and other elements like shapes and borders. Then you can save as high-res, web-ready files.

Creative Ideas for Father’s Day Cards or Social Posts - Create a Social Post
Creating a social post allows you to share this celebrated day with everyone’s dad, as well as your own. Image via Nadya Eugene. Text via LineByLine.

The advantage of creating a social post is that you aren’t celebrating one particular dad, but everyone’s dad as well. Choose multiple images and create separate posts leading up to this special day to include your entire readership.

Learn more about designing cards and social posts for Father’s Day here:

Cover image via Olga Zarytzska and Nadia Grapes.