With the holiday season just around the corner, why not give your designs and desktops a festive makeover with hand-picked holiday background images.
Holiday background images for Christmas, Hannukah, and the winter season in general don’t need to be clichéd or sentimental. We’ve curated these super stylish and contemporary holiday background ideas to help your phone, computer, website, or print projects be more stylish and festive come December.
From chic minimalist backgrounds with a wintry mood to jovial color pop flat lays and nostalgic folklore patterns, there’s a modern holiday background to suit every personality and project.
Read on to discover our pick of the best trending holiday backgrounds, patterns and textures. Plus, pick up tips for using our holiday backgrounds in your seasonal designs.
1. Winter Animal Backgrounds
Best for: Desktop and mobile backgrounds, minimal website designs.
Holiday backgrounds don’t have to be themed on tinsel or mistletoe. Winter-themed photography can conjure up the spirit of the holidays in a more understated and beautiful way. These images focus on the beauty of nature in the winter months, with deer, foxes, owls, and bears photographed amidst stunning snow-covered landscapes.
Stylish and enigmatic, these dramatic photographs make a beautiful backdrop for desktops and phones, as well as atmospheric image choices for websites themed on travel and the environment. Look for images with plenty of (literal, snow-strewn) white space for the placement of text, and stick to black type for chic National Geographic vibes.
Bring your desktop to life with our winter nature photo edit:
2. Folkloric Patterns
Best for: Print designs, greetings cards, gift wrap.
Woodcut styles, naive illustration, and fairytale-inspired patterns are enduringly popular in the winter months. However, this season we’re seeing a growing trend for nostalgic, folklore-inspired patterns themed on winter woodlands in high-impact, blocked colors.
Far from being quaint, these folklore styles look particularly stylish and striking on print items such as greetings cards, gift wrap, and menu designs. They bring a nostalgic, ethereal touch to designs that chimes well with the enduring popularity of Hygge-inspired design and marketing.
Bring a touch of whimsical style to print layouts with these rustic folk patterns:
3. Frame It!
Best for: Promotional email campaigns, ecommerce websites.
A tried-and-tested method for focusing consumers’ attention and converting sales, try using a background that acts as a framing device for text or calls-to-action buttons. Snowy drifts or cosy candles around an ecommerce prompt may be one of the oldest holiday marketing tricks in the book, but there’s a reason these background styles are enduringly popular—they work!
For campaigns, framed backgrounds are easy and effective, and add interest and focus to text-based emails. But, these types of images are also useful in any context where you want to direct the viewer’s attention in one clear cue.
For a holiday twist on framed backgrounds, look for frames with tree branches, rustic wooden textures, or a pop of berry color:
4. Mid-Century Modern Backgrounds
Best for: Printed products and packaging, greetings cards.
At the end of an exceptionally turbulent year, we’ll all be looking for comfort and nostalgia in our holiday routines. Vintage-inspired backgrounds and patterns that take their cues from Mid-Century styling will be particularly welcome for designs aimed at style-conscious audiences, and for children-focused designs too.
Muted 1950s colors, noisy textures, and quirky, optimistic illustrations are trademarks of the Mid-Century Modern style. Letterpress effects also give a hand-done, craft-inspired touch to retro-themed patterns. Print these nostalgic patterns across holiday packaging designs to give products and gifts a joyful, old-fashioned feel—the design equivalent of a soothing cup of hot cocoa.
Create the perfect 1950s Christmas with these vintage-inspired patterns:
5. Colorful Flat Lay Backgrounds
Best for: Party invitations, menu designs, emails, websites.
Why should holiday images be restricted to a palette of red and green? Broaden your color spectrum this year with bright, neon and pastel backgrounds that are unapologetically fun and light-hearted. Party-friendly pink, cheerful sky blue, and rainbow color palettes are maximalist and optimistic, and make a fantastic backdrop for invitations, menus, and websites for restaurants, hotels, and caterers.
Even if there are fewer physical events to attend this year, build excitement for a digital event with color pop backgrounds that bring joy to the recipient’s inbox. Look for designs that you can edit to include copy easily. You can even adjust vector designs to create custom GIFs and animations for fun-filled email campaigns.
Spark joy with our pick of the best colorful backgrounds for print and online designs:
6. Kitschy and Kooky Backgrounds
Best for: Desktop and mobile backgrounds, social media, email campaigns.
Eccentric and quirky, these colorful and off-beat backgrounds use witty photography and kooky concepts to give a twist on traditional holiday themes and characters. From reconstructed reindeer to glitter-strewn fir trees, these backgrounds are fun and breezy.
These kitsch backgrounds are made for pairing with communications, so use them on social media posts and email campaigns for maximum effect. Using a kooky, quirky background on your mobile or desktop is also guaranteed to raise a smile even on the darkest winter mornings.
Embrace eccentricity this holiday season with these kitschy and kooky backgrounds:
7. Blue and Gold Backgrounds
Best for: Ecommerce websites, luxury brands, winter wedding invitations.
A more elegant and grown-up color palette than traditional red-and-green, an inky blue and rich gold pairing in your backgrounds is soothing and sophisticated. Mimicking a winter night sky, deep midnight blue is versatile and stylish, and makes a natural teammate for warm gold or copper tones. Look for glitter-infused textures for added sparkle and shine, which look beautiful on winter wedding stationery, or marble or ink textures for tactile interest and depth.
If nostalgic Mid-Century patterns or kooky concepts don’t feel like the right fit for your project, blue and gold backgrounds are a simple way to build polish and aspiration into your design. Ecommerce sites and luxury brands should look to blue and gold as an alternative to traditional festive palettes for product packaging and marketing to entice style-conscious adult audiences.
Discover our pick of subtly glamorous and immersive blue and gold holiday backgrounds below:
8. Rustic and Cozy
Best for: Social media — these cozy lifestyle images fit perfectly with trending visuals on your social feeds.
Colorful designs and zany illustrations can be cheerful additions to any design, but sometimes you need something more down to earth. That’s where warm and cozy lifestyle imagery (with plenty of room for text) can save the day. To work as backgrounds, we selected images that feature general holiday scenes and non-specific human details. A piping hot cup of hot cocoa or hands caught mid-gift wrap are just general enough to work in any setting.
9. Minimalist Winter Backgrounds
Best for: Sufferers of holiday fatigue, elegant websites, desktop backgrounds.
If you’re the sort of person who can’t bear to look at another mince pie by mid-November and craves the respite of the post-Christmas period, minimalist winter backgrounds are going to be your soothing companion through the hectic lead-up to the big day.
Calm, chic, and in a winter-appropriate palette of white and gray, these minimalist and moody backgrounds are the ultimate festive antidote. Splash across desktop backgrounds or use on simple, stripped-back editorial designs. While (nearly) everyone loves the holidays, sometimes you need the antidote to all that tinsel and mulled wine.
Discover our suggested minimalist backgrounds to inject calm and composure into your designs this winter:
Looking for more holiday design and photography inspiration? Discover more tips, tutorials and article to make your holiday designs your best yet:
- Rethink Holiday Design with These 10 Unique Examples
- 5 Perfect Holiday Photography Props
- 13 Tips for Photographing Your Family During the Holidays
- 5 Tips on Preparing Your Holiday Marketing Campaigns
- The Top 25 Free Fonts for Christmas and the Holidays