Kwanzaa commemorates the African culture and traditions, which is a huge occasion in the United States. For marketers, this is another opportunity that can boost brand traction. By creating powerful Kwanzaa holiday designs, brands can gain exposure in no time! If you want to get started on your marketing campaign in time for the Kwanzaa holiday, we got your back. We have beautiful Kwanzaa-themed images and illustrations you can download for FREE.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips and examples to ace your Kwanzaa holiday designs this season. But first, let’s dig deeper into the Kwanzaa history. 

Kwanzaa Holiday: History and Traditions

In one of the Kwanzaa campaigns on this list, a group of black people was asked what Kwanzaa meant. You probably thought that people of African descent would know the real meaning behind this momentous holiday. Unfortunately, you thought wrong. 

Kwanzaa, according to Dr. Karenga, isn’t black Christmas, nor is it a festival that originated from the 55 countries in Africa. The Kwanzaa event is a celebration to unite African-Americans as one community during this week-long holiday.

However, this cry for unity dates back to the 1960s, where a sociopolitical upheaval was tearing the black communities apart. And Dr. Maulana Karenga, an internationally acclaimed activist, and scholar is the man behind Kwanzaa’s inception. 

After his undying passion for upholding the black pride in the 1960s, he introduced this festival in the United States in 1966. According to Dr. Kalenga, the festival is interlinked with the African harvests’ first fruits. Hence, the name “Kwanzaa,” a Swahili term that means “first.” 

The Kwanzaa festival centers on seven principles:

  • Umoja (Unity)
  • Kujichagulia (Self-determination)
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  • Nia (Purpose)
  • Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)

And as with any other cultural holidays, Kwanzaa also revolves around several symbols and practices. That said, businesses, marketers, and organizations should integrate these symbols into their Kwanzaa social media campaigns to bring forth inclination from their audience. Some examples are mazao (crops), mkeka (placemat), vibunzi (ear of corn), mishumaa saba (seven candles), kinara (candleholder), Kikombe Cha Umoja (unity cup), and Zawadi (gifts).

Kwanzaa Holiday Design Tips and Examples

Mkeka Design

The mkeka or placemat represents African weaving from straws. However, the meaning goes beyond this inanimate object. It’s a representation of how we should build a solid foundation for a promising future. 

Here’s a Twitter post from The Carver Museum based in Austin, Texas. At first glance, you’ll appreciate how the mkeka pops out against a bright yellow background. The layout is simple, with the definition of one of the seven principles on the other half. The smart use of symmetry is outstanding and makes for an uncluttered design. 

Mazao Design

mazao symbol kwanzaa

Since the Kwanzaa holiday exemplifies how Africans practice unity and sharing during African harvest festivals, crops denote the true spirit of Kwanzaa. Create graphics that genuinely capture the real essence of Kwanzaa like this example from American Greetings. 

Deemed as the second-largest producer of greeting cards, American Greetings did their Kwanzaa design the right way. With earthy colors that embody the mazao symbolism, the company took a new turn with its annual greeting. The “Happy Kwanzaa” is on a greeting card and crop images complement the phrase. Overall, the outcome is tasteful and incites warmth among celebrants. 

Kinara and Mishumaa Saba Design

During the Kwanzaa week-long celebration, the candelabra holds seven candles. The Kwanzaa primary colors are red, black, and green. Moreover, the black candle, which should be in the middle, is lit on the first day. Furthermore, one candle is lit on each day while families talk about the seven principles the event is centered on. 

It’s crucial to craft your Kwanzaa social media designs around these colors. For instance, this Instagram post by an online magazine, The Root, has a fascinating mix of Kwanzaa elements splashed in red, black, and green. The dreamy orb-like design in the background adds a distinctive effect while still focusing on the main headline: Kwanzaa Week. 

Striking Photo

Shaping up Kwanzaa social media posts should involve two things: seasonal elements and quality graphics. Choosing quality over quantity in your Kwanzaa marketing campaigns will go a long way. If the impact is truly remarkable, people will share or retweet your social media posts continuously. 

Here’s one originally from Peace and Riot. It was so captivating that Malene B, a multi-disciplinary brand, shared it on Instagram, expressing her support for black-owned businesses. This photograph by Dave Ballam is exquisitely stunning in black and white. 

Festive Colors

kwanzaa party poster

The Kwanzaa event is all about celebrating as one people and promoting the colorful culture from African ancestors. And what better way for brands to immerse into the celebration than to make their Kwanzaa holiday social media designs explode with colors. 

This event template from PosterMyWall, an online graphic design service, is the archetype of a festive Kwanzaa design. The bright colors invoke feelings of elation, which is perfect for what this poster is promoting. Meanwhile, the overwhelming melange of colors wraps around the holiday symbol, the kinara, on top.

High-Quality Video Graphics

True enough, high-quality and compelling video graphics are also a great way to appeal to your audience. As/Is, BuzzFeed’s new beauty and style brand, aimed to educate people on the real meaning of Kwanzaa. 

They survey a couple of African-Americans in the US and ask why they celebrate Kwanzaa. Surprisingly, most of them didn’t even know why they’re honoring it year after year. In the latter part of the video, they explain the true essence of the Kwanzaa holiday. Lastly, the video offers value while providing modern-day entertainment to their audience. 

Use Penji for Your Kwanzaa Holiday Designs

If you will hire a team to design your marketing visuals for Kwanzaa, get someone who understands the occasion by heart. This is where the Penji team is good at. They don’t just create designs that are visually appealing, they want to send the right message to your target market. And what’s good about using their services is that they have an app where you can request design with such ease. 

Request for Kwanzaa Holiday Designs 

penji platform

From the app, you will find a New Project button on the top right corner of your dashboard. It’s easy to locate and you should have no problem with it. Click that so you can provide detailed information about your request. 

Include information such as your brand colors, your ideas, and even images where the designer could pattern the project. The more detailed you are, the easier to get the project right. 

If the designer has questions, they will reach out to you using that same platform and same project thread. Now that’s efficient. 

Wait for the Draft and Send Back for Revision 

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Just wait for the first draft which is usually sent within 24 to 48 hours. Check if everything is based on your request. If there are details which you think can be improved, you can send your feedback to the designer. 

All you have to do is click the image, move your cursor to areas in the project where changes are to be made, and type your comments. 

Download the Source Files 

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Once everything is on point, you can now download the source files and use them for whatever marketing strategy you have in place. No need to send an email to the designer asking for the raw files. These are readily available for you anytime. 

With Penji, they made their process so easy and their services extremely affordable. But of course, they always ensure quality above everything else. So, sign up for one of their plans and get your unlimited graphic design requirements for the whole year.