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Using Holiday Borders Without Looking Tacky

written by: KateG•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 9/29/2009

Holiday borders are a great way to make your work look festive, but in the wrong hands they can be downright tacky. If you want professional-looking borders for your holiday or Christmas projects, the tips in this article can help you.

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    When the winter holidays start to roll around a whole new world of borders and border-like decorative elements is open to you. Christmastime presents endless opportunities for using trees, snowmen, snowflakes, and even (in some contexts) religious borders. Of course, like all fun powers the ability to use those brightly colored and festive borders comes with some responsibility. It is people who abuse the right to use holiday borders that make it hard for us all. After all, no professional desktop publisher in her (or his) right mind wants to be associated with those scary early 1990s flyers. You know the ones the PTA used to put up. That is why today we are going to take a look at some of the ways that you can walk that line between classy and tacky, without sacrificing your signature style.

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    Page Placement

    Christmas borders tend to be much thicker than other borders that you normally use. This means you have to give them more space. Not only for the element itself but for the surrounding white space. In most cases a border defines your edge. With a thick holiday border this will most likely happen with the outer edge of your border.

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    Stretching

    Lengthening a holiday border can be a real challenge. Especially if you are primarily used to working with line style borders. A line is a line and it can go on forever if need be. (Don’t believe me, just go ask your middle schoolmate teacher.) A graphic border will present a bigger challenge. An individual element can easily get stretched out of shape and become unappealing. Think about a snowman four times wider then he is tall. Not pleasant to look at. Compression can also be an issue. The best solution is to only use a square border in a square space or a rectangular border in a rectangular space that will minimize any stretching or compression issues. Of course if you have the capability to manually adjust depth, and not just height, you can give it a try.

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    Watch Your Colors (and Shades Too!)

    Matching a holiday border to an existing color scheme can be tricky. If you are having issues try placing the border first then choosing the color.

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    Now you can go ahead and pick the Christmas border of your dreams without having it come across as childish or unprofessional. Enjoy making your holiday themed desktop publishing project.