Graphic design image of a hashtag surrounded by balloons.

In today’s social media-driven world, the hashtag has taken on a life all its own. People use the hashtag in far more places than just Twitter these days. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake even created a comedy skit about the hashtag, speaking to each other with “hashtag” words. Both business people and the average person recognize the power of a hashtag to get to the point quickly and effectively. The symbol has become a common part of our culture.

There are about 125 million hashtags used every day on Twitter, but they are also used on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, making that daily number much higher. Adding a hashtag to your graphic designs is going to create an element for consumers that is immediately recognizable and current.

The hashtag can be used both in online designs and offline designs. It can connect different generations and narrow the gap between age groups by bringing everyone together behind a common symbol, common cause or a recognizable brand.

There are many different ways you can incorporate hashtags into your designs. Here are a few.

Header on Website

About 90% of consumers expect a brand to give them the same experience across different types of platforms, which means you need to figure out what hashtag works best for your company and then use it in everything from your website header to emails you send out to social media promotions. This should be a part of your overall branding strategy.

One place you can utilize a hashtag in your design is in your header. This can help with overall branding as you use this hashtag across all platforms and types of advertising. Let’s say your company name is Best Golf Tees. You might use hashtags such as #BestTees or #TeedOff as your hashtag header. Combining traditional and internet marketing strategies through the use of a hashtag can help you meet consumer expectations and establish a specific image for your brand. It’s just smart business sense.


Imagine placing a single hashtag in big, bold letters on a simple background. If you create enough contrast, and your hashtag is interesting, you are going to grab the attention of rush hour commuters driving past.

For example, a while ago, Shark Week was advertised on a few billboards in major cities. It had a background that looked like water and a simple #sharkweek hashtag in bold, black letters. Anyone who knows what Shark Week is would be quickly and effectively reminded of the upcoming focus on the marine animal


Designing an ad for a magazine is no easy task. You have to fit the ad into a set number of inches, create an appealing design with white space, and hope your ad stands out from the rest of the ads in the publication. One of the key factors to adding a hashtag to this type of design is to pay attention to placement:

1) The hashtag needs to be easy for the user to spot and not overcrowded by other elements on the page.

2) You also need to make sure there is plenty of contrast between the background and the hashtag so it pops for the reader.

Shopping Bag

For brick and mortar stores, placing a hashtag on a shopping bag is a smart move. It could bring more foot traffic to your store, especially if you have done a good job branding. In addition to a bag with a hashtag, make sure you include the hashtag in your store window displays. If people are curious, they’ll recognize the same hashtag and enter your store to check out what you have to offer. Your customers become walking billboards for your brand.

Social Media

You already know when you create a post, you can use a hashtag to categorize the post and attract attention. But are you using your go-to hashtag in your header or cover? This can help readers find your social media profile and follow you.

It helps to create cohesion between platforms, which is mentioned above as very important to consumers. You might also consider adding the hashtag as text in the description. The more ways you can tie the hashtag into your design and promotions, the better. For example, when you add a description to a video you uploaded to YouTube, you might include the hashtag in the description or even in the title of the video.

Print Ads

One of the amazing things about a hashtag is you can advertise just the hashtag and people will remember it. Punch it into the search function on Twitter and find you or posts by and about you. Consider combining a print ad campaign with a Twitter chat for maximum benefit. For example, you might take out an ad in your local newspaper that simply reads #golfteeschat and invites users to get free golfing tips. They could add their own tips or simply follow yours.

Because this is still a fairly unique way to advertise, you also gain an advantage over your competitors and may attract new customers. Just be sure to add plenty of value by using the hashtag and create a chat people can follow on Twitter.


Anyone who has ever been on social media recognizes that hashtag sign. You can also create a modern-looking website by adding hashtags to your background. Fade out the hashtags, create different sizes of hashtags, or add a scrolling hashtag for an overall effect. If you really want to make a statement, you can use specific hashtags focused around your industry.


Figuring out unique ways to integrate in your graphic design will help you grab the attention of consumers. Hashtags have been around for over a decade now and will likely continue in popularity for the foreseeable future. Be open to adding one into different types of designs.

About the Author of This Post

Lexie Lu is a graphic designer and blogger with a passion for the digital world. She spends most of her time working on logo mockups and creating websites for her clients. She also manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.