Common Valentine's Day images include hearts, ribbons, roses and Cupid. Various other flowers, such as violets and chrysanthemums, are also sometimes used to represent the holiday, as are chocolates, jewelry and heart-shaped candies.
Some Valentine's Day images have specific meanings. While a yellow rose symbolizes joy, a red rose means unity and is often used for romantic love. Combined with a white rose, red roses also stand for unity or to celebrate an engagement. Orange roses signify passion or fascination while small, white rosebuds are given to those who are too young for romantic love to represent innocence. The image of the heart symbolizes love, giving the recipient all that one has to give and the center of all human emotion. The use of lace in Valentine's Day imagery comes from the tradition of giving lace-adorned handkerchiefs to a lover.
Valentine's images are often found on greeting cards. Poems often accompany Valentine's Day images. The oldest Valentine poem, a rondeau, was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans in the 15th century. The first paper Valentine's Day cards were created with colored paper, ink and watercolor paint. By the 1700s, cards were printed with both poems and sketches for lovers to exchange. Mass-produced Valentine's Day cards have been widely used since then, with fancier cards being decorated with lace, ribbons and bows.