When you’re branding your business creating an inspiration board is a really important part of the process.
That’s why so many designers – me included – will get you to create one before any design work starts.
Before we go any further, what is an inspiration board?
An inspiration, or mood, board is a collection of images with a distinct, common theme. Creating an inspiration board is a great way to organise your thoughts and ideas about your new branding. And it’s a fantastic way to communicate your ideas to your designer.
That’s because words can be interpreted in different ways. So if you tell your designer your branding should have a vintage and elegant feel, your idea of that might not be the same as your designer’s. Vintage design could reflect any number of eras or styles. Do you mean 1950s? Art Deco? Art Nouveau? Victorian?
Your inspiration board will help your designer understand what vintage and elegant means to you.
How do you create an inspiration board for your branding?
Now that you know why you need one, let’s create an inspiration board for your branding.
Pinterest is a great tool for creating your board as it’s easy to search for images and share them with your designer. So head over to Pinterest and if you don’t already have an account, go ahead and sign up.
1. Create your board
Just under your profile pic and bio you’ll find your boards. Click to create a new board.
Give it a name like ‘My Business Brand Inspiration’, replacing ‘My Business’ with your business name. Make it a secret board so it’s only visible to you and anyone you share it with, like your designer.
2. What’s your personality?
Think of 3-5 keywords that should describe the style and personality of your branding, for example, should it feel modern or vintage? Organic or hi-tech? Fun or serious? This will help you find the right images.
Tip: You might have already discussed keywords with your designer. If you have, your list is ready to use. On to the next step!
3. Add some pins
Now it’s time to fill up your board. Take your list of keywords and use that to search for images. Try to find a mix of imagery in your board including examples of:
- Logos and other branded materials, like websites, business cards etc
- Fonts and typefaces
- Patterns and/or textures
- Lifestyle images, like examples of photos that evoke the emotion or personality of your brand, and that should appeal to your target market
When looking at logos, try not to pin your competitors – you want to stand out from them, not blend in with a similar identity. So if your business is a vintage tea room with a homely feel, you could search for things like ‘vintage logo’, ‘food logo’, ‘homely logo’.
Or if you’re a personal trainer, rather than just look at examples of personal trainer logos, try broader search terms, like ‘sports logo’, ‘fitness logo’, or ‘health logo’.
If the search results don’t seem to fit what you’re looking for, you either need to rethink your keywords or try swapping them for synonyms. For example, instead of ‘homely’ you could try alternatives like ‘cosy’, ‘rustic’, ‘comfortable’, ‘welcoming’ and so on.
Take a peek inside this board that Clare Crossan made when we worked on her branding:
There’s a great mix of images here that reflect the elegant feel she wanted, her love of Italy, some writer/book related designs, and some images relating to her copywriting services. As you can see, there was a lot of rose gold featured, which along with one of the vintage travel posters, inspired the colour palette of her logo. And an image of editors symbols was a springboard for the bracket icon:
4. Edit your board
To start with aim for at least 5 images for each category (logos, fonts, colour palettes etc). And more if you can; it can be really helpful to gather a lot of images at first.
And when you’re done, review your images. You might find that a lot of your pins sit really well together while some images may not fit the theme. Feel free to remove those inconsistent images to make your board more cohesive.
5. Edit pin descriptions
While it’s great to see what you like, it’s even more important to know why you like it. Especially for your designer, as you could be pinning a design because you like the colours but aren’t keen on the font, and your designer needs to know that.
So edit the pin descriptions to add a brief note about why you pinned them. To edit the description, hover over your pin, click the little pencil icon and update the text.
6. Share your board
Now that your inspiration board is ready, share it with your designer so they can get to work. At the top of your board you’ll see your profile pic and the add icon beside it. Click that to invite your designer to the board.
Creating your inspiration board is both a great way to get clear on what you want from your branding, and to make sure you and your designer are on the same page. That should make the design process much easier and make sure you end up with a logo and visual branding that you love.
Have you got an inspiration board for your branding? Feel free to share a screen shot over on Facebook.
Or if you’re looking for a designer to help you translate that into a logo I’d love to work with you, so head over here to get in touch.
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