How does one create an inspiration board? And why do you need it for your brand? Well, for one, creating an inspiration board is one of the BEST parts of branding. It really allows you to get creative and think outside of the box, and figure out that quirky, sultry or downright fun personality that you envision for your brand. Despite how much fun this part is, it is the most often skipped when new bloggers and business owners start their ventures.
Why? There can be many reasons, however some of the major ones are time, money and lack of know how. People get super excited to get their ideas out, and often times forget this important element of branding, which is discovering your brands personality. By starting out with an inspiration board, you can identify pieces of the branding puzzle that fit, and others that you were convinced on but maybe they just don’t work anymore. Through the journey, you can really dig deep and pull out the tiniest bits of character from your brand, and all of this work on your brand identity WILL reflect in your overall brand design.
If you are worried that you don’t have time, or enough money, or your not creative enough, or you just simply are a techno-dunce you couldn’t be more wrong about all of the above (because you are awesome, promise). These little negative phrases are standing in the way of you making that amazing discovery into the depths of your new born brand. In case little negative Nancy is still creeping in, let’s get those creative juices flowing and help you achieve that dream brand of yours, shall we?
First, we MUST Write-It-Out
I am not the biggest fan of planning, or organizing and I am often swamped with things that I could have really made so much easier by just writing it out, planning it, thinking about it, revisiting it, crossing it off just to add it back on again somewhere else. There is a freedom that comes with dumping your brain and all of your ideas at once, and then taking those bits and pieces and putting them into categories, creating projects from them, crafting the perfect ideas from them.
Take some time to actually think about your brand, what it means to you, how you want it to feel and how you want it to make others feel. Identify your overall purpose, your mission statement, your values. Pick three words that BEST describe your brand. Now, we are getting somewhere.
Piecing Together the Brand Puzzle
You know all the time you spend on Pinterest dreaming up your one day to be work from home office, or pinning and forgetting those to good to eat looking cupcakes (no fun, they MUST be edible)? Think of all the gorgeousness you see on Pinterest every single day, and imagine how useful it is for brand inspiration. This is one of my FAVORITE things to do with clients. I love peeking at their boards and really getting a close up of how they want their brand to feel.
To start your own Pin-spiration board for your brand, simply create a secret Pinterest Board and title it your brand. In the search tab, you can type in inspiration boards, mood boards, logos, brand style guides, colors, fonts, patterns. Anything goes, really. Pin with thought, always ask yourself if that pin inspired your brand, or if it just pretty admiration. Take a few days to really get some great material, and then have a look at your brand board as a whole. What sticks out, speaks to you, keeps catching your eye? It’s these type of elements you will want to incorporate into your very own inspiration board.
PS- Be mindful of WHERE you get your images. If you are going to share with the www, use free or purchased photos. Don’t right-click, download from Google or Pinterest images, juuust to be on the safe side of things.
Creating your Inspiration Board
Ok, I know a lot of people get stuck here with the how and what’s the right way to do it. Even if you don’t know how to use Adobe products or your not a designer, creating an inspiration board is NOT difficult. Even if you claim you are a total dunce at design, you create a physical inspiration board, and create a collage of images, cloth swatches, magazine clippings, paint samples, jewelry. Anything that that inspires your brand. Paste it to a poster board, pin it on a cork board. Photograph it and email it to yourself.
Another way to do it is to use a online design platforms like Picmonkey or Canva. Find photos, patterns, fonts, quotes, anything you would like to include in your inspiration board. Upload them into Picmonkey or Canva and simply create a collage of the images, patterns and fonts. Once you have placed everything where you like it and are pleased with how it looks, think about those 3 magic words that describe your brand. Does everything fit? Does your board really highlight those feelings perfectly? If not, go back and tweak a few things. Revisit it after you have refreshed, and consider again if it fits into your brand criteria.
Time to Color Pick!
YAY! If you only knew my obsession with color. I love, love, love pulling colors from the inspiration images. Finding the natural pigments from photos and articulating over the slightest differences to make it just right, so totally my thing. Play around with colors that are a good representation of your brand. I typically chose 4-6 colors and start with two palettes. This will help you decide what colors will truly capture the mood of your brand. If your brand is passionate, go with shades of red. If you want to build trust, according to color psychology, it’s blue all the way.
If you want some AMAZING (seriously) tips on choosing the most Powerful colors for your brand, check out Tiffany Ima’s post about how to do just that HERE. By the way, her post is so crazy detailed it will blow. you. away (no, I am not exaggerating).
To add your color palette to your inspiration board, simply add some shapes (think circles, squares, rectangles or whatever floats your boat) and add this to your inspiration board. Take a few glances and perform the ‘Brand Check’ again. Does it give off the vibes you were hoping for? Rest your eyes and come back to it later. Does it fit? Is it perfect? Is it totally YOUR BRAND?
If so, you my friend, have just laid the foundation for a strong and stunning brand identity. I told you, it was super simple right? If you got so inspired that you walked yourself through your on inspiration board, PLEASE do share! I would love to have a look into your brand. Tweet me @HiandHelloCo
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