Top three places I go for branding inspiration
Humans have been seeking inspiration for creative endeavors for ages. But now we have something that opens up wider sources of influence: The Internet.
As a brand designer, there are a few tools I use often as I seek out ideas, textures, patterns and styles for projects. I also have clients do the same when they are communicating their vision to me.
The saying that a photo speaks 1,000 words holds true for brand design. Often words fall short of truly capturing your vision. Visual inspiration helps you solidify what you are shooting for.
Here are my favorite tools I use for branding inspiration:
Pinterest is a vault of visual images, projects and ideas. It is not a social media platform: It is actually a search engine, similar to Google but with photographic results.
I use Pinterest to get a better idea of what certain brand personalities look like. For example, if I’m designing an elegant brand, I will search for variations of that term. Then I can begin to visualize what that style looks like through a collection of photos - whether it is in the form of home design, fashion, style, or elements in nature. Here is an example of this on my Pinterest profile.
Instagram is also heavy on visual emphasis. That is part of its identity as a social media platform. While this isn’t as much as an emphasis anymore, a curated feed is part of what many businesses aspire to on this platform.
Hashtags are a great way to search for branding personalities or styles and then see them in the checker box profiles of Instagram profiles.
3. Creative Market
Many illustrators, font designers and graphic designers display their goods for sale on Creative Market. I particularly use Creative Market for fonts. It’s full of high quality and unique fonts that I use in branding projects. The side benefit is that I am supporting a fellow designer’s work who has a specialty that I don’t.
But searches in Creative Market can also spark style ideas.
The internet has opened up all kinds of pockets of inspiration. These tools can expand your own ideas and give you motivation.
It is important, however, to distinguish between inspiration and copying. Blatantly copying another artist or designer is copyright infringement. It’s also an insult to them and the hard work they put into creating something.
That’s why it is important to not just find one source of inspiration and stop there. Instead, look for a wide variety of photos, designs, fonts, etc to form the inspiration for your project. Then pull together a variety of elements and styles that are unique to you and your business.
It also helps you see where the missing lane is that you are meant to fill.
Also, if you are designing a logo, don’t just go out and look for other logos. Look for textures in nature, styles in fashion, art. When you find something that is a good fit, you can adapt that idea and incorporate it into your branding.
Think about your message, what makes you unique and what you want your clients to feel when they encounter your brand. Also, make sure you are accounting for your ideal client when you are making branding decisions.
Using these three tools will help you come up with ideas that you can then shape into an irresistible brand that stands out in your industry.
Best of luck!