Updated: Oct 10, 2018
Artists … amirite?!?
Ugh, we’re the worst. All fluffy and creative and high-falutin concepts. Waiting for inspiration to hit and calling upon the muses. Working late at night, just because that’s when it feels right. Gross.
But what about when you have to create, every day, to make a living. We don’t have the luxury to lounge until an idea hits. We have to go out and find it.
Sure, sometimes that’s on a two-hour hike through nature’s bounty. Other times, it’s in the awesome work of others.
When we’re branding, we’ll often take a look at your industry, or even your competitors. We look at what other designers are doing, what’s hot in design now, or how can we incorporate a name or symbol, which doesn’t have anything to do with your business, into an awesome representation of your brand.
When we need inspiration, we turn to the internet. Here’s a few tools we use, that you can too!
Hey, if you’re alive, on planet earth, and you have an internet connection, you know about Google, but by using very specific searches in Google Images, you can find exactly the inspiration you need, and the handy “related images” option can help you dig deeper.
Our favourite thing about Google Images is the ability to drop a picture you already love into the search bar and it’ll find similar images.
The holy grail for crafters, this is like Instagram spent the afternoon sniffing hot glue. Pinterest is really well-known and really well-used for a reason. It offers all kinds of styles, products, nerdisms, basically everything you could imagine, so definitely use the search function.
The nice thing about the search though, is that once you do, it uses a Google-like functionality, offering additional options to filter your search. So you may search photography, but it’ll give you the option to quickly filter to portraits, black and white, or wildlife photography.
It’s a great tool for building your own moodboard too since you can customize your own boards any way you want. Pinterest is worth a try if you haven’t.
This one is quite … designer-y. It’s where graphic designers and artists go to share their work (kind of like a LinkedIn, but much prettier). It’s going to take a lot of time to find inspiration you’ll love here because there’s just so much, but it’s worth the time if you’ve got it because it’s real people doing real work.
You can search for anything from colour combinations to the descriptive words from your brand persona document. You can also use curated galleries, based on categories like photography, architecture, product design and more. You can also find creative tools and schools to learn all you can about design, but that may be a bit much for your mood board.
A British, blog-style inspiration page will show you some of the most beautiful, wacky, creative logos you can imagine. A click of any of the logos will take you to a page with images to show you the logo in use. This one is super fun, but very time consuming, even when you use the search. Good luck getting out of this internet black hole!
Wherever your brand persona would shop
OK, so this one will take you a bit of work to find, BUT will be worth it.
Lets say your brand persona is a 25-year-old woman with champagne taste and a beer budget. She’s going to shop at Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters. A 50-year-old trucking company owner who spends his weekends in the outdoors - he’s going to like masculine, machinery, and quite possibly the finer things in life like cigars or decent whiskey. So maybe, look at sites like Mr Porter or L.L. Bean.
When looking at the images, think about how those items will fit into the closet of your brand, but also how the images are styled. Are the people smiling or serious? Are they diverse? Is it one person or many in each photo? Look at articles or blogs from those brands for even more clues as to how to style your photos and brand; because every photo has been styled and art directed by someone who knows the company’s vision.
The big trick
Once you know who your brand is (and you can find that out with our E-Book, you can start to find inspiration for everything from your logo to your shop’s layout.
Who inspires you? Do you have a brand muse online we should be checking out? Get in touch and tell us about them!