Skill Level: Noob
Reading time: 5 min
Creating a logo for your brand can be a very intimidating process. So many ideas. Where to begin? Do you need a logomark? Or just a logotype? How many colors should you have? How will you make a logo that stands out from the rest?
An “inspiration board” is something you can do right now that will help you answer these questions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a designer yourself, or you consider yourself “artistically challenged”, everyone can appreciate good design when they see it. And documenting these ideas is a vital step in a sound creative process. I’ve designed over 100 logos for all types of organizations, and the inspiration board is always one of my first steps. Also known as moodboards, these are nothing new to the design industry and have been around long before the internet. Luckily, we have tools like Pinterest to quickly ease this process – so that we aren’t cutting out pictures from magazines and gluing them onto a posterboard. *cringe*
So let’s walk through the steps in getting your board set up….
Instructions for Pinterest
- Sign in to Pinterest or create an account if you haven’t done so yet.
- Create a secret board on Pinterest. Name it something obvious, i.e. “Tasty Treats Branding Board.” I do recommend that you first create it privately. You can always make it public later if you want to share it, but once it is public, you can not make it private.
- Search for any inspiration in Pinterest, and save any pins to your board that you’d like to reference in designing your logo. A good board will have at least 10 pins, but I recommend pushing for 20+. The more the merrier! Check out my tips below for coming up with pin ideas.
- Invite any collaborators (If you’re working with me and have already submitted your logo discovery from, then you can invite us to take a look: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tips for adding pins
There’s no strict format for what type of pins you should add. Save anything that catches your eye. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a logo. It can be a photograph, simple color, pattern, painting, infographic, quote, etc. If it resonates with you while thinking about your own own brand, just save it to the board! Of course I do recommend to have at least a few logos in there for reference. They could be competitor logos or just logo designs from an entirely different industry that you really like. These pins will serve as great talking points for reference if you’re working with me or another designer. Even if you’re designing your own logo, this exercise will help you seek clarity in your vision and get all of your inspiration in one centralized spot.
Let’s say you’re really into unicorns and you’re starting a new clothing line. I would search for:
- “unicorn art”
- “unicorn logo design”
- “unicorn clothing”
- “clothing design”
- “clothing company logos”
- “top clothing co. logos”
You get the idea… no rules here, just a loose format to follow. I do recommend combining the phrase “logo design” with some of your searches to see what’s already out there.
Leaving actual comments on the individual pins as you save them is a nice, thorough habit to get into if you have the time – especially if its a collaborative project.
Here are some past examples of boards I’ve co-created and the logos that were birthed as a result:
See the board that helped inspire this logomark: Next Level Vegan Inspiration Board.
See the board that helped inspire this logomark: able2play Inspiration Board.
You might notice that the first example board is made up of other logo designs, while the second was more so an exploration of moods through abstract paintings and compositions. Neither answer is wrong or right, and both boards helped us reach a final logo design. I would however encourage that your board has at least a few logos in there for reference (something that this second board is missing).
So there you have it. Very simple and painless process, don’t overthink it. This activity should be fun!
If you’re looking for some assistance on creating your brand, please feel free to check out my work and drop me a line. I even have a great discovery form that compliments this inspiration board perfectly. Fill out the logo discovery form now and I will follow up with you right away (it takes about 10 minutes).
Do you have different exercises or resources that work for you in your creative processes? Questions about my approach? Please feel free to comment below to share your thoughts!