One of my favourite parts of the design process is getting to build a design inspiration board with a new client.
Outside of the on-boarding meeting and survey, it's the way I really get to know about someone's brand, business, and their vision for their future business— it's like a little glimpse right into their mind.
But the inspiration board process isn't just useful in a designer-client relationship— I use them all the time in designing my own websites and products.
They're immensely helpful in getting my ideas all together in one place, and having an awesome visual reference for the rest of the design process and beyond.
So today I wanted to show you exactly how this part of the design process works— at least for me.
1. Brand exploration WITH A SECRET Pinterest BOARD
The very first thing I do after the initial consultation where I get to know the client and pass on important brand-building client homework is set up a secret Pinterest board where we can both start sharing images we thing align with their brand.
It's a great way to get a feel for where the client is at, and to begin to see patterns in your selections.
2. CURATE YOUR SELECTION
The next stop is to have a good look at what you've pinned and find similarities between the images in colour, textures and patterns, lighting, and overall mood.
In my selection here we can see soft lighting, bright saturated teals and jewel toned purples, as well as an overall mood of relaxation, mysticism, and nature.
Next, you want to save the images which you feel represent your brand and these characteristics the strongest (make sure you click on the pin and save the full-sized image, not the thumbnail).
3. ARRAGE INTO A VISION BOARD TEMPLATE
Now comes the real work— arranging the images you've chosen into an inspiration board grid. You can make your own, or you can download this template I've made for you right here and get started (it's a Photoshop Document).
4. FIND YOUR COLOUR-JOY (AKA: YOUR IDEAL BRAND COLOURS)
Last but not least, you want to pull some of the most common and stand-out colours from your board and slot them into the narrow spaces (if you're using Photoshop, use the eye dropper tool to select the colour and the paint bucket tool to drop it into the space of your choosing).
These might not be your final brand colours, so don't worry too much about whether or not they're the right ones— but they're a starting place. They give that brand a place from which to grow.
HOW TO USE THE INSPIRATION BOARD TEMPLATE:
Using the template is easy!
- After you open the template, open up one of the images you've saved from Pinterest.
- Copy and paste this into the template.
- Resize until it's roughly the size of the space you want to place it (edit > free transform, and make sure you lock the dimensions).
- With the 'Grid' layer selected, use the Magic Wand Tool and click inside the rectangle where you are placing your image.
- Right-click and choose 'select inverse'.
- In the right-side menu, switch to the layer of your newly-pasted image, and hit delete (this will neatly trim your image to fit the rectangle.)
- Move the layer with your image below the 'Grid' layer.
You're done! Repeat until your grid is full, and add in some colours.
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Because I'm a curious gal, I want to know: have you ever used a vision board for branding? If you use this template, link your vision board below!