Inspiration boards are a key research element in the design process for Promise Tangeman Creative. Curating items, picking colors, and choosing elements is a major component to diving into the mindset and theme of a project. And it can sometimes be hard. I have all my clients explore and research on their own in this way too… before we start our process. Through the journey we will send boards back and forth, continually defining and refining. It’s so important for a designer and the client to get on the same page. And we have found this to be one of the key components in taking us there. Below are a list of items that I like to see on an inspiration board from a client. These items below make up the inspiration board shown above.

What patterns or textures represent your style? You do like graphic patterns, fabric textures, or organic surfaces? Think about the shade (dark or light) and the color hue as well.

Find a piece of furniture or architecture that depicts the same mood or vibe as the style you are portraying. Think about the color, fabric, and elements used in it as well.

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Find logo examples, typography, and fonts that match your look and feel. What typeface treatment best represents your brand? Typography is like a facial expression… it depicts a mood. So, what is your brand’s consistent mood?

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What you wear tells a lot about your style. If money wasn’t an issue… where would you shop for clothing? Display your typical go-to outfit that would also represent your brand. Accessories and fashion photos are also great to add in.

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5 // LAYOUT:
Explore and research your chosen clothing brand’s marketing materials. Explore their layout of text and images. Does that fit with your brand? Include examples that you like. This serves as an explorational exercise to help point you in the right direction.

Find any other graphics, icons, buttons, or layouts that best describe your brand.

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7 // OTHER:
Movie posters, magazine spreads, cd album designs, and book covers are also great resources for brand inspiration.

All items on the board should fall into an easily recognizable color scheme. So choose the items with this in mind. You can even call out certain colors that you love through colors blocks on the board.

9 // Know WHY you have chosen the items that you have. And be able to articulate the reasons. You want every part of your brand to have a reason and purpose for why it’s there. If it doesn’t, the design item will be irrelevant… and therefore just act as a space filler. And you do not want your brand to be a shallow “space filler”.

Hopefully this will help you better understand the inspiration board process, and understand why and what items to choose to represent you. Below is the site that was made from this inspiration board. Theme and brand inspiration by Aimee Grover.

Do you have any questions as to how we use this with our clients? Have you explored using an inspiration board before? Have you found success in this?

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