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Where to Get Design Inspiration for your Brand

Brand design requires careful planning to create. This is, after all, the bedrock upon which the symbolic and visual elements of your business are built. This is why we wanted to create this massive guide on branding design inspiration as it is incredibly crucial to overlook.

Consistency and cohesion in the design are crucial not just in the potential revenue they could bring, but also in increasing awareness, improving brand recall, and standing out in an overcrowded marketplace.

To achieve these advantages, your brand design needs to be uniform across all platforms and marketing collateral, whether that’s for your physical business space, website design, logo, business cards, advertisements, and social media pages.

But what should you do when the creative well has run dry?

This is an issue that members of our on-demand design team often encounter—and successfully solve. To help you get out of that creative rut, we compiled the processes of our world-class designers whenever they work on projects for our clients to give you your own brand book design inspiration:

1. Know Your Target Audience

Any marketing endeavor begins with knowing your market, as all the techniques and fancy software can only get you so far if they can’t relate to your brand design. 

Even if you fall within your target market’s demographics and psychographics, you are still not your business’ ideal customer simply because you run the business. You are not on the same buying journey as your customers. So if you like the energy jolt that a splash of red in your logo brings, your target audience—who is, say, a frazzled working mom—may be more responsive to a calm and peaceful blue. 

Whenever we work on our clients’ brands, we spend a considerable amount of time getting inside their target market’s heads—who they are, how they interact with our clients’ products/services, what their interests are, how they communicate, among many others. For your top brand identity design inspiration, take note of what our UX/UI designer, creative director, and CEO have to say.

“I look at how they [clients] want to be perceived, how their competitors are perceived, and then draw the middle ground of the two making sure it’s in line with their target user persona,” Sheena, one of our UX/UI designer and design strategists, shares.

“I understand the client’s pain points, business goals, and their audience’s needs,” Drea, our Creative Director and UX Lead, says. “I also do landscape research, get context of their market, look at their competitors, and get audience insight whenever possible.”

Although our CEO Steve does very little design these days, he offers guidance to our team by telling us to “focus on the product/brand goal, examine the core audience and then work backward to figure out what might be the best intersection for the brand.”

2. Conduct Competitor Research

Competitor research is closely tied to your market research. Doing this exercise is, in fact, a gold mine of market information as you will see how your customers respond to products or services similar to yours, find out any negative or positive feedback, and then design accordingly. So for our second brand guidelines design inspiration, we advise the following:

“I look at competitors and indirect competitors to see what seems to be connecting with their audiences,” our CEO Steve says. “It’s then pooling ideas from the best and learning from the worst..”

For our War Chief Kimchi, researching and reading the content or brief provided by our clients is a good first step. 

“Google competitors or similar companies, then look for visual references for design. Figure out what would work or what wouldn’t, then start building,” she advises.

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3. Have a Deep Understanding of Your Industry

Tish, one of our UX/UI designers, actively collaborates with our clients to understand what they need to achieve in the digital space and translate that into a visual language or platform that makes sense to their target demographic.

In doing so, her designs are often rooted in a deep understanding of our clients’ industries. That’s why it would be remiss of us if we don’t include a deep-dive research in our list of corporate branding design inspiration.

“I usually go through the creative brief provided. From there, I look at what their pain points are, what the status quo is within their respective industries or markets, and see how their target market uses their products. I want to make sure that I understand that area to feel confident that we get to a point where we meet in the middle,” Tish emphasizes.

“I also always make sure if we’re asking the right questions or not get too closed off in just the space they’re navigating in and trying to learn whichever industry or product moves with or is in correlation with them and integrate whichever system works best with what’s set.”

Rorie, another one of our brilliant UX/UI designers, translates user requirements into wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. Similar to Tish, she also starts with understanding the industry of our clients.

“I read and understand any documents the client has provided. It’s also important to know what goals they have in mind for this specific project and how it will affect the company,” Rorie says. “I always ask questions. I try not to assume anything and make sure I’m always on the same page with the client/project manager. From there, I lay out the flow and what kind of content goes on each screen.”

4. External Inspirations

Ideas often do not exist in a vacuum. There will certainly be times that you need to look outside of your own sketched-out ideas to fill in your imagination and come up with the visual elements of your brand.

If you’re looking for graphic design branding inspiration, among the favorite sites our designers recommend include Behance, Dribble, Awwwards, Pinterest, and good old Google Image search. You can also follow other designers on Instagram to see how they execute their own designs.

Through the years, however, they came up with their own unique ways to get that extra creative kick that they need:

  • References

Our Graphic Designer Abbey believes in looking at references. 

“Analyze how others do it and be inspired by it,” she points out. “Look at your own goals and translate them.”

  • Free word associations

“I do free association of words, then Google image search to jump start ideas for logos or symbols, photography treatments, etc that may fit the brand,” Creative Director Drea says.

“I also pull out some art and classic print/physical design references whenever possible to add a variety of influences that are not just from internet trends. I look at Typewolf, Awwwards, Pinterest for specific design execution and interaction, since I mostly work on projects that involve web/apps.”

  • Offline solutions

Inspiration, however, doesn’t always have to come from online sources. For our CEO Steve, there are offline sources that you can also take a look at. 

“I am constantly picking up products at stores, scanning through magazines and things like that to see how others are approaching visual attention,” he shares.

5. Following a Tried-And-Tested Process

Of course, once the idea has been formulated, you need a solid process to bring that concept to life.

With years of experience under their belts, our world-class designers now have their own processes that they follow to make the idea execution that much smoother. 

“Once I have all the information needed on the project I am working on, I start by researching, collecting, then inventing ideas,” Graphic Designer Faith shares. “After that, I would create multiple drafts, then work on correcting and improving the designs as I go.”

“During the whole design process, I keep the development phase in mind. The design should be feasible – especially with time,” UX/UI Designer Rorie says.

Go Wide With Your Brand Design

Plenty of business owners make the mistake of skipping their brand book altogether. And when they do start working on their brands, they often think that slapping logos on mugs and social media accounts are enough. With brand identity, you need to cover all your bases. 

And as our professional designers have pointed out, the key to a successful brand design lies in good, in-depth research. Have a deeper understanding of your target market’s pain points, know who your competitors are, and dive deep into the industry you belong to. 

Add a sprinkle of Google search and several choice online and offline sources, and you’ll be sure to jumpstart that creative spark.

Of course, having an on-demand design team with unlimited designs on your side will take this completely off your plate. If you want these incredibly talented people to build your brand like what we have done for our previous clients, feel free to reach out to your Design Force team today.

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