September 14th • Posted in Tech
As many of you would know, I’ve been running a blog design shop since almost a couple of years, and as I’ve announced a couple of times already, I’m planning and working to expand it and make it look more professional and integrate more of my skills in my work apart from web designing. I don’t even remember when it all started (it has been months that I’m working at the re-launch), but I do remember how I decided to switch things up this time and start with a project in mind everytime I started something new.
The first time I launched my design shop, let’s be honest, I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was an experiment, and even though I wanted it to look put-together and to build a few products before launching it, today I’d say I wasn’t organized at all! But it was right, because it was my first time doing it and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have come to this point and have learnt how to work from home, build a routine, create something from scratch and make it into a final product ready to be sold to others.
Since online businesses are everyday more frequent these days, I thought I’d share some behind the scenes of my work a little bit more often, starting from the creative tools and resources I use, which can totally work for any other creative business of any kind. And the biggest, most essential source of inspiration these days to me is good old Pinterest.
That Pinterest is a source of inspiration is no secret or big news, however the thought of creating inspiration boards before starting any project didn’t really touch my mind at the very beginning. Sometimes you have a clear idea of what you want your final product to look like, others you have a list of feelings and moods you want to pass on but a not-so-clear idea of the colours or shapes or elements disposition, and whenever I start a work without having a clear idea in mind, I end up creating something that recreates totally different feelings from what I was planning.
Here’s when Pinterest comes in. And here are my tips on how to use it as a powerful tool for creative brainstorming and finding inspiration.
CREATE A SECRET BOARD FOR EACH PROJECT.
Secret boards are great for creating inspiration boards that you don’t want others to see on your profile. I usually have somewhat of an idea of what I want my finished product to resemble, so I firstly pick a name for the project, then create a secret board for it and start filling it.
It’s also useful to invite people you’re working with to join the board, whether it’s your client or colleagues. It’s very helpful for brainstorming and understanding what everyone’s idea of the final project looks like and, once the work will officially start, to try and put all the required elements together.
BRAINSTORM + FILL THE PROJECT BOARD.
Start by typing the mood or feeling you want your final product to pass on to your clients in the Pinterest search bar. For example, I wanted my “Fig” project to feel cozy, friendly, warm but neat and clear. So I’d type all of them and see if I could find, between the results, something that to me resembled what I was looking for, and then start pinning. I’d look between the categories suggested by Pinterest for every mood and pin some more.
When pinning, usually other feelings and mood and colours start appearing more clearly in my head, so I’d type them too and see what I can find, and pin some more. I’d think at seasons that can resemble the mood I’m looking for, colors, shapes, fonts. I would look for rooms that are decorated as I think one who’s using my product would, or fabrics that reminds me of something close to those feelings.
It can take a while to build a nice first selection of pictures, but it’s actually quite relaxing, I would say! The number of pins I gather up in this first step can vary: for some projects I only need around 20 pins and I’ll already have a clear idea in my mind of the final product, others require me even up to 70 pins to decide what I’ll do with it. In fact I find projects that require less pins to be simpler to achieve; building a final inspiration board is even easier if you have less of a choice!
SKIM THE RESULTS.
For projects that have more than 30 pins I usually feel the urge to skim the board off pins I don’t really feel inspired by. It happens that, while brainstorming, I’d start searching for colours or moods that some other keyword reminded me of, but that aren’t really what I need, if not just to come up with other keywords that actually resemble what my final product needs to look like. So I’d remove the “transitional” pins and only leave the ones that will truly come useful.
It’s also the time where it can be nice to accord with a client or colleague the direction the project is taking and maybe reject some ideas or revalue others.
PUT A FINAL INSPIRATION BOARD TOGETHER.
At this point, with a clearer idea in mind, I’d bring some of the pins into Photoshop or Illustrator and put together a final inspiration board, which usually needs to include:
- the colours I’m going to include in the final project.
- the main feeling(s) or mood(s) I’ve decided to go for.
- the shapes and details that I’m going to replicate in some form or another.
I then use my final inspiration board as a reference during the whole process of building the final product, but also to pick colours and build a colour palette, to copy the shapes and find fonts that can fit nicely with the mood I’m going for.
That’s it! I can’t really believe a couple of years ago I thought Pinterest would have never been somewhat of useful to me! Ah, how wrong I was!
Do you use Pinterest for your creative business too? Any tips?
PS :: Speaking of my new website’s launch, you can stay updated by visiting its new landing page and maybe subscribing to the mailing list here! x