Using Pinterest To Create A Beautiful Brand Style

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There are two major differences between the huge, international brands worth billions of dollars and small businesses. But the differences aren’t what you might think. All the money and resources in the world won’t rocket you to success unless you have the drive to get there.

I’ve worked with some really exciting clients that people all over the world recognize, and I’ve worked with plenty of startups and small businesses. I’ve even worked with a few brand new non-profits. What I’ve found is that big or small, companies look to the web and ask the same questions. “How do I get more sales?” “How do I engage with more people?” “How do I put more of me into this thing?”.

Brands like Tiffany and John Frieda only have two things you don’t. A plan for growth and a super clear style. Everything else is just dedication and hustle.

So, let’s start right now and develop a gorgeous, custom, style for your own, small creative brand. And let’s make sure that just style shines with your unique personality.

A personality isn’t just a trait in humans. A personality is the style, attitude, core values, and that “feeling” you get when you interact with another entity. Your brand should have a stellar personality. A blog or business with a clear voice and consistent style resonates with customers, builds trust and positions you as a collected, deliberate, thoughtful investment.

While you’re defining your core brand personality, use my favorite tool for building an inspiration board. What tool is it? Pinterest of course!

Step 1: Build a Brand Style Board

Log into Pinterest, create a “Secret Board” and start pinning images that project the brand you want to put your name on.

Don’t just pin images you “like”. Be selective about the pins you save. Each one should have something that supports your brand personality throughout the entire visual. Choose images with colors that fit your story, shapes and patterns that play into your style, and an overall subject and composition that inspire you and fit your business’s vibe.

An early version of the OliviaDerby.com style board which I loved, but the images together didn’t support the boldness I needed from the brand.

An early version of the OliviaDerby.com style board which I loved, but the images together didn’t support the boldness I needed from the brand.

Search your passions

Start by browsing your home feed, or the popular categories for inspiration. Search for designs you know you like or themes you are interested in. For me I started by searching for “bold geometric patterns”.

Find More Of What You Love

When you find an image that is totally “it”, click on it. You might be surprised, but there is a lot more waiting for you. Once you’ve brought up the individual pin window, scroll down. Pinterest collects tons of other images that are visually similar to the one you just clicked, and displays them right below that original Pin.

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aSTIP: When my clients get stuck on this, I always tell them to think of their brand as a person. Start defining it like you would a human being. Is it male or female? mature or playful? vibrant or conservative? Luxurious or whimsical? Is it kind? Bold? Outgoing? Artistic or Intellectual? Begin to create a profile for your brand and use Pinterest to manage your inspiration.

When you’re done, download some of your favorite images (don’t forget to note the source too) and save them for the next step.

Every visual element for your brand should fit with your inspiration images. Use your Pinterest board to guide you while you’re creating content, photos, and graphics. Your secret board is now a tool to keep you on track with your style.

Step 2: Find Your Colors

When I was designing the brand for OliviaDerby.com I went through a lot of different phases. I knew I wanted something bold, feminine, and modern, but my actual aesthetic seemed to change from day to day.

It took me several days, to actually create a style board I loved and that represented the personality traits I wanted from my brand.

One of my first Inspiration boards reflected the bold lines and interesting patterns I was going for, but didn’t encompass enough of the feminine look I knew defined me.

One of my first Inspiration boards reflected the bold lines and interesting patterns I was going for, but didn’t encompass enough of the feminine look I knew defined me.

When you’ve got your inspiration images in hand pulling colors from them becomes a project in it’s own right.

Load your collection into Photoshop or Illustrator and start pulling colors from the photo. Use the paintbrush tool to begin creating color swatches based on the images you’ve got in front of you.

Don’t feel confined to the exact colors in the photos you’ve collected. Instead, pull colors from the images as a starting point and use the color picker to refine and build on the shades.

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For those of you that aren’t so photoshop savvy, Canva or PicMonkey are great tools to quickly create gorgeous collages that combine photos and color.

Once I have my collage built, I always add it to a folder in Google Drive that contains all my branding info.

Collect your brand colors in an easy to find file. You will be using them A LOT. Record them in a text document or spreadsheet, even on a sticky note if you have to, just do what you gotta do to keep em handy.

You should have each color recorded as a hex value (#), an RGB value, a CMYK value (%), and a PMS color.

Keep looking at your collage and style board. Your brand will start to wander if you’re not constantly reminded of your plan.

The final version of my brand style board.

The final version of my brand style board.

TIP: Don’t pin photos based solely on their colors. Every photo you save should have an entire composition that support the feel of your new brand.

Step 3: Collect Your Logo Files

You’re going to be referring back to your brand colors, your logos, and your style board a lot. In fact, you should get used to thinking back to these things with every single image you publish.

I’ve said it once already and you’ll hear me repeat it over and over. Consistency is one of the key principles of social media success.

Your brand should tell an inspiring, captivating, and compelling story, using consistent, high quality visuals. If you use tools like Pinterest to manage your visuals, you can set yourself up to build a consistent, cohesive brand.