I’ve been using my mood board app a lot lately to keep track of interior design ideas. But my other favorite use of mood boards is nailing down the aesthetic of a brand.
There are no rules with mood boards! I use an app and save images from the web, but you can be an overachiever and cut out real pictures from magazines or things you’ve printed.
First, think about some broad ideas. How do you want your brand to look? What do you want to communicate? You can start from a color, a picture, a font, whatever piece of inspiration you have.
If you don’t know where to start, I suggest browsing Instagram for cool photos and people/brands with clear styles. Look at fonts online and even peruse color palettes from interior design websites. Anything can be inspiration!
Add things and take them off until you’re happy with the style you’ve achieved. Edit to remove things that look out of place, and eventually narrow down your look to a clearly communicated brand aesthetic.
After you’ve made your board to establish a style (or maybe you already have a style) a mood board can continue to be useful as a convenient quick reference when making new graphics, selecting stock photos, and editing existing photos. Add things to compare and see if they fit within your established design scheme.
If you’re like me, you’ll find these extremely fun and satisfying to make.
I’ve been online house hunting and shopping for furniture in the Facebook marketplace lately, so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to see some awful, unappealing photos.
The ubiquity of smartphones has made photography soooooo easy, so it just blows my mind when people take weird, low-light photos with like, empty Mountain Dew bottles in the background.
Presentation goes such a long way, no matter what you’re selling or advertising. I would much rather buy a chair from someone that has good, well-lit pictures from multiple angles, than someone who took one blurry photo in a garage (SURPRISINGLY COMMON).
Form = content, the medium is the message, etc. etc. It’s all true! The product from these two sellers might be exactly the same, but good photos give me an impression of someone who knows what they’re talking about and takes pride in what they offer.
In my anxious brain, there is a very real possibility that someone will hunt me down for saying their love seat looks like it came from the basement of a frat house where all the brothers owned ferrets. I’ve taken my own photos to illustrate my point, so I don’t have to shame the Facebook marketplace.
Which Kiss would you rather have? Both of those photos were taken on an iPhone, one just took a hair of extra time.
(If you want to know exactly how I take and edit my photos, check out my smartphone product photography guide.)
It’s so worth it to take good photos. Hire a professional if you have to! A little effort goes a long way, even if you’re just selling a futon on Craigslist.
When I was an intern, I spent a good amount of time inputting info from business cards into spreadsheets. I’ve seen a lot of business cards.
A lot of them are boring.
IT’S IN THE DETAILS
The ones that stood out to me usually had high end embossing or texture, or were a little bit different in shape (like rounded edges instead of square). But there are ways to make your card stand out by simply using design, without having to splurge on cool finishes at the printers.
TRADITIONAL VS. MODERN
When I picture the traditional business cards I looked at, most of them had all the contact info centered in the middle. They were also mostly white with black text.
What really gets me about a lot of the cards I saw is that they were blank on one side! You have a whole other half of real estate you can use to tell people about your or your business. Why not take advantage of it?
My business cards actually aren’t all that different from the typical traditional ones I described. They’re mostly white with black text.
But the text isn’t centered, and instead of a vague company name and slogan, I used one side as a services list. Just these small tweaks gave me a card that looks updated and, of course, on-brand.
I once had a professor say that @gmail is the address of the unemployed. It’s true that I did notice when someone’s email wasn’t @CompanyName, but a lot of new business haven’t given all their employees company emails yet. I think it’s fine, but definitely an upgrade you should consider.
I think a worse faux pas is having a wonky web address like company.blogspot.com on your card. Top tier domains are an investment, but it makes you look so much more legitimate and trustworthy.
Good luck designing and upgrading your business cards.
Aspiring Dog Parent