You’re ready to launch your business and you need a logo. You have vague idea of what you want it to look like, or at least an idea of the vibe you want to capture, but you’re not a designer in any sense of the word.
That’s okay. You can nail the right logo without having to do any of the designing yourself.
When it comes to inspiration, Pinterest is the answer. The idea-inspiring social network can help you curate a board that will help your designer understand what works for you and your brand, which will lead to the ideal logo.
First, pull up your Pinterest profile on your computer. Create a new board for your logo by clicking the little red plus sign in the upper right corner.
Title your board something like “Logo Design” or “Logo Inspiration.” Make it a secret board (nobody will be able to see it without an invitation) by moving the red toggle switch.
Next, open a blank document on your computer to jot down a few notes.
Before you start pinning, it’s essential to figure out your brand vibe and description.
Start by writing down a bunch of adjectives that describe your business. Is your company playful, practical, hopeful, silly, empowering or reliable? Maybe it’s a combination of a few adjectives. When you’re done, narrow your list down to the three words that best describe your business. Keep these words in front of you as you move forward. You might want to share these adjectives with your designer, too.
Alright, now you pin.
What to include on your Pinterest board
Images with your personal flavor
Next, hop back over to Pinterest and search for any images that come to mind for your brand. Start with a broad search, and then narrow as you hone in on what you want.
Let’s say you’re opening an online kid’s consignment shop. You want to incorporate a cute little illustration in your logo. A sweet lamb illustration is the first thing that comes to mind. So, start with a search for “lamb illustration.” So stinkin’ cute, right?
Now, narrow it down even further. See those descriptions right under the search bar in the rectangles? “Cute,” “Drawing,” “Sheep,” etc? That’s a great tool to narrow your search.
You may really love the idea of a vintage lamb illustration since you sell vintage baby clothes. Click “vintage” and check out what happens.
Now, you’re starting to get warmer. These little lambs are pretty close to what you envision.
Pin any of the little lambs that strike your fancy to your secret logo board. Simply click the “save” button (you’ll see a little pin when you scroll over each tile) on the the upper right corner of each option. Or narrow your search further with more more details, such as “green vintage lamb illustration.”
Start with a wide search and narrow it down with more specific search terms.
A color palette with personality
Next, it’s time to choose a color palette, if you don’t have one already.
Pinterest is a minefield of color inspiration. You can search popular Pantone colors, interior design colors or nursery theme colors to try and find a palette you love.
Again, start with a simple search in the search bar for sample color palettes.
Let’s say you’ve started a coffee subscription business. You might want to do a search for “coffee color palette.” The owner of the lamb-loving kids’ clothing shop might want to explore “baby feminine color scheme.”
It helps to refer to your list of adjectives here. If “romantic” is one of your words, you might try a “romantic colors” search.
See where these searches take you and pin any color stories that pop out at you.
You’ll know when you have found the right color palette. It’ll just feel right. Pin your favorite color palettes to your logo board.
Font and center
You can perform a similar search in Pinterest for fonts. Search for top trending fonts, vintage fonts, bold fonts, baby fonts, tattoo fonts or anything else you can think that comes to mind. Pin a few of your absolute favorites so your designer has an idea of what to look for when designing your logo.
Here’s what a search for “tattoo font” brought up:
Or go for a mood
Perhaps you don’t have a particular image, color or font in mind. That’s okay too. You can still search for images that capture the overall mood of your brand.
The coffee brand might have an upscale hipster feeling. The kids’ consignment shop might have a snuggly vibe. This is where the adjectives you wrote out come in handy again. You can use them in a more general search for your desired mood.
You can also search for moods using books or movies you’ve seen that represent the vibe you’re going for. For example, you may want a logo for your jewelry brand that’s inspired by a vintage Great Gatsby flapper vibe. So, search for “Great Gatsby,” “flapper style” or “1920s print” to find nuggets of inspiration.
Try searching “Gatsby” in the 99designs discover search box too. Pin any inspiration you find there to your logo board by clicking “share” on the right column and then “Pinterest.”
Communicate your vision
Okay, now you’ve got a bunch of images on your Pinterest board, but that doesn’t tell the whole story to your designer. Aside from the images, there are several ways you can clearly convey your vision for your logo on your Pinterest board.
Use the description box
Use the description box to caption your style for your designer. Why did you pin a certain pin? Any context or explanation you can give your designer is helpful, like, “this is my FAVORITE color palette,” or “these illustrated eyes are perfect for my lamb logo.” Also, use your caption to tell your designer what is non-negotiable, such as “there must be a bow and arrow somewhere in the design.” This kind of information must be communicated in your meetings with your designer, but it doesn’t hurt to add it to the description box as well. Again, lean on adjectives, i.e. “this peppy image has the kind of energy I want to give off with my brand.” Try to put into words what you love about each image. Is it clean with a lot of white space? Does it have an upscale graffiti vibe? Try to put your vision into words, so your designer can try to emulate that sensibility in your logo.
Here’s an example of one of my pins and a coordinating caption. (Hey, I’m a writer, not a designer, okay?). Check out my logo inspo board here. I have a woodsy, earthy, boho vibe going on.
Once you’ve put together a Pinterest board for your style that makes you swoon, send it over to your designer and arrange a time to talk. Yes, talk (even if it’s a digital conversation). Even though you’ve captioned everything, it doesn’t hurt to have an actual conversation about your ideas and inspiration. All of this information should also go in your logo design brief.
First, make sure you explain your vision in detail. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want your logo to look like, you can still give your designer as much detail as possible. Let him or her know what’s non-negotiable, i.e. “I don’t want the color black anywhere near my logo” and what feels good to you, i.e. “I like soft, dreamy color palettes.”
Second, make sure you’ve found the right designer for your logo. After one detailed conversation, you should get a sense of whether she understands what you’re going for. If she doesn’t, try to find someone who does. (Or run a Logo Design Contest on 99designs, where you’ll get dozens of concepts from multiple designers.) You want a designer who can take your inspo and run with it.
When a Pinterest board becomes a solid logo
My Hair Trip in Denver also used its Pinterest inspiration board to come up with its logo. The salon is edgy and organic, and it comes across in the logo. Their inspiration board included colors, designs and fonts that brought their logo together.
Don’t get carried away
You want your designer to get a feel for your style, but you don’t want to overwhelm her. Trying to incorporate a million things into your design isn’t going to work. Give your designer the basic concept and let her take the creative reins from there. After all, design is her zone of genius, not yours. The more concise and succinct you can be, the better. So, keep your Pinterest board as straightforward as possible.
Give it a day…or three
Now that your head is going a mile a minute with logo ideas, let the process simmer for a few days. Ideas will keep coming—you’ll probably think of something right before bed or in the car that didn’t occur to you before. Or you’ll be searching online when you come across something else that strikes you. Keep a pen handy so you can jot down ideas that come to mind over the next few days and if you find new ideas online, add them to your Pinterest board and caption them. (And, of course, Pinterest has a mobile app that will allow you to add on the go if you prefer that!)
Pinterest helps to transform your ideas into something visual, even if you’re not a visual person. Taking the time on the front end to create a logo inspiration board will make it easier to achieve the logo of your dreams.
Now, get pinning!
Want some logo inspiration? Browse through 99designs’ Discover… and add the designs you love to your Pinterest!
Jessica Collins is a barefoot freelance fitness writer and momma bear of 2 in rural Wisconsin. A self-admitted non-designer, she prefers to stick with her zone of genius, which is writing. Click here to get her free Freelance Freedom from Corporate series to launch your own successful freelance writing business.