Often overlooked, Pinterest is a team favourite for inspiration of all kinds. With such a vast library of images (over 200 billion pins!), there's always such great inspiration to be found, no matter how niche your search. It also gives you the advantage of saving images to boards for future use, giving you a much more bespoke catalogue of inspiration. Just be careful you don't get drawn into the Pinterest wormhole where you'll re-emerge hours later.
2. Industry Data-Backed Insight
As branding isn't just about the visual, but also the mission, values and objectives, we also look further for inspiration other than just the creative. We often look into the research and science behind brand building, basically what makes a brand connect with its audience. For this, we look at trusted, reputable points of data-backed insight. One such well known and pioneering report was that from Les Binet and Peter Field outlining key formulas for brand building in context. It's these data-backed reports that help us clarify what we do and see future changes that will affect brand building.
At sevenseven we're very much about why we design something, and ensuing our clients brands are right for their audience and are seen at the right touch-points. Not just producing something that looks good. Using insight from institutes such as The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, D&AD Creative Insight Reports and the DBA resources, gives us the edge and has helped our clients achieve sector-leading results.
3. The Inspiration Grid
Daily inspiration magazine showcasing designers and agencies across the globe. The Inspiration Grid is another one of those websites where a quick 5 minutes can turn into hours. There's a huge variety of work, from illustration, photography, packaging and branding. Each case study has a small insight into the project and then a collection of beautiful imagery that often shows how the brand is built upon and used. It's a reliable source that has never failed to get the creative ideas flowing.
Another favourite with the design team is Behance. It offers a huge amount of creative inspiration and great depth into how brands are used across online and offline media. As Behance is from Adobe, the integration between the platform and it's design applications means there's a huge creative community that use it, and update it regularly.
5. Creative Boom
Yes, we know it's not just brand design inspiration, but inspiration can come from anywhere, any media, any sector. The best inspiration for brand projects are often found elsewhere, in everyday life, and as Creative Boom covers art & culture, advertising, film, graphic design, illustration and photography, it's a great place to discover something that sparks an idea. We also love the podcasts and feel slightly biased to add a northern-based offering to our magnificent seven.
6. Design Agencies
Another source of inspiration for brand design is from our ever-growing list of bookmarked creative agency websites from around the world. They offer great insight into national trends and often give a good benchmark as to where our own brand services lie. Being able to pick and choose sources of inspiration that you like personally is a great advantage, plus it creates a great resource of agency skills that come in very handy when collaborating on projects.
7. Identity Designed
Last but certainly not least is Identity Designed. A catalogue of identities from creative studios across the globe. This site has some really cleverly thought out brand design and showcases how it's been rolled out across various marketing channels. It even lists the collaborators of projects such as photographers and printers, really helpful when planning your next brand strategy.
As we put this list together we realised there's just so many places to gather inspiration to simply put them into a list of seven. Instagram offers a huge world of brand inspiration and then there's the offline world too. Visiting exhibitions, speaking with other designers and even just going out in the countryside or city. It's really just about surrounding yourself and putting yourself in the right environments to get excited about design and branding, something we truly love doing.