- Answer some insightful questions.
- Distill 3-5 brand or ‘tone words’ that encapsulate your brand.
- Pop over to Pinterest, create a mood board that visually conveys the brand/tone words you want to express and… Voila! One shiny, new brand identity!
So far so good… Except you may wonder: how do I visually convey “fresh” or “energetic” or “quirky” or “”calm?”
Now back to Sam…
Understanding how to convey tone and emotion through design is often quite a leap to make if you’re an inexperienced designer.
If you’re feeling stuck on your branding journey, the following steps and examples will get you back on track.
One of the easiest ways to learn about design is seeing how experienced designers connect tone and imagery.
Pick the tone word that feels the most visual and type it in to Google, adding “+ branding” or “+ styling” or “+ images”. Click “images” and study examples of what other people consider your tone word to look like.
Tip: If you’re struggling to find visual examples of your tone word, try variations of the word that spark more visual elements. For example, confident may be bold, energetic may be vibrant and serene may be calm.
Once you’ve viewed several examples, try to identify the common denominators.
For example, if your tone word is romantic, is pink present in a lot of the images? Are the fonts mostly script? Are there a lot of floral elements?
These questions will help you associate certain color palettes, fonts and graphic elements with your tone words.
Ask yourself which elements of the image YOU associate most with your tone word.
This helps you build up a visual vocabulary of elements that are associated with your different tone words. Repeat this with your remaining tone words.
- Now it’s time to get pinning! Create a separate inspiration board for each of your tone words. The more images you pin, the easier it will be to identify common elements.
- Extract your favourite images from each board and create one mood board for your brand. When you view the mood board, it should be a visual representation of your tone words.
- Now, you have material to choose from to create your brand identity (or to hand over to your super talented designer :))
Color Mood Boards
Below are 4 examples of tone words and their visual elements.
If you found this post helpful, you’re welcome to a free PDF download of a summary of the steps to take to build a visual vocabulary (and some more visual examples of different tone words).
I also have different boards full of visual examples of different tone words on Pinterest. Take a look and follow me for new design and branding updates 🙂
Have you struggled with bridging the gap between tone words and visual elements? Do you have any tips to share?
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