Inspiration problem

A common problem I have, is finding examples of how a certain brand identity will work across different mediums.

For example, I’m currently looking at a website of a brand which I like the look of, but I’m wondering how their brand looks in print / editorial layouts and stationery etc.

Most of the time, all I can find is a website and a social media page… the latter is mostly full of photos and very little examples of branding.

There are also occasions where I’ve tried to find lookbooks for fashion brands, but again, I generally cant find anything apart from a website and a social page.

I sometimes resort to typing something like “BRANDNAME advertising campaign” into Google Images and see what comes up.

Anybody else find this? Is there even really a way around it?

Unfortunately, there’s not a do-it-this-way-and-your-problem-is-solved answer. but I’ll give you my view on it and how I approach it.

First, I don’t look for outside inspiration on how to handle the idiosyncrasies of a brand design project. Every situation is different, so I handle each with those idiosyncrasies in mind while working within the budget for the job.

If the brand-development budget is five million dollars, multiple style books and examples of every possible scenario from video to websites to designing the paint job for their corporate jet might be in order. A thousand-dollar job for the mom-and-pop grocery store down the street is an entirely different situation that requires working within that budget to provide them with the basics of what they’ll likely need.

For example, let’s take a fashion brand since you mentioned it.

First, what’s the budget? The budget is a tight parameter that affects everything that comes after.

Second, what look would be appropriate to evoke the appropriate emotional responses from prospective customers? Is it a budget-conscious retail company or a trendy, style-conscious company, or something else? Are their products aimed at trendy teenagers or older and more practical women or men? Do they make niche boutique products or mass-produce clothing for department store sales?

I could go on, but you get the point — really analyze the company, its products, its customers, its vision, and its goals, then design a practical brand that will work for those things.

Speaking of being practical, that’s also a huge consideration. If their brand exists almost entirely online, design for that first with an eye to how it would carry over into other mediums and situations as needed. If the brand will primarily communicate to customers through shelf appeal in a store, design for that, with an eye to how it might also carry over to their website or advertising.

I could go on with this too, but again, you get the point — think through every aspect of the problem before you begin coming up with ideas. Ask your client dozens of questions about all the things I’ve mentioned. By the way, I’m not suggesting that they collaborate on the design; I’m suggesting they collaborate with you on thinking through and answering your questions.

Your inspiration will come from carefully defining the problem, not looking through endless online searches and magazines hoping to find similar approaches that fit your project’s unique needs.

Thanks for the detailed response but, I’m looking at also doing some fictional branding projects as a bit of a portfolio booster, not just designing for clients… right now Im mainly just concerned with seeing how other designers might take a design for one medium (e.g. a website) and make it consistent with something else, such as a brochure.

I feel like there probably is no solution to my problem really, unless I just stick with case studies on Behance (although most seem to be made up rather than real-world projects)

Barebones approach. Pick a brand, visit their website (to see how they design for web), check their social media (to see how they design for social media), check them on youtube (to see how they design for video) and if their website has a search function, search for PDF on their website to find examples of “print” pieces. (or you can go to google and put in “filetype:pdf site:(insert website).com” or just “filetype:pdf (brand name)” to looks for things not necessarily just on their web site)

If they have physical products in stores, you can then take pics of or visit a store (for example, Sony, you could visit Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and look at their packaging.)

Those are just some quick ideas that come to mind. Now obviously that works better for “large brands” (Starbucks, Nike, Sony, Apple, HP, Coke, etc.) Smaller brands may be more of a challenge.

Not exactly what you are looking for, but Branding Style Guides is an archive of downloadable style guides from major brands. Some of the guides are very specific and illustrate how the branding is deployed across various types of media.

I had no idea you could search filetypes like that on Google! Could be a game-changer, thanks!

This is amazing! Thanks a lot.

I’ve really struggled to find PDF brand guidelines in recent years as most brands just tend have really limited, hard-to-use browser versions instead these days.

This will be a massive help

not only that - you can do something like

for example
site: filetype:pdf

and it only searches that website

Image sizes

* = wildcard
the * brandguidlines

Search results for before or after a date
After: 2020 - will populate results after 2020

You can use

Thanks a lot, will give that a try too