Pinning on the Job

If you’re not already actively using Pinterest, it’s likely you’ve at least heard someone mention it in passing. But in case you haven’t, Pinterest (pinterest.com) is a “Virtual Pinboard” where you can save, or “pin,” web pages you find interesting to virtual boards organized by theme. You can also browse and follow boards created by other people and repin items they’ve already found. Think of it like an unlimited set of visual, virtual browser bookmarks.

I think Pinterest is a great place for collections of personal interests, but I encourage you to think of it as a business/marketing tool as well. It’s a great place to find inspiration for everything from logo design and website navigation ideas to suggestions for organizing and decorating your office space.

According to Pinterest, “people use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.”  I started by doing the same, pinning fantastic DIY crafts, yummy-looking low sugar recipes and fashionable handbags to my various boards. Then, one day, a fellow graphic designer and typography nut (whose blog I regularly follow) posted about using Pinterest for design inspiration. The post included links to 10 designers, bloggers, photographers and artists that keep AMAZING pinboards that are absolutely FULL of fantastic design elements, colors, photographs, illustrations, typography ideas and so much more. I had found the proverbial mother lode.

Wait a minute, WHAT?!

How had I missed this possibility? Why wasn’t I using Pinterest for work? I suppose I was just blinded by all of the pretty, shiny things…clothes, crafts and cooking have that effect on me. All I can say is, thank goodness for Svetlana over at chic-type.com for heading me in the right direction.

When I talk with new clients about what they have in mind for the look and feel of their new website or other marketing piece, they don’t always know what to say. I often encourage them to do a little casual web surfing and flag concepts that pique their interest, are appealing but may not be a style they think is appropriate for their business, and even a few that thoroughly turn them off. That gives us a starting place for where to go and where NOT to go with their design.

Give it a try! Pinterest puts scores of concepts in one place for you to browse, and then, using your own boards, collect and organize the ideas that stand out to you. Sure, depending on whose boards you choose to follow, you’ll run across a braided hair or Christmas wreath tutorial or a recipe for the Best. Macaroni. And. Cheese. EVER.

However, if you’re interested in utilizing this virtual ideas tool, I encourage you to seek out and follow folks that have similar interests and/or have already created boards with themes you enjoy. Here are just a handful of pinners I follow for personal and professional reasons: Amber AS for her low sugar recipes, Svetlana Bilenkina and Design Quixotic for their plethora of design boards, Jessica Jones for her DIY/Craft ideas, and so many more. Happy pinning!