Brand Inspiration | Marsala Mood Board

When Marsala was released as the 2015 color of the year by Pantone this past December, I knew I loved it at first sight.  Its rich, sultry deep berry tone struck my fancy, because as much as I love my pinks, I have always love berry tones as well.  Berry tones have the perfect balanced of boldness, femininity, and versatility that makes them so easy to work with.  They also add a pop of color and sophistication to anything they are added too, kind of like a fine wine.  Marsala can be paired with so many other colors, textures, and tones, to include flat, matte, and gloss ones.  This is one of the reasons that makes it both equally appealing to both men and women, and a great color to use for branding.

Marsala Color Pairings


Marsala would be perfect for a fashion based business, whether a boutique or designer I can see luscious Marsala incorporated seamlessly into the branding.  Its a color that conveys being taken seriously, but still approachable.  Marsala was all over the Spring 2015 runways, with many fashion designers using it in their collections.  It was used as both a main and accent color in collections, further showing its range as a statement color.  The earthy, red-brown tones made it easy for designers to use Marsala in limitless ways, because its such a stylish and confident color.  In being so inspired by Marsala, I thought I’d share with you exactly how I would use Marsala to brand a client.

The Inspiration Board

For the Love of Marsala | Mood Board |

Bridal Bouquet // Watch // Cake // Pantone // Marsala Cake // Car // Foyer // Hat // Tablescape // Blouse

This inspiration board is hand down one of my favorite boards I’ve ever created.  I was extremely selected in what I chose to include because, there was so much inspiration when it came to Marsala.  There was inspiration across all industries from fashion, to automotive, to interior design, to weddings and floral design.  I love everything about this board because, it really shows the range that Marsala can be used, but more especially from a fashion standpoint.

The Client

I put myself in the shoes of a potential client and breakdown who they would be and why Marsala would be a good fit for their brand.  I took a 5 W’s approach to help define who this client would be and in what capacities Marsala would be used in their branding.  Here’s the breakdown:

Who – Owner of a high-end, fashion forward boutique

What – Experienced fashion designer on the brink of establishing and making a name for themselves.

Why – Marsala can be used in both masculine and feminine settings.  The use of it in branding wouldn’t limit the designers appeal to either men or woman.  It also denotes strength and boldness, attracting a specific clientele that values and seeks those qualities.

Where – Marsala would be best used as an accent color for the logo and collateral branding, and a main color for the marketing.

How – Eye-catching Marsala would look great on items such as shopping bags and store signage because it would automatically make them standout with white, cream, or gold text on them.  This would allow a boutique to differentiate themselves and standout amongst others, because of the bold aesthetic of a color like Marsala.

I ended up with a very clear picture of who the client would be, the feel of their business, and how Marsala would best be incorporated.  I can literally picture this client right in front of me, with sketches of designs and samples of fabric.  This is exactly the feeling you should get when you work with a client, being able to see the vision of their business as clear as day as you take them through the branding process.

The Brand Board


For the brand board, I first began by creating the logo based off of the information drawn from my 5 W’s approach.  The logo is chic, fashion forward, and clean.  I chose two sans serif fonts, one with dimension and the other very simple.  I kept in mind that the focus must be on this clients designs that could be on the runways of Paris or Milan, therefore their branding needed not to detract from that.  Their branding would need to be clear and easily recognizable and different from anything already out there, just like their designs.  I’m in love with the submark, envisioning it on all of the marketing and collateral branding to make for an even more memorable brand.  This client will have a shopping bag that customers will want to save, because it will be so gorgeous.  While a shopping bag may seem insignificant to you, its huge to a boutique or shop, because it part of collection of tools they use to market their business.  No detail must be forgotten or pushed to the side when it comes to branding for anyone, but especially for a shop or boutique, down to the price tag and store signage.

The customer experience must always be considered first and foremost; how would they feel upon entering the store, what emotions are evoked when they see the logo, is the aesthetic and layout of the store consistent with the branding?  Furthermore, is the branding such that the employees could effectively represent it?  We all know that employees looking like a brand is a huge part of the trust being built between a business and its customers.  This is why most business opt for uniforms, or at the very least have a dress code in place.  When it comes to branding, everything must be consistent, so as a brand stylist I have to insure that I’ve done just that in taking clients through the branding process. My goal to help them insure that their branding can translate into all areas of their business and convey the client experience that their mission seeks to do.

Are you loving Marsala as much as I am? – Are their any brands that you love that have colors really resonate with you?

I’m currently booking Branding & Design Services for June and July.  I’d love for us to work together!

Head over to my Branding page for more information and to get started.

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