Intro to Pinterest

Designed in 2011 by Juan Carlos Pagan and Michael Deal, the Pinterest logotype features a push-pin-inspired initial P and a lovely ligature finial.

Designed in 2011 by Juan Carlos Pagan and Michael Deal, the Pinterest logotype features a push-pin-inspired initial P and a lovely ligature finial.

In the olden days, when you saw something interesting on the Internet, you either dragged it into a folder on your hard disk or you saved a link in your browser. Usually, you wound up with a hard-to-navigate tangle of poorly labeled oft-defunct bookmarks and a mess of mystery files on your drive. That was then.

Pinterest is now.

Founded by the startup Cold Brew Labs in 2010, Pinterest has become the fastest-growing social network in history, with over 70 million users currently driving more business-generating web traffic than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ combined. The Pinterest social model for collecting, labeling and transmitting pictures of stuff as viable hyperlinks is remarkable both as a content sharing community and as a clever platform for storing and categorizing images and videos in the first place. With a global user base that is mostly female (though notable local exceptions to this rule include Britain), a lot of the pins in circulation are devoted to such favorite female themes as food, crafts, fashion and home decorating. But don’t assume that you’ll necessarily drown in a sea of casserole recipes and instructions for weird new ways to do nails and hair: what you pin and what you see is really up to you, and just about everything already has a following.

Remarkably, for some users, the most compelling reason for getting on Pinterest has less to do with community-based content sharing and more with the way organizing online and offline materials into a compendium of boards can streamline workflows, free up disk space, and render one’s curated content eminently accessible.

Below are some noteworthy links to pinners and boards to inspire your own plans for harnessing Pinterest, whether you’re looking to drive engaged customers to your online store or carve out some unlimited storage space for your research materials, visual libraries and wish lists.

Illustration and hand-lettering portfolio of Ontario-based artist and graphic designer Darren Booth.

Exquisitely curated boards by Antwerp-based architect and photographer Brancolina.

Hand-made scarves by Minneapolis-based textile designer Martha McQuade.

Minimalist food porn collected by Sydney-based graduate architect Jenna Rowe.

A collection devoted to exquisite spatial design by Singapore-based pinner Faeleia.

Foodimentary, an indulgent and informative board by Rotterdam-based stylist Monique Tieleman.

Logology, a board by this writer featuring (and crediting!) the most inspiring logotypes I’ve come across to date.

In fact, why don’t I show you what some of my boards actually look like. Click on the image below to go to my Pinterest profile and explore them yourself.

A sampling of the boards by pinner Natalia Osiatynska as they appear to the user when logged in to Pinterest.

A sampling of the boards by pinner Natalia Osiatynska as they appear to the user when logged in to Pinterest.