Every graphic designer knows the importance of mood boards when it comes to branding.
It’s the BFF you’ll keep coming back to before you do anything for your brand.
The importance of creating or hiring someone to create a mood board for your brand is often overlooked.
A mood board is essentially a collection of imagery that embodies your brand identity and how it appears to your audience. Think of your favorite fashion brand or coffee shop. What do you associate with them? Is there a color that jumps to mind – like Starbucks’ deep green and white?
Your brand identity is how your audience and customers recognize that your product or work is from you. How often do you step into a store and recognize a dress without having to brand name? That’s because you recognize the brand’s identity, which has been carefully curated through a mood board.
If you struggle to put together a brand identity that gets you thinking, “this is SO me”, a super helpful step would be to create a mood board and move forward from there!
Coming up with a brand strategy can be scary – especially in the early days.
It helps when you have a defined idea of who your brand is and what it represents. While you might have this written down in a Google Doc or a notebook, you want a visual representation of your brand identity. It’s something for you to refer back to and to look at every day.
A picture speaks a thousand words and sparks your imagination. Sometimes all it takes is a glance at a few photos to have a lightbulb moment.
Before you can think about strategy, five-year plans, or product launches, you need to figure out your brand identity. Trust me. You want to do this early on. Your brand identity will naturally evolve, growing with you as you smash your goals and expand your brand.
A mood board is a way of capturing your brand’s aesthetic. It’s your first point of reference when you think you’re starting to lose your way and when you need a little inspiration. You’ll often hear of brides putting together a ‘mood board’ for their wedding day. The process is the exact same for your brand.
With a mood board, you have something to keep you on track and to reference back to. The beauty of a mood board is that it acts as a visual reminder of what you’re trying to achieve. It’s a little like a vision board but specific to how you see your brand.
Okay, let’s take a step back.
What is a mood board? You might think it’s just a random assortment of photographs, quotes, and phrases. It’s a little more specific than that.
Your mood board is what captures the feeling and aesthetic of your brand. It’s all about creating a visual interpretation of what your brand identity is. Most people choose to use photographs, but you might also include color swatches and even inspirational quotes. It’s a way of helping you imagine future content – whether it’s social media posts or packaging for products.
If you don’t know what your brand identity is yet – don’t panic! We’ve all got to start somewhere.
Creating a mood board is one of the first things you should do when starting your brand or business. Don’t worry. It’s never too late to make one! A mood board is a way of helping you tell your brand story. You can share it with your team or use it to make sure you’re creating content that is consistent with your brand identity.
You can use everything from photographs to typography and color palettes to help you create your mood board. It should strike a balance between being specific while giving you enough flexibility to use it as a way of keeping your brand identity evolving.
Your mood board will help you create concepts for your brand and ensure that you keep everything consistent. Nailing your branding will make or break your business – whether it’s a blog or an innovative start-up. Your brand identity is what helps you stand out against your competitors and allows you to keep your audience engaged.
We all have brands that are our go-to and reflect the image we want to portray to the world. Write down the name of a few brands with a similar aesthetic and feel to what you’re hoping to create.
Visit their websites and study what some of their visual consistencies are. You might realize you gravitate towards brands with a certain aesthetic. For me, my favorite brands all have a bohemian vibe!
Explore each brand’s content and website. What attracts you to them? Make a few notes and see if there’s anything that unites the different brands. It might be an aesthetic, color palette, or
When I create mood boards, I go to Pinterest to look through images that I feel represent the vibe for the project I am working on. (spoiler: Pinterest is going to become your new BFF for mood boards!)
If there’s a certain color scheme I want to use, I’ll look up aesthetics for each color until I have a collection of images that I feel represents the project well! The algorithm on Pinterest will quickly start to throw up photos that complement the mood board you’re building.
Now you’ve got the images, it’s time to put it all together.
I use either procreate or illustrator for this, but you can use Canva to do this. Canva is user-friendly and free to use, making it a win-win.
Play around with the placement until you get a look you like!
What I love about mood boards is that anyone can make one.
You might be tempted to try your hand at pulling together a mood board. If so, the three tips above will get you started on the right track. It can be hard to know when to stop when you’re DIY-ing a mood board. You might be tempted to add more photos and text to it every day.
While your mood board should grow and change with your brand’s identity over time, you don’t want to change it too much or too quickly.
Sometimes, you need a little help – especially when it comes to brand identity.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when starting your brand. You’re juggling a million different things – from SEO to social media profiles – and it’s easy to get caught up in everything.
You’re passionate about your brand.
It’s why you’re reading this post. Yet, you might not feel confident about defining your brand through a mood board. Most brand owners have their minds full of ideas about their brand identity. It can be hard to narrow it down to a few pages or even a single document.
A designer can help you help summarize everything into a concise mood board that isn’t overwhelming but still serves as a source of inspiration. Your mood board is a way of helping you to tell your brand’s story. Sometimes, you need someone else to help you tell your story.
The perks of hiring a designer include that they can create a customized, professional-looking mood board that captures your brand identity. While Pinterest is an incredible tool, you can only do so much with it. Your designer can bring together multiple mediums to develop a mood board that is your daily source of inspiration.
Do you need help with your branding? Is the world of mood boards, typographies, and logos confusing for you? I’m here to help! As a business and marketing coach, I work with brand owners to help them level up their brand by combining digital strategy with designs that work with your aesthetic. I want to help you create your mood board and smash your goals.
Want to find out more? Visit my design studio here!
Website Designed By Me, Kerry Ireland
Kerry Ireland is a Web & Brand Designer and Online Business Educator. Her mission is to help entrepreneurs across the globe exponentially expand their brand and business so they can live the ultimate freedom-based lifestyle.