How to create your brand mood board?

How to create your brand mood board

Building your mood board is an inspirational adventure

By expressing your personality and your edge, you choose to stand out of the crowd rather than be generic. You attract customers that believe in what you believe, will share your style, and can connect to your emotions. 

I know it’s not easy, but the important thing is to be true to yourself and you will learn to achieve this with time.  

Creating your brand identity is exciting and teaching. You might be surprised by new directions. Step out of your visual comfort zone, explore artistic inspiration that you feel attracted to, but have not yet applied. Think about where you want to see your self and your brand in a few years from now. 

At the end of this inspirational adventure, you will create your mood board, basis that will help you create your logo, color chart, Typography, Webdesign. 

The creative research journey starts after you have clearly defined your brand’s purpose and goals. (If you need help with your brand mission check my guide: How to build a meaningful and unique brand identity?).

The most common mistake when creating a brand identity is starting with your logo — you want your logo to reflect all your dreams, values, services into one logo. Your logo is not meant to tell the whole brand story or sell your brand. It is a symbol, an identification that is part of a whole. The logo will naturally fall into place after you have opened up to all visual possibilities, find your unique balance, and narrowed it down again to the essence of who you are. 

Collect inspiration on your Pinterest board

Sa-Cha Photographic inspiration pinterest board
  1. Open a secret (or not secret board) on Pinterest for your brand
  2. Start looking for visual inspiration that reflects the feel of your brand. Add all these images to your Pinterest board. 

What to look for : 

  • General atmosphere pictures, (the slick architecture buildings that translate a clean and modern feel, an English country farm)
  • Artwork that translates your brand’s emotions.
  • Textures for sensations (the smooth feeling of pebble stone, the raw natural look of driftwood )
  • Shapes (wavy curves of a cactus leaf, calligraphy line both strait and bold)
  • Colors 
  • Typography and fonts
  • Words, values, quote
  • Photography style (what type of photography you relate to, with a colorful pop background or smooth, earthy tones or both…)
  • Pictures of people that illustrate your ideal customer
  • Logos that inspire you
  • Websites 
  • You can also select inspiration from paper magazine’s and newspaper, scan them or keep them as paper id you plan to create a paper collage mood board instead of a digital mood board)

When adding these elements, think of what reflects your company’s personality and what your ideal customer likes. Include both on this board. Keep in mind not just where you are today but also where do you want to evolve in the future. Where do you see your company in a few years from now? 

This stage takes time to achieve. Take your time, come back to your board several times, and add new images until you feel satisfied. 

Exemples of Pinterest board to Build a visual identity

Loolaot Pinterest Board

Looaot Craft Store Brand

Plenty Webdesign Mood board

Plenty Web Design Moodaboard

Where to find inspiration?

Trim your board down to the essentials

  • Go through the board again and eliminate every picture that you feel unsure about.
  • After you have eliminated what doesn’t appeal to you, you may see a direction you want to explore a little more. Add pictures. 
  • Then one last time, go through the board and adjust again, eliminating what does not seem relevant anymore until you feel whole and at home. 

Extract your visual identity

  • Take another look at your board. Look for a distinct pattern, visual road map, pictures that pop out at you. That distinctly speaks to you.  
  • Identify the strong element in your board (pictures, color, shapes, graphics, person…)
  • Mark these pictures with a heart in Pinterest, they will be creating the main thread of your visual identity. 

You are now ready for the next step, creating your mood board. 

Table Accessories Brand

Creating your Mood Board

There are two ways of creating a mood board: with a manual collage or a digital collage. It depends on your personal preference; are you technically savvy? I love working with paper and scissors, but today I find it more flexible to work digitally.

When creating your mood board, you go through the process of going from a wide range of options to narrowing it down to the essentials, choosing and making the decision to narrow down your identity to an essential harmony. It’s an important and deep process that enables you to decide. Do not skip this step because it’s important to get to the essence of your visual identity. 

Step 1: Picture selection

Select the picture you marked in your Pinterest board with a heart. Print them or save them to your computer. (for copyrights issues, cite the source of each picture you are using). You should narrow it down to about 20 images. Keep your board minimal and clear. 

Step 2: Choosing a mood board template

There are many templates out there, so you don’t have to invent the wheel. 

Sources for templates are:

Step 3: Organize your pictures on your mood board

You want to create a harmonious feel, with a clear direction and message. You don’t want it to be busy and confused. You will have to make a choice. It will enable you to focus on the essentials. If you have the slightest doubt about a picture, take it off. 

A harmonious feel does not mean that everything looks the same. You can have unique twists, adding a new dimension to the harmony.  

Play around with the pictures, adding and removing until you feel your overall mood board illustrated the context of your brand. 

A few tips about Balance composition

  • Our eye naturally flows from upper left to upper right, then down to the lower left, and finishes on the lower right. 
  • The pictures on the upper left and opposite lower right should be harmonious in color to enable the flow. 
  • Choose one or two focal points, strong pictures that catch your eye.
  • The overall board should translate one concept (maximum two) for the message to be clear. 
  • When you are creating a paper collage, keep it minimal!

Use your body as a compass. If you feel whole, relaxed, and excited for the next step, this is a sign that you are in alignment with your inner vision. If you feel some sort of discomfort in your body, recheck your board.

Exemples of Brand Mood Boards

Branding Moodbaord Sa-cha
Plenty Web Site Mood Board

Plenty Web Design Mood Board

You have finished your Moodboard. Hang it over your desk or on your computer screen. It is your reference for your creative visual work and branding. 

Your next step: Creating your brand elements (Logo, Color chart, Typographie, Letterhead, business cards, Webdesign…)

P.S: A mood board can be changed with time as you and your company evolve. 

Now it’s time to take action!
What is the one surprising trait you discovered about your brand personality during this process? Tell us in the comments 

Mood board picture credits:

Magdiel Lopez 

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