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How to create a brand mood board

Jan 13, 2022 | Visual Brand

The strategy and creation of your branding mood board just got way easier. Today we dive right into what a brand mood board is, why they are the best place to start when creating your visual brand and exactly how to create your board using Pinterest.


A foundational part of the branding process at Witt and Company is creating a brand mood board, based on the client’s Pinterest inspiration board and brand strategy. But let’s say you’re wanting to create one for your own brand, or get a Pinterest inspiration board pulled together for a team member or designer and you’re not sure how to get started. Well, you’re in luck. Today’s post will cover all the basics as well as how to utilize Pinterest to create your own brand mood board. 

 

IN THIS ARTICLE

>> What is a brand mood board?
>> Why are brand mood boards used in the branding process?
>> But first strategy.
>> Getting started and what to pin.
>> How to create an aligned brand mood board.
>> Rather watch than read?
>> Additional brand resources

 

What is a brand mood board?

High level, a brand mood board is an overarching visual collection of various assets. It can include everything from colors to imagery to textures to patterns to typography options. 

 

Why are brand mood boards used in the branding process?

The goal of a mood board is to give you, your designer and/or your team a visual direction.

Think of the mood board as the reference guide for creating your visual brand. 

 

But first, strategy.

Before you dive into all things Pinterest, the first step is to understand how you want your brand to be communicated. Because, the communication plan (your brand strategy) will play a pretty important role in the visual direction of your brand identity. 

How so?

Well, if you start pulling together your mood board without first understanding your strategy basics, you might end up with a collection of ideas that are not aligned to your ideal client or how you want people to feel when they experience your brand. 

 

Getting started and what to pin.

Whether you’re working with a designer or taking a DIY approach to your visual brand, the best place to start is by curating a collection of images, graphics and patterns to one central location, and a fan favorite is Pinterest. 

The name of the game is: If you find it inspiring, pin it.

Shoot for pinning at least 30 images to the shared brand board, with a variety of color schemes, photographs, graphics and logo designs. This will help you/your team/your designer get a pretty solid idea of what you’re envisioning for your visual brand with enough to sift through for your mood board.

During this process, you’re not proofing. By that, I mean you’re collecting everything. This isn’t about going back and making sure everything looks cohesive and aligns. Similar to writing, you want to get all the information on one board, then it’ll be time to refine and cut.

Note: If you’re working with a brand designer, it’s their job to go through and pull out the images that will align best with the new direction.

Here are four categories of ideas that we recommend searching for and pinning: 

Color Schemes

Start by searching for color schemes. If you have a favorite color or color palette, type that into the Pinterest search bar. For example, if you’re really into yellow, type in ‘yellow color scheme’ and see what comes up. Don’t worry about keeping the colors cohesive at this point. If you like it, pin it.

Another idea is to add in adjectives based on how you want people to feel when they experience your brand. This will help you tap into the power of color psychology. So, if you want someone to feel calm and relaxed, try typing in something like ‘calming color scheme’ and see what comes up. 

 

Logos

Then move onto logos. We recommend searching for specific styles and layouts. For example, perhaps you like the hand drawn style, so try searching for that. Or, maybe you want something more modern and minimal. 

In terms of structure and layout, are you wanting a text-based logo, something more circular (like a submark) or do you want a graphic element included? 

This is a great time to utilize the comment section and write why you are drawn to that particular graphic. Is it the font they used or maybe the graphic that’s accompanying the text? When you can identify what exactly is drawing you in, it will help you/your team/your designer get a better idea of what you like.

 

Lifestyle and Feeling

The last category is about bringing to life the brand experience – the feeling you want to portray. Pin images that embody the feeling(s) you want your brand to emulate. Reference your strategy and pull words from the ‘how’ section (how do you want people to feel when they experience your brand?). Building on the example from above, you can type in something like ‘calming lifestyle photography’ and see what comes up. 

 

Graphics and Patterns

Brand patterns and custom graphic elements can be a great way to enhance your overall brand experience and really bring the personality to life. Try searching for brand icons, custom brand patterns and/or textures. 

 

How to create an aligned brand mood board.

Now that you have a collection of ideas and inspiration, it’s time to edit. Your brand’s strategy is the filter to use when going through your images and the question I always ask is: Does this align with X, Y, Z? 

As the business owner (or designer, team member) you get to make that decision. There are no hard and fast rules here. You get to interpret what you see and decide whether or not it aligns. On one hand, I understand that this can be overwhelming (what if you decide wrong?!?) but don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

The interpretation that you take is what makes your brand, your brand. 

Once you’ve pared down the board to a manageable amount (we usually shoot for 9-15 images) you can call it a day or pull it together into a designed document – a finalized brand mood board. See our example below. This can be created in your preferred design tool. We use Illustrator and Milanote but Canva is a great option as well. 

 

With that, happy branding!

All my best,

 

 

Rather watch than read?

Need additional branding resources?

This post helps navigate what to pin and what to search for for your new visual brand Pinterest inspiration board.

Wondering what it’s like to work with a branding professional? This post covers all the details of the Witt and Company brand process.

 

Pin for later!