How to Create a Mood Board for Your Brand (with Pinterest)
One of the most vital pieces to building your brand (in my opinion) is the mood board. It sets the mood for the entire brand, and gives you (the client) and me (the designer) a very clear idea of what you are wanting to achieve with your branding. I treat the mood board just like I treat the actual logo concepts, allowing for several rounds of edits to make sure it's perfect. It's important to get it just right, so that once it is complete, you can keep it in front of you and use it as a visual guide for building your whole business and brand. For me, it's used as the launching point for how I design your brand (I keep it handing in my office as well)! Getting it just right is really important and it saves us both time later on!
Before I design the mood board, I try to get as much info as I can from my clients on what they want, what their style is, who they look up to for inspiration, key words that they use to describe their business, and more. Then I ask them to show me all of this through a Pinterest board. Here is the process to creating a mood board for your brand:
1. CREATE A SECRET PINTEREST BOARD
I encourage a secret board, so you can go crazy with pinning! This is not about creating a perfect board on the first go. It's about getting what's in your head and heart onto a board. Bet messy! Making it secret takes out any stress you may be feeling.
2. BEGIN BY PINNING EVERYTHING THAT LIGHTS YOU UP
This is where I give you permission to go pin-crazy! Start by pinning everything that makes you smile. If you feel like it speaks to you and what your brand represents, then pin it. Get personal. Dig deep. What kind of style do you truly love?
Pinning other logos and brands as well as photos specific to your industry is great, but really think outside of the box. Pin fashion, travel, food, puppies, weddings. If it speaks to you- pin it. You can begin by pinning directly from the main page, or you can search specific things. Here's a few suggestions for things you can search for:
Black and White Photography
I suggest pinning at LEAST 50 pins. You can do this all in one sitting, or take your time. There is no right or wrong way!
3. TAKE A STEP BACK AND ANALYZE YOUR BOARD AS A WHOLE
As you take in everything that you have pinned, you will notice that you have (either consciously or subconsciously) pinned pictures with either one common theme, or a few common themes. You will notice that you are drawn to a certain style of photography, a certain color palette, or even a certain theme like travel or weddings. You will also begin to notice that there are images that do NOT fit in the overall theme or themes you have created. Go ahead and delete those images from your board. (Even if you really love that single image, if it doesn't fit in the overall theme, you either have to delete it, or create a theme around that one image. Consistency is key!) If you have more than one theme, pick your favorite, or see how you can merge them together into one common theme or mood.
As you can see above, there is a common theme with very white and bright images, some blue, and very matte photography. Notice also the images that don't fit. The green wall is too dark and throws off the color palette. The office picture and big window is a great composition, but it's too yellow for this mood. And the NYC shot is beautiful, but is too dark and purple. Now look at the board below with those pictures (and a few others) deleted. Better!
4. NOW THAT YOU HAVE RECOGNIZED YOUR THEME, PIN AGAIN WITH THAT ONE SPECIFIC MOOD IN MIND.
Is your theme cozy and comfortable? Search things like "coffee" and "winter sweaters". Is your theme boho and earthy? Search things like "summer" and "adventure". Add and delete, and add and delete. The more you refine your board, the more you will see your style and mood shine through, and the clearer it will be to you. Remember, this isn't a board dedicated specifically to the design. This board is about the vibe of your entire brand.
5. ADD + DELETE + REPEAT UNTIL YOU HAVE THE PERFECT PINTEREST BOARD
Your final board should set your heart on fire! It should be a perfect representation of you and what you envision for your brand looking like. Study this board, and how you can incorporate what you love about these images into your own brand.
Now that you have your Pinterest board, you use this as a reference when shopping for your wardrobe or your home, when posting brand photos to Instagram, or when working with a designer on your brand system. Looking to grow your business and brand?