Have any of you ever taken the time to develop a unique brand? As we've talked about before, a brand is the overall impression you present to potential clients and customers. A brand is built by using a combination of what your company does or produces and uses elements like visual and aesthetic components help convey that. Essentially, your brand uses tangible elements like your logo, colors, fonts, website appearance, and marketing materials to deliver and sell your product or service to potential customers and clients.
Before you can even think about implementing brand elements, it's important to do some key leg-work to help you explore and development your style and feel for what you want to convey. Creating inspiration and mood boards are a fun, effective way of brainstorming, because you use a collage of images to help lead the direction you want your brand to go. We have found inspiration boards to be a crucial step in the design process. It allows you to truly analyze your own brand and figure out what direction you want to go in moving forward. (Maybe you're revamping your current brand, or perhaps you're starting completely from scratch!) Collecting various images and placing them together in a mood board helps you choose the color scheme, narrow down the key characteristics you want your brand to highlight, and see if all of your ideas look cohesive together.
How to Create a Mood Board for Your Brand:
- Write down a list of your brand characteristics. Adjectives that describe what you want your brand to portray is a great starting point. Begin by asking yourself questions about your brand. How do you want your brand to feel? What kind of experience do you want your clients to have? What type of clients do you want to attract? This will lead to finding out the key characteristics that make up your brand. After this, perhaps you create a mission statement that will be your guiding force in all your decision making about your brand, offerings, and policies.
- Start to develop your color palette.
- Go with what you love! This may be obvious, but don’t choose colors that aren’t your favorite, just because someone else is pushing for them. You need to be happy with the palette.
- Look to your profession and line of work for inspiration.
- Use the color wheel! If you know you want to use pink as a color, but don’t know what to pair it with, look to the right, left, and across from pink on the color wheel to find good matches. Our favorite color palettes are monochromatic, which uses one hue in a variety of tints and shades; analogous, which combines colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel; and complimentary, which is a more bold, using colors directly across from one another on the color wheel.
If you are stuck on trying to figure out what color scheme goes well with your brand, then Design Seeds is a great site. You can search by color value or theme to find the perfect match.
- Create a board on Pinterest to dedicate to your mood board. This will be your brainstorming board. Start pinning your favorite images that you think reflect your brand and tell your story. Floral arrangements are great images to pin when trying to define your color palette. Hunting down some favorite fonts by searching under "typography" will help you narrow down what fonts you will use in your website, social media and collateral. Pinning beautiful photographs, art, interiors, and even some of your own work is all a great idea. Pinning around 30-50 images should be sufficient. You will begin to see a trend in the similar colors, features, and elements you've been pinning.
- Create your final mood board. Choose the best images from your brainstorming board and compile into 10-15 photos that best represent your brand. This final mood board will be your reference for each time you need inspiration or a good reminder of what your brand is all about.
- Begin to compile your favorite 5-10 images in your inspiration board. We do this in Photoshop or InDesign, but you can find a variety of websites to help you build inspiration boards as well. Place your photos in the board and move them around until you love the layout. Think about balance, color, and texture as you are placing them.
- Refer back to your final inspiration board for all branding decisions. You want to make sure that the branding potential clients will see on your website and social media are a direct reflection of what you created in your initial mood board. This is what keeps everything looking cohesive!
We hope that creating inspiration boards of your own will be a great, secret step that will take your brand to the next level. The key to a successful and cohesive brand is putting in the leg work and a lot of effort before-hand, so that once you launch, your brand has a strong and thoughtful backbone.
Other great uses for creating a mood board:
- creating inspiration to show to a bride & groom (event planner)
- creating inspiration to show a client for their newly designed room (interior designer)
- pulling together your inspiration for your next styled shoot to send off to potential vendors (photographer)
Want to make your own Inspiration Board? You can download our new template in our Resource Room!