Cast your mind back to your teenage years. Did you ever spend your weekend flipping through magazines, ripping out photos, adverts and articles to stick on your bedroom walls? As well as being a fun pastime for creative kids, making mood boards is actually an important part of the design process in creating brand identities for businesses too. Switch up the bedroom walls for Photoshop and a computer screen, and the process is much the same.
The goal of creating brand mood boards is to find inspiration in a practical and visual way. We collect photos, illustrations, colours, patterns and textures that instinctively feel like they fit with our brand.
When a business comes to my studio looking for help with branding, they’ll often already have a good idea about what their company goals and values are. But translating those mission statements, taglines and elevator pitches into visuals that speak the same language is where a designer can really help a company. And a brand mood board is a great starting point for that process.
DIY Brand Mood Boards
Although creating a mood board is an important part of a designer’s process, it’s not a skilled task in and of itself. You can learn how to create a brand mood board for your own business no matter how ‘arty’ you are. It’s all about intuition. You might feel nervous if you’re not used to being creative in this way. You might feel like it’s a bit of a time-waster. But if you take some time to be open and explore your creative side, you’ll soon find you have a page full of images. If you take a step back, you’ll start to notice themes. Colours, styles and moods will become clear, and you can edit down the images you found to make one cohesive collage that sums up the feeling of your brand.
But if you’re looking for a new brand identity and want to work with a professional designer, you can put your glue stick and scissors down and leave it to someone like me to create a mood board for your brand. Here’s why it’s such a great way to start your brand identity project.
When I create a brand mood board for a client, it’s after in-depth research about goals, target market, competitors and the story behind the business. Rather than dive straight into sketching out logo designs or branding concepts, starting with a mood board is a great way to get feedback at an early stage. We can make sure that when it comes to the vision for the brand, we’re on the same page, we’re both understood. This usually leads to fewer revisions and amendments further down the line too - a win for everyone!
If you have a team of your own, sharing a business mood board is a fantastic way of keeping your employees excited about the branding project and making them feel a part of the process. It’s a much more accessible document that everyone can understand the look and feel of, compared to a sheet of potential logo designs.
When you’re starting a new business, your head is full of words. Hopes, goals, ideas, pitches, agreements, and descriptions. But words can sometimes hold us back in creative thinking, or get lost in translation. You might be imagining something completely different to me when you think of the words modern, traditional, classy or feminine. It can be easier to find a picture that perfectly describes what you mean.
Creating a mood board helps a designer and client to find the best way to communicate. And as the collage of images in the mood board grows and becomes more refined, the brand vision becomes clear.
Then, we can use the mood board no only to agree on the right feeling or aesthetic, but also to make more practical design choices. We can find connections in the images to build a colour palette. Ideas for graphic elements and typography styles will also start to flow, seamlessly taking us into the next stage of the design process.
A brand identity mood board is usually an internal document. It’s not something you’re going to publish on your website or stick in your store window. But just because it’s not customer-facing, doesn’t mean that it’s not important to get it right.
You might think that a brand mood board is just the jumping off point for creating an amazing logo design. Once you’re happy with your brand identity and the face of your company, why should you need to refer back to the mood board again? Well, a logo, important as it is, can only tell you so much about a company.
Imagine if you asked someone to create an ad campaign for your brand, giving them nothing but your logo as a reference. Your brand colours and style would be clear, but would the overall aesthetic hit the mark?
If you use social media in your business, keeping your mood board nearby when you’re planning posts can help to keep your Insta grid looking consistent and ‘on-brand’. Social media experts say that you’ll create a better connection with your audience by using custom visuals. Being able to refer back to your brand mood board while you’re creating new social media collateral will help you achieve this goal.
As your business grows, so will your brand story. Your style may change, you might switch around your brand colours or update your fonts. But you can always look back at those inspiring images from your brand mood board and see the strength of your visual identity, from past to present.
Creating a strong, stylish and colourful brand identity for your business that celebrates your vision and goals is what I do best. So let’s create a mood board for your company together! Contact me to find out more about my brand identity package.