What is a mood board?
Also commonly referred to as vision or inspiration board — a mood board is a collection of photos, textures, fonts, colors and other items that inspire the style or direction of a project.
We use mood boards at the start of a lot of projects simply to get our creative ideas flowing. They’re also a crucial step in our logo design process to help us define the personality and vibe of a client’s brand.
Mood boards + Your Brand:
Putting together a mood board is great practice to visualize your brand and play around with different design elements you might be considering. It also becomes an extremely helpful tool to communicate with your designer the vibe, feelings and appearance you are going for that you might not be able to verbally articulate.
As designers who incorporate mood boards, we can vouch it helps save time down the line by assuring we’re on the same page as our client by the time we go into the sketching phase.
Before you begin collecting inspiration, grab a piece of paper and write down 5 adjectives that describe your brand. You’ll want to keep these adjectives on the forefront of your mind as you work through the mood board creation process.
If you’re working with us, at this stage, you will want to reference your brand questionnaire to grab the adjectives you have chosen.
Pinterest is an amazing resource for inspiration. Since this is one of the early phases of your project, we encourage you to begin collecting and pinning various styles and elements you’re attracted to.
Keep in mind your 5 adjectives, but use this as a brain dump.
It’s like the digital version of hoarding — only with purpose.
Things to pin or collect:
- Logos + other brands
- Color inspiration
You don’t have to limit yourself to just Pinterest either. Look through books, magazines and other brands you are surrounded by daily.
Once you have a decent collection of inspiration, let’s begin to eliminate.
Take note of the common traits among your collection. Our goal is to create consistency in the designs we create, so eliminate the items that no longer fit.
Go back at those adjectives and make sure what you are seeing on your mood board is aligning with them. Remember to consider your audience when making brand decisions and push beyond your personal preferences.
We highly recommend looking at your board with fresh eyes, so don’t hesitate to take a break. Go through 2-3 rounds of curating your board so that it only includes images that truly represent your brand.
How to use your mood board:
With your final selections, your mood board should resonate with your business and communicate to your ideal client.
Your colors should be crystal clear, the style of font you’re using should be apparent, and your overall aesthetic should shine through.
If you’re working with us or another designer, your mood board will be a reference for future designs and to establish brand consistency across all material.