Moodboards are a great tool to start the visual branding process. They aren’t the first step, but they are a key step to be on the same page with a client or designer. Beautiful mood boards clutter pages of Pinterest, but be sure to go through the process to create one yourself. This mood board should envoke your unique style and brand before moving on to more detailed branding design. Don’t just find an existing mood board you like to use for your brand. This resource has to be unique to you!
You aren’t going to be able to just start grabbing a few images here and there off the web and put them right into your mood board template. Before you get ahead of yourself take the time to gather these 10 essential elements as your inspiration.
A pretty essential item here, colors, but don’t only pull together those already combined color palettes. Look for individual blocks of colors, and if you can’t find images that you attract you, create a block of color to add to your Pinterest board yourself. Kuler by Adobe is a great tool to focus solely on colors. If you find a specific palette you like, take a screenshot and upload it to Pinterest. Don’t forget to save the hex code in your caption on Pinterest!
Gather examples of fonts and font families (the italics, bold and condensed of the group) that you feel drawn to and represent your brands’ archetype. These images for inspiration can be type applied in logos or presentation graphics used by the font maker in marketing.
Compile repeating illustrations or shapes that fit the energy level you are aiming for. Patterns can be soft and subtle, or bold and active, and very memorable elements in your branding.
Unlike patterns, textures have a sense of feeling as well as visual interest. While you may have a mainly online business, textures can be used in digital graphics to create a bond between the visual and the physical elements.
Follow my Mood Board inspiration on Pinterest!
You can gather illustrations for inspiration that don’t relate to the topic of your brand or business. Options for illustration styles are almost endless, from watercolor and pencil drawings to acrylics and mixed media graphics using numerous materials. These illustrations don’t have to specifically speak to the mark that may end up in your logo. Don’t limit yourself. Use illustrations on your website, business cards or future print materials.
Icons can be used in many different ways throughout your brand, in both print and digitally. Three main types of icons would be outlined, filled with solid color, and multicolor design. Choosing a specific style of icons that you are drawn to can help pull together other elements, including color and type, of your brand.
By gathering many logos that draw you in, a few decisions will almost make themselves, mark or type only? Abstract or literal? Again, don’t get worked up with finding logos that fit your industry.
Photos can speak to the mood of your brand, joyful, severe, or adventurous. Consider the color and style of the images as well. These images can shape the direction and guidance for future business photography. These photos will bring your mood boards to life!
You may not be considering publishing a magazine or sending out mailers right now. Trust me, at some point in your business, you’ll need to represent your company in print. A business card for instance?! Look for examples of publications that speak to your client base as well, considering white space, use of photography, and mood.
Web designs get left out of mood boards and the inspiration process often because they seem to have too many details and elements. The truth is that the web design examples show the rhythm of your brand and future site. Look for examples of websites that fit the intensity of your mission and service.
If you gather all 10 of these elements, with a few examples of each, your brand and inspiration will start to take shape. Typically, I pin all these images on Pinterest on one board. Then I select the strongest ones to put together in the final mood board which I’ll refer back to during the process of creating logos, submarks, graphics and designing a website.