If you are a visual person then creating a brand moodboard is a great way of getting to the heart of who you are as a brand and a business. They are really fun to create and can help to visualise your business as a whole to give you a sense of direction, personality and authenticity.
You may have already dived into strategy, marketing plans and the ‘how’ and ‘what’s’ of your business, but creating a brand moodboard is a chance to dig deeper and really look at your purpose, your mission and your ‘why’. Perhaps the whole business plan creation didn’t really get you excited, or you’ve felt overwhelmed with creating a marketing strategy. Moodboards are much more creative and get you in touch with your creative side, where often insight and clarity about your business can come through.
So how do you approach creating a brand moodboard that will really empower your business and the direction you want to take it in?
CHOOSE 4 words to describe your brand personality
1. Your 4 brand words
A great way to start thinking about your brand is to think of 4 words to describe your personality, ethos or values.
My 4 brand words are organic, intuitive, ethical, collaborative, and I kept these 4 words in mind when creating my initial brand moodboard. You need to step a little outside of yourself for this and think of your brand as a separate entity and not just choose your personal preference. I’ve got a bright yellow rug in my house and love bolder colours for my interiors but I know this wasn’t right for my brand so I made sure I stayed true to my 4 words and chose nature inspired images and colours.
If you’re a yoga teacher who specialises in very calming classes then bright orange and loud images wouldn’t be the best choice for your brand. However, if you are a yoga teacher who runs yoga raves, and your uniqueness is the boldness you add to yoga, then a bright orange would work better! Two people in the same area of work but with different personalities can really show what makes them unique and attract the right type of people by focussing on these 4 brand words and really carrying them through in all communications.
So the next step is to start searching for visual inspiration…
2. Getting started on your mood board
Pinterest is an ideal tool to start your moodboard as you will start to see common themes popping out. Pin photography, colours, fonts, quotes and anything else that you think reflects your business.
Remember to look at the words you wrote to describe your brand and don’t just pin things you like, really think deeply and pin with intention. Once you’ve finished have a look over and see if there are any clear colour tones, photography styles and fonts jumping out at you.
If you aren’t a fan of pinterest then you could save Instagram images you like, images from websites or even snap inspiration points on your phone. Be creative, one of my brand inspiration points came from this 80p book I found at a National Trust house!
LOOK FOR INSPIRATION EVERYWHERE
The 80p book I found at Lyme Park charity bookshop that features in my branding!
3. CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLOURS FOR YOUR BRAND
A big part of branding is choosing the right colours and fonts for your brand. Colour is psychologically influential and emotive. Do you want people to feel calm when they connect with your brand? Then natural cool colours will evoke that feeling. Are you cheeky, full of vibrancy? Then bold and bright yellows and pinks will help convey this side of the personality of your business.
Your moodboard is all about exuding the feeling you want your brand to give people and you can use colours to influence their emotional response to your brand. You can also carry this through into the type of photography and fonts you will choose for your brand.
4. creating your brand moodboard
Once you’ve looked through all your inspiration points and have your 4 brand words in mind you can start to put together a moodboard for your brand, or work with a designer to help you take this further. You can use software like Canva, Photoshop or even Powerpoint to create your moodboard, or keep it hands-on and go for a cut and stick collage.
Try to keep it simple with 4-5 images, a couple of fonts and your colour choices for your brand. You are aiming to capture the essence of your brand so reflect on it and see if there is anything superflous there that isn’t really adding to your moodboard. If so delete it! Feel free to grab the template below and replace it with your own images and colours.
Here is a brand moodboard I created for an accountant who is focussed on balance, warmth and working with entrepreneurs who want a business to support a balanced and holistic lifestyle. The brand words were warm, supportive, relatable and you can see how these words are reflected in the photography and colours chosen.
Here are a few moodboards I’ve recently created for brands to give you some inspiration and an idea of the different moods that can be created… (feel free to pin them for later too!)
5. PUTTING YOUR BRAND MOODBOARD INTO ACTION
Once you’ve created your brand moodboard then you can use this when you are communicating your brand to other people you may be working with. It can be great for a copywriter to see what your brand essence looks like so they can reflect it through the words they write. It’s also good to keep looking back at your moodboard when you are creating social posts, photography and anything branded to make sure it is on-brand and reflective of that brand essence.
I usually recommend working with a designer to bring your brand vision to life so that your moodboard can then be translated into a full brand book telling your brand story and showing how all the different visual elements should look. To see how moodboards are translated into brandbooks then take a look at some of my latest branding projects here.
You can also read more about how branding can empower and help your business to thrive by downloading my free ‘The Power of Authentic Branding’ Ebook.
I've created these audio and podcast episodes to teach you a little more about authentic branding. I'll be adding to them each week so feel free to subscribe to my Youtube channel for updates. You can watch below, or there is a soundcloud playlist for you to listen on...
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Before jumping into design I dreamed of being a Rock star and studied music at Paul McCartneys music school ‘The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’. I spent a few years as a pro musician where I toured, played festivals, recorded albums and also a music video. I still love playing sax and bass in bands and music and design make me feel alive and inspired!
3 things that keep me motivated are yoga or runs every morning, matcha tea and 6music!