Once you have taken the time to get clear about the kind of brand you want to create and the message you want to communicate, the next step is to create a mood to represent that, so you can begin to translate your message into visuals. Which means time to make a mood board.
So when are ready for this part of the branding process, here are some tips to create the perfect mood board.
Where to Look for Images
A mood board gives you a visual point of reference. As much as writing down words and key points that make up who you are is the perfect starting point, turning it into something visual and cohesive will really get you clear on the ‘look’.
Pinterest, magazines, collected paper goods (cards, art or other bits you have kept because they appeal to you), stock image websites, flickr, instagram, favourite blogs, your own photos.
Note: If you intend to share your board online, be sure to keep note of where the images came from so you can credit them.
Don’t just look for images once and stop either. In order to keep that constant visual reference and inspiration flowing, start a virtual scrap board using pinterest (this also helps share your style with your followers and attracts people who like your style) and a physical collection. This could be a box full of magazines, cut out and found bits or a scrap book with things all stuck down. Journaling and collecting your style inspiration, constantly surrounding yourself in it will help keep you consistent and inspire you, so that it becomes an ingrained part of who you are.
How to make a Board
You can use online software like Canva, or go as fancy as Photoshop or Indesign. Or you could go old school, and make a real life mood board by cutting and pasting images in a sketch book or on poster board. This is a great way to visualize it, if you want to find your brand style or working on the style for a big project. Hanging it up, will serve as a great reminder or the visual direction you want to go, and prevent you from straying and getting ‘inspired’ by unrelated things.
You want to start finding a colour scheme, so find images that fit together and have an overall colour and feel that go together. Start picking out the colours and make swatches on the side of your board. If something doesn’t fit take it out, want to create a cohesive feel.
Try to choose a mix of things- textures, colours, images, typography, fashion, nature, landscape and interiors.
These are my mood boards, I am working on refining my brand and personal style, and I think these boards (featured board at the top and board below) really encapsulate the feel I am working toward.
So what is the next step in finding your style?? Apply it! Now you have created a visual of who you are, start working it into your style, keep going back to it when you are making style related or buying decisions. You now have a visual guideline.
Need to go back a step? If you need help defining your brand before moving onto the mood board, then sign up for the ‘Define Your Brand’s Style’ Free Email Course.