If you want your business to mean something to your target audience, its essence should be consistently reflected across all aspects of your branding. Any creative elements should be aligned with the brand personality, ethos and messaging. Once you are clear on these aspects of your business you can begin to create a truly meaningful, cohesive and strategic visual identity.
One way to guide consistency in the look and feel of your brand is to define an overall design direction or visual ‘mood’ using a mood board. A mood board – or inspiration board – is simply a collection of images, words, colour palettes, patterns and textures that work together to convey the overall feel or vibe of a design. They are used in fashion, interior and graphic design, but people also create them for weddings and event styling. Moodboarding is a really useful tool to help you distil your brand essence into a visual direction, and can be done either manually or digitally. Pinterest is my personal fave for this stage of the design process.
Here’s how to use Pinterest to create a brand moodboard, step-by-step:
- Take your brand essence (core business values, mission, brand personality, value proposition, and customer persona) as your starting point.
- Write down 10-15 individual words that you feel best describe your business in relation to these aspects, and how it makes people feel (or how you’d ideally like it to make them feel).
- In Pinterest, search for two or three pins (posts) for each of the brand words you’ve come up with and save them onto a ‘longlist’ Pinterest board. Try to include a mix of photography, graphics, typography, words, colour palettes, patterns, and anything else that catches your eye.
- Once you have put your Pinterest board together, start rearranging the pins into groups: those that work really well together, those that speak loudest to you, those that evoke a particular emotion or feeling – whatever works for you. Be guided by what’s in front of you – this bit can be as intuitive as you like.
- Once you’ve had a good play around with your longlist, select 6-9 pins that you feel work best together to sum up your brand vibe or essence.
- Now, you can either add them to a new brand board on Pinterest, or copy the images into a template in Canva or a photo collage app to create your final mood board.
- If you’re a perfectionist like me, you’ll probably want to switch the images around until you’ve got a vibe and composition you love. Once you’re happy, it’s good to go!
Why not print out your brand mood board and pin it up in the office? You could even print the individual elements and arrange them on the wall or a pegboard for a Pinterest-worthy aesthetic of your own!
Then you’ll have a visual cue to guide the rest of your brand identity and creative elements, and help maintain consistency whenever you are creating marketing collateral in the future.
While you’re thinking about your brand identity, you may wish to read about 8 creative branding elements that are as important as your logo. Or if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.