How To Create a Mood Board

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

Mood boards help you discover your aesthetic and establish a brand direction. 

Mood Boards, Inspiration Boards, Vision Boards…. you’ve probably heard one or more of these terms used when it comes to branding and content. They’re essentially all the same thing. And you may have asked yourself, “what is a mood board and how do I create one?” or, “Why is it important for my brand?” If you’ve asked these questions, you’re in luck. We’re answering them for you today and then some.

So… what is a mood board? I’m kind of into Google-ing definitions and because I really liked this one, I'm sharing it. Mood Board: “An arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., to evoke or project a particular style or concept.” So basically what it does is set the mood for whatever it is you’re trying to design -- whether it’s for branding, a photo shoot, a wedding or event, a blog or even your social media feed. Because we’re visual storytellers, we’re big on mood boards here at Story Place Media. They help you discover your aesthetic and establish a brand direction. They set a mood and act as a visual interpretation for what you want your concept to be.

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

We produce a lot of content for our clients. So we have photo shoots ALL THE TIME. The content we create is used for all digital marketing assets -- website, email campaigns, social media, advertising, editorial, you name it. So when working with our clients, mood boards help us identify the tone of the brand and the tone of each concept. We create a mood board for every photo shoot. I like having these references because they ensure that we and the client are on the same page. It’s important to check in with your client early on in the process to make sure they’re happy with the direction and that you’re meeting their needs. This saves you time later on once you begin to produce the content.  

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

If you’re putting together a mood board for branding either for yourself or your client, it should have the following:

  • Colors

  • Typography or Fonts

  • Patterns

  • Icons

  • Textures

  • Themes

These all help you get a better sense of direction. Remember, a mood board acts as a reference guide and will give you an idea of how to keep your brand style (or concept) cohesive throughout your website and with your content. You want to create a recognizable brand identity. When your brand is consistent, your readers and followers will recognize you when they see your work.

When you’re putting together a mood board, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I trying to achieve?

  • Who is my target audience?

  • What motivates and attracts my audience?

  • How do I want my audience to feel when they’re seeing my content?

  • What kind of style best represents me/my brand?

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

PHOTO BY: MARIE BUCK

A good way to create a mood board is with a secret Pinterest Board. Pin anything you see that relates to how you want your brand represented. You’ll find you’re drawn to certain color palettes, fonts, patterns, and imagery. Sometimes I like to get away from the computer and put mood boards together on a wall. I’m always collecting magazines, postcards, greeting cards, look books and colored paper, paint chips -- anything that inspires me or draws my attention. So when it’s time for a new project I lay everything out on my living room floor and start putting together things that are inspiring me for that particular project. I then start to hang things on a wall and see it all come together -- I love this part. You’ll move things around and will definitely eliminate a few pieces as you go along. But in the end, you’ll find your look.

It’s important to remember that you don’t want to copy the exact design elements you’re “pinning.” You’re essentially drawing inspiration from these and setting a tone for the direction you want to go in.

Once you’re done compiling your images and your mood board is complete, you’ll have a very clear direction of your brand aesthetic.

Hope this information puts you in the right direction. I'd love to answer any questions you have so feel free to send me a DM on Instagram at @storyplace.media or email me at adeniz@storyplace.media.