Are you an online business owner or blogger who is looking to create a mood board to set your branding in motion?

You know that in order to gain traction and make some waves, you need to create a consistent brand… But you have NO idea where to start, am I right?

There’s no way you’re dropping the big bucks on an expensive brand designer, especially when you know that with just a little guidance, you can create a DIY brand you love.

How in the heck do you even get started?

Enter the mood board.

Why your brand needs a mood board

What is a Mood Board for Branding?

A mood board is a visual collage made up of pictures, colors, patterns, textures words, and any other elements, that when put together, visually represent your unique brand with more clarity than words can describe.

This fun and inspirational piece of visual eye candy is the very first step in creating a brand that empowers you.

A mood board shouldn’t be confused with a brand board, which are actually two very different things.

A brand board is typically a one page document that’s used as a visual cheat sheet.

It contains all of the visual elements that make up your brand:

  • Your logo and any alternative logos or submarks
  • A color palette
  • Font selections
  • Photography
  • Textures
  • Design elements
Applecart Lane Brand Board

Before you can even think about creating a brand board, you’ll need a handcrafted mood board to help you determine all of the above.

Bloggers and online business owners who are DIY-ing their own branding and graphics use mood boards to shape the style and tone of the brand they are working hard to build. If you have absolutely no clue where to start with your branding, a mood board is 100% necessary.

If your branding doesn’t match the vision you have for your business, you’ll have a hard time connecting with your dream customers

Why Would I Want a Mood Board?

Other than the fact that creating a mood board is a very fun and inspiring process, your handcrafted mood board will prove it’s worth time and time again throughout the life of your business:

If you are the DIY type, your mood bar will ignite the fire for your own unique brand from your heart. As you gather inspiration, you will feel closer and closer to what your brand is and all that it will encompass. You will begin to understand your brand inside and out.

Your mood board will be there for you as you decide on the visual components of your brand. At any point, you can gut check yourself.“Does this fit with the overall style and vibe I want my brand toportray?”

Your brand mood board will also streamline the process of creating graphics and visual content since you won’t be reinventing the wheel every time. You’ll always have something visual to reference.

Your mood board just might be the backbone of your visual branding and business and it just may be the starting point of any new project.

How do I Create a Mood Board for my Brand?

If you want to hop on the DIY fast track, join my DIY Mood Board Challenge! In this challenge, I’ll guide you through creating a mood board and you’ll gather all of the inspiration you need to create a brand that you’re totally in love with.

free mood board challenge

Here’s a step-by-step of how to create a mood board if you want to piece it together yourself:

Step 1: Choose Your Brand Words

你要做的第一件事是think about how you want those who interact with your brand to feel. Do you want them to feel energized? Relaxed? Sophisticated?

Jot down all of the words or phrases that come to mind when you think about the vibe you want to give your customers. How can you visually represent these words, feelings, and emotions?

You can also jot down some general descriptive words and adjectives.

Step 2: Gathering Inspirational Imagery

There are many places to find images to make up your mood board. My favorite resource is Pinterest since it is a visual search engine and there are millions and millions of pins. You can find images by searching your brand words and descriptive words and go from there. Pin everything and anything that resonates with you and sparks your attention.

You can also visit stock photo websites likeUnsplashandIvoryMixand pin collect images from there.

Step 3: Put it All Together!

You’ll want to find a design software or mood board app to put all of your inspiration together to create your mood board. My favorite software for DIY Designers isCanva! Canva is a free tool that is great for beginners with little design skills. Canva also has mood board templates that make it easy to quickly drag and drop your images and inspiration into.

Step 4: Create a Color Palette

Once your mood board is full of images that visually represent the tone and style of your brand, the last step is to create a color palette. If there are certain colors that appear in your mood board, you can start creating your color palette based on that. You can also head back over to Pinterest and search “green color palette”, “happy color palette”, or “muted color palette” to see tons more inspiration!

How to Create a mood board

When Should you Use a Mood Board?

Once your mood board is complete, you should print it off or keep it easily accessible so that you can reference it when you’re creating anything visual for your brand.

Use your mood board any time you need to gut-check yourself. Is what you’re creating in line with your vision? If not, you may need to take a step back. Your mood board will help you create a consistent brand that will get your dream customers to notice you. You’ll always be confident that the visual content you are creating fits your branding and over-arching message.

Even though you are the DIY type, there may come a point where your business would flourish if you were able to focus on things other than playing Graphic Designer.

If you ever come to a point where you need to hand of your graphic creation, you can give your graphic designer a deeper insight and a more intimate view into the tone and style you want your branding to exude.

What Makes an Effective Mood Board?

To ensure your mood board is something that you can use for your brand creation, you’ll want to make sure in incldues:

  • 4-7 images that have a strong visual tone
  • 2-3 textures and/or patterns to support your vibe
  • A color palette (you can create this using colors directly from your images)
  • 1-2 images with text (quote graphics or hand lettering images are perfect for this!)

When all is said and done, your mood board should be made up of handpicked visual inspiration that makes your heart skip a beat.

Mood Board Examples

I’ve collected a few mood board examples so you can get a feel for what a complete mood board for your brand can look like, and to show that there are no strict rules for creating your own. Each and every mood board will have it’s own unique spin and no two will be alike!

Mood Board Templates

I’ve created an exclusive set of mood board templates for you to use right away in theDIY Mood Board Challenge!

Plus, when you join the challenge, you’ll have a step-by-step process you can follow to bring your own mood board to life!

free mood board challenge

There are no rules to what a mood board has to look like or what the layout has to be. You can even create a physical “old-school” mood board by cutting out images from old magazines, printing images off the web and taking pictures when you’re out and about.

Mood Board Design is a Must!

Your mood board is an essential first step of many visual projects, especially when it comes to DIY-ing your own branding.

They will shape the visual tone and style of your brand or project when words just can’t describe.

Mood boards don’t have to be complicated or take hours to create. With a bit of time, the right software and an open mind, you can create a mood board that will start a fire within you and allow you to create an amazing brand!

I can’t wait to see what you create!

Kristin Rappaport post signature