Creating your brand is the first step when it comes to creating a recognisable and sustainable business. Your brand image can define your client base, your work load and the message you portray so it is important to get it right as soon as you can. A large part of your branding is the image side of things, your logo, colour palette and design elements and these things can be tricky to come up with.
My first step when it comes to creating a brand for a client is a brand mood board. This is basically a large image, a bit like a scrapbook, made up of elements which inspire you and your brand. Creating one can seem like a mammoth task but once you have the basic steps, you can get this done in no time!
Once you have a brand mood board, you can refer to this when you want to create any new design elements and when you need to realign and see where your original values lie. It can also be a really useful tool as a starting point if you want to completely DIY your brand.
I’ve created a little step by step guide to help you create your own brand mood board and included some FREE mood board templates to make it as easy as possible for you. All you need is a bit of creativity and your brand on the brain!
Identify Your Brand Values
First of all, it’s important to have a think and make some notes about what your brand values are. What is your aim for your business? Who are your ideal clients? What mood do you want your brand to portray? Most of these things will already be rattling around in your head but try to get them down on paper as your brand image should align with your values.
For example, if you want your brand values to be vibrant and friendly, you don’t want your colour palette to be full of neutrals, blacks and greys. A brighter colour palette would match those values.
Set up a Pinterest Board
The best place I use for finding and gathering your inspiration is Pinterest. There is a huge variety of images that you can draw your brand image from including logo examples, colour palettes, interesting photography and type inspiration. Whatever you are looking for, you will be able to find on Pinterest.
Create a board on Pinterest (you can make it secret if you’d prefer) and this will be where your inspiration lives.
Pin Your Brand Inspiration
Now for the fun bit – get pinning! I recommend to my clients that you pin 5 colour palettes, 5 logo designs, 5 patterns and 5 website designs as your foundation but you can also add photography, typography, quotes and graphics. Just make sure that everything you pin has a justification as to why you have pinned it, this way you don’t get too click happy and add everything you like. Add a little caption which explains why each image is on your board and how it will be part of your brand.
Put Pins Into A Board
When you have pinned all your inspiration, you should be seeing a theme throughout whether it’s a certain design style or a specific colour palette. From this, you can then pick out your favourite pins or the ones which you identify your brand with the most and put them into a mood board.
Remember, I have included three free mood board templates in this post which you can use. Or, you can get creative and make your own! Some of my favourite mood board designs are really creative and play with different design elements.
Check Back With Brand Values
Once you have your completed mood board, check back with the brand values you wrote down and make sure the two connect. When you read your values, does the board match? Your values should evoke a mood or feeling which should read clearly with the images you have chosen for your brand.
If the two aren’t lining up, feel free to go back in and change a few things around. It should be quite clear which images don’t fit in whether they are the wrong colour or wrong feeling. With the templates, it is really easy to replace the images with new ones if you need to!
You should end up with an image which encompasses your brand values and your brand images and which you can refer to on a regular basis to make sure everything you create is in alignment with the brand.