All About Moodboards

What is a moodboard? Why do you need one?

If you're anything like us, we'd bet that you started making moodboards in your teenage years without even knowing it. Did you ever cut inspiring images out of your favorite magazines and paste them to a poster board or pin them on a cork board? Then yes, that's pretty much a moodboard.

Did it look like a jumbled mess or did it have a rhyme and reason? Our early moodboard making days in middle school were not good but those skills have improved over time now that we make them for a living. Well, kind of. We use moodboards to help build brands.

Image by Paper & Stitch Blog

Image by Paper & Stitch Blog

Define moodboard.

A moodboard is a grouping of inspiring images, phrases, textures, patterns, type and colors that as a collection, help to develop and guide the mood of your brand.

They're very helpful when trying to communicate your vision to others—especially designers.

Now that you know what one is, are you ready to make your own?

If you like to work with your hands, why not channel your inner teen, and take your now favorite (hopefully more adult) magazines, papers, fabrics, and collage them together?

If that seems a little too juvenile and messy to you, how about you use the most popular mood board builder on the planet: Pinterest

How We Use Moodboards

Before we start a project we ask our clients to create a Pinterest board. It is on our list of things to do before you start designing your website. We've even purposefully color categorized our own Pinterest to help people start thinking about their color palette.

By creating a Pinterest board for us we're able to peek into your brain and see your vision for your brand and website. It's a great way for us to get our clients involved in the process.

We'll admit that we've had discussions about eliminating the moodboard from our branding process. In some cases clients take the moodboard too literally. In the end, they are helpful and serve as a guide that really ties everything together. 

Moodboard for former client Ranch Rose

Moodboard for former client Ranch Rose

The best thing you can do when creating your own vision and moodboard on Pinterest is this:

Every time you pin something stop and ask yourself - "does this really reflect my brand or do I just like the image?


Other questions you can ask yourself as you pin:

  • Does this image evoke my desired mood for my brand?
  • How do I envision this image fitting into my brand?
  • Do I have a wide array of items on my moodboard?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you're pinning items that feel like your brand. Cheeky, bright, neutral, colorful, luxurious, simple, etc.

  2. Pin a variety of items. Don't pin fonts and other branding (ie: logos, brand boards, etc.). 

  3. Pay attention to the colors in the images you are pinning. If you're looking to create a high-end and luxurious brand, you'll probably want to use a simple, monochromatic color palette (think: black and white with a few subdued colors).

Moodboard for client. (Was never actually used)

Moodboard for client. (Was never actually used)

We design Moodboards for all types of clients, with a variety of visions for their brands. Undoubtedly, it is some of our favorite work to do. There is something really exciting about bringing our clients brand visions (new or revamped) to life.

You can check out just a few of the brands we have worked with here.

Moodboard for Threadly

Moodboard for Threadly

Now go get 'em!

Go create the moodboard of your brand's dream. Don't rush. Take your time. You might even need to walk away from it for a day or two and come back to the board with a clear head.

Note: If you like to work digitally, software programs like PhotoShop, Illustrator, PowerPoint or Word can be very useful. Use google search images/fonts or a stock photography website to pull ideas and collect your pieces and arrange them. Here are some quick tips on creating visual consistency to find online inspiration.

All about moodboards. What they are and why you need one by @hellobigidea.

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