Before a customer can try a product or trial service, they will see your brand. Branding represents the introduction of your audience to your business. Ensuring that your introduction is memorable means that you must prepare a strong branding strategy.
The branding design process can be complex- creating a cohesive strategy will require ensuring your ideas are well organized and communicated to your team. A branding mood board is a special tool that can help guide any design process, from personal hobby projects to enterprise branding initiatives. We have created this in-depth guide to discuss a “mood board” and the individual features you should consider when putting one together before delving further into why your business should make one.
Finally, we’ll introduce an innovation in digital mood board creation with the mood board software and share details about our product NoteLedge. Almost every brand-building project can be assisted by using a branding mood board, and we hope the reasons will be clear by the end of this guide.
What Is a Branding Mood Board?
A mood board is a collage of visual (and sometimes even audio) elements that are used to represent a central concept. An example of this type of work will be if you are an app designer laying out ideas for what the UI will look like. You would likely gather colors, styles, fonts, and other visual elements that inspire your vision for your application.
A branding mood board sets out to accomplish the same thing, except it will involve your outlook for your business’s image specifically. The purpose of this exercise is to formulate a cohesive image of your brand and understand what your designs are looking to inspire in your customers. This tactic is crucial for determining the look of things like marketing materials or even just a standard business card.
Creating a mood board traditionally would involve using a simple tool like a whiteboard or poster board and cutting out pictures, and putting everything together physically. However, mood board creation can become very detailed when working on concepts as important as brand design, and so software solutions have been created to help assist with the process.
Now, digital tools can help make the process of combining visual assets, audio clips, and other information easier than ever and help businesses find their look.
When Should You Make a Branding Mood Board?
With a mood board being such a valuable resource in guiding the creative vision of the design process, you should look to make a branding mood board before you have chosen a brand image, or if you are looking to revamp your existing one. A branding mood board is much more than just a collection of images; it can help your team further understand key aspects of the branding process, including who your ideal client or target audience is.
Empower Your Design Process with a Branding Mood Board
A mood board is an essential tool for organizing their design inspiration in one convenient location and for businesses to communicate the brand style with design agencies to make marketing materials. To make an efficient mood board, you need to include several elements: keywords, phrases, color palettes, images, patterns, shapes, and images.
What Keywords and Phrases Make Sense for the Brand?
Creating a branding mood board, you will need to consider some aspects that a casual user wouldn’t think about trying out. Specifically, keywords and phrases, outside of your inclusion of an important visual reference or two, will be integral for formulating the big picture vision of your brand.
An important way to begin formulating an effective mood board is to start with some keywords and phrases that you can then build the rest of your board off of. An individual digital designer may start their brand-building process with a key inspirational image. Visual metaphors can be powerful, but more than likely, your design process will start from some initial words and phrases.
We already mentioned images and keywords and phrases, but when formulating the style guide for your brand, you will also want to consider more abstract concepts that will be associated with your branding. For example, if the keyword or phrase you began your mood board with was “strong,” what visual details would reflect that sentiment? You might include pictures of muscles or tough metal, but your branding will not be composed solely of image references.
Therefore, the next important thing to consider is what colors will you utilize for your branding throughout logos, applications, and other areas.
How Do I Create a Brand Color Palette?
Your brand’s color palette will be one of the key elements that your customers will use to identify you and, in turn, makes a color scheme one of the most important things to consider as part of your design process. If you are looking for color inspiration, you might want to observe the visual direction other popular organizations have taken. If you have already done so, you may have noticed a trend with red and blue colors.
With all the possible color themes available for companies to use, the most popular choices are overwhelmingly red and blue. Whether it is one of these colors or a combination of the two for a theme, many companies you encounter daily will have these colors in their branding. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, the NBA, and Johnson and Johnson are examples of companies utilizing extensive red and blue branding.
The reason this occurs is because of the psychological effects of color. Red and blue are both primary colors and stand out. Red is also often associated with energy and excitement, and it’s even been known to increase blood pressure. Meanwhile, cooler colors like blue are more closely associated with feelings of ease and calm.
The colors you choose for your business can also call on these psychological effects, but don’t be afraid to explore more into what colors mean to you. Create color swatches of your favorite themes, and even color match examples you find out in the world. Think about things like what accent colors will work well with your theme, and what kinds of emotion you want to convey to your audience.
What Do Patterns and Shapes Indicate?
Outside of your chosen color palette, patterns and shapes are also important for your branding concept.
For instance, geometric shapes are typically used to convey a sense of structure and organization. Google Drive is a great example, featuring three color-blocked segments that connect to make a simple logo that reflects the nature of the brand: to connect and organize documents for users.
This is a rather simple example, but patterns and shapes can get incredibly complex, and you may even need to use texture references if you feel that your brand could make use of such in your logo. Outside of using a digital mood board, your team could even gather actual materials together so you can have a physical grasp of possible texture ideas.
Why Are Images and Other Visual Content Important?
With some of the alternatives to traditional images covered, let’s discuss the actual value of images to a mood board. Videos and images are a great starting point and provide a significant influence on your brand. Not to mention, there is such a wide range of images to choose from, your brand has many places to gather inspiration.
Inspiration for design projects can be varied. Some projects will value black-and-white imagery to provide a certain tone to their vision. Meanwhile, other images for inspiration could be incredibly vibrant. Like the other aspects of mood boards that we mentioned before, what is important is that your collection of images provides a good reflection of what you want to convey with your branding.
If you want to emphasize that your brand can help make people’s lives more easygoing and manageable, including lifestyle images could be a good choice. Think of a mood board as a way to communicate your brand’s aspirations through imagery.
What Mood Board Software Should I Start With?
With the specifics of a mood board explained, we hope you now understand why they are such a valuable tool for the design process and why they should be an essential part of your branding design strategy. If you are convinced of their usefulness, you may want to know how you can ensure that your mood boards are maximally effective. For that, you should consider using mood board Software.
NoteLedge is one such mood board software and is an invaluable tool for your next branding or design project. You can manage access to your mood boards across mobile and desktop devices and call on them at your convenience. When you need to experiment with your next business project, consider downloading NoteLedge free from the App Store, Google Play Store, or Microsoft Store.
Traditional physical mood boards have been useful for a long time now, but with the increase in digital software solutions, even mood boards have found more versatility and accessibility with the use of digital tools. With a digital mood board, you can easily get access to a variety of online resources from Pinterest and other branding references.
Strengthen Your Branding Concept with NoteLedge
Mood board software is a game-changer for creating mood boards for brand-related design projects. Now, you can utilize unlimited space versus the limited size of posters and whiteboards. Your branding project can also utilize features like rearranging items which can get difficult when pasting things on physical mood boards.
If you have experience creating mood boards physically, then the interface of NoteLedge may feel familiar to you. However, if you are unfamiliar with similar digital software or would like more tips on creating with NoteLedge, check out some design ideas from our users. Get NoteLedge and start your branding mood board today.