You might have heard the terms inspiration board or mood board before, in relation to creating a brand for your business. It’s commonly used by graphic designers to spark inspiration when presenting logo or branding ideas to their clients.
Not sure if utilising an inspiration board can help you? In this blog post we will cover what an inspiration board is, why you should use one, how to create your inspiration board and how you can use it help keep your brand looking consistent.
P.s. Don’t miss my FREE photoshop mood board template at the end of this post!
What is in inspiration board or moodboard?
An inspiration board is a collection of colours, text, images or materials used to represent a particular style and spark inspiration for a project. It can help create an overall ‘mood’ for your brand, which can help give you inspiration for the look you want your business to reflect. This makes it easier for you to determine a unique aesthetic for your brand.
Why should I use an inspiration board?
There is lots to think about when it comes to branding your business, with so many different styles to choose from it can be easy to get overwhelmed with ideas. This can lead to merging different styles and being inconsistent throughout your branding, which looks unprofessional.
Creating a mood board for your project is a great starting point. If you’re working with a designer it helps ensure you’re both on the same page visually, before your designer starts creating your logos and working on the branding elements.
Utilising an inspiration board helps you narrow down your options to help you find an aesthetic that best represents your brand. You can use the board to help you focus on your chosen theme and keep the style consistent throughout the rest of the branding.
For example, are you going for bold, bright feminine colours? A clean, simple and neutral aesthetic? An inspiration board is a place to hold all your style ideas and turn them into your own unique brand aesthetic.
How do I create an inspiration board?
Pinterest is filled with so many beautiful and stylish photos, making it the perfect platform to start gathering inspiration for your moodboard.
Start by creating a secret board on Pinterest. This way only you can see it so you can pin as many images as you like without worrying about them showing up on your main boards. You can also add your designer to the board if you are working with one.
Pin as many images as you like that both appeal to you and reflect your brand. You could get inspiration from images, typography, logos, website layouts, style guides, colour palettes etc. You don’t have to know what style you’re going for yet, at this stage you’re still gathering inspiration, so if you like it and it fits, pin it!
Remember it’s not just about pinning things you love, it’s important to make sure your staying true to what you want your brand to represent. For example, you might love bright oranges and yellows but if you want your brand to appear professional and feminine this probably isn’t the best match.
Narrow down your images
Now it’s time to narrow down your collection and find your brand aesthetic. Look at all the photos you’ve pinned. Are there any that just don’t fit in with the rest of them? Start by deleting these.
Now look for similarities between the rest of the images. Do you notice any images that work particularly well together? Are there any recurring colours, fonts or patterns that match? Focus on these aspects and you should begin to uncover your brand style.
At this point, take a step back and make sure the collection of images still represents your brand. Is it giving off a style that your ideal audience would be attracted too?
Finalise the layout
Once you’ve found the collection of images you want to feature on your mood board, it’s time to start finalising the layout.
Open up the mood board template in photoshop (you can download my free mood board template at the end of this post). Start by choosing any images that are particularly bold or have a busy pattern going on and spread these out across the board. You don’t want the board to look too busy or distracting, so it’s best to keep a balance between the simple and busier photos.
Try and pick photos with different compositions or focal points and mix up the crop of the photos to keep things interesting. You want your images to compliment each other well to summarise the overall style of your brand. I recommend you stick to around 7-8 images max, otherwise it will start to look overwhelming.
Use the eyedropper tool to select 3-4 colours from the images that would work well as the colour palette for your brand. Place these colours as small rectangles of solid colour between the images. The template also has white space around all the images to help separate the images and keep everything looking clean. I find this helps pull everything together and give a cohesive look to the board.
Keep moving the images around until you are happy with the outcome. Here are some examples:
How to use your Inspiration Board
Your new mood board now acts as a summary of your business and brand. Each time you create a graphic or branding element for your business you can check it fits with the mood board so you know it’s on brand.
You can also print it off the final design and pin it to the wall behind your desk, this way it can help remind you of your brand style. If you’re a visual person, like me, you might find the images really inspire you with different aspects of your business tasks.
Don’t forget to enter your email address below to download the free photoshop mood board template!