If we had to choose one part of the design process that we absolutely swoon over every. time., it would be this step here: curating the perfect mood board.
It’s sort of the “no commitment required” stage of the branding process where you really get to experiment and see what really speaks to you. What do you want your brand to look like? How do you want it to feel? What message should it convey?
Not only is it a really fun part of the process, but it’s one of the most helpful. Ultimately, the mood board you curate will provide the visual direction needed to develop a brand identity that feels authentic and intentional. Mainly, we want it to feel true to you and the brand you’re building.
So how do we start?
We ask a lot of questions. Questions like:
- If my brand were a location, where would it be?
- If my brand were a kitchen, how would it be designed?
- If my brand were a person, what outfit would it wear?
Now we take all of those answers and start curating the visuals that support it.
Enter: Pinterest. (You knew that was coming, right?)
You’ll likely want to create a secret board where you can pin things that inspire you and feel true to the brand you want to build. (We actually have two. One for general brand inspiration and one for brand photoshoot’s!)
[BUT WAIT …] A word of caution here: do. not. pin. everything. We know it’s tempting because you like it all! But this is where you’re going to want to be really discerning. Think about the answers to the very specific questions you asked yourself earlier as it relates to your brand.
We’re not pinning things you’d like to wear everyday. The house you want to live in.
We’re pinning things that your brand should wear. The house your brand would live in.
Sometimes those are one in the same. But sometimes they’re not.
Either way, you’re going to want to pin all sorts of things (not primarily any branding or websites you love): textures, locations, clothes, objects, words … you get the point.
Here’s a quick look at our own Pinterest board where we’ve curated pins that feel especially true to the brand we want to build:
See where we’re heading here? What do you know about our brand just by looking at the few images above?
We hope it feels relatable. Refined. Warm. Rooted in our love for and home abroad in Europe.
This is how we get to the heart of the matter. The heart of your brand. The piece that’s not going to change when a new trend hits the screen.
This is how we start to build a brand that is unique, consistent and representative of your values.
So take your time here. Make that cappuccino. Hit play on some tunes (we recommend a little Frank Sinatra). And cozy up for an evening of pinning all that inspires you.
Now it’s time to take what you’ve pinned and go even deeper.
It’s time to build a mood board.
A board that tells the whole story as best as it can in a purely visual way.
Here’s what the Studio Stefan mood board “in process” looks like:
Of course, not every pin is going to make it to the mood board. You’ll want to choose the ones that give the most value to your brand’s visual identity overall.
Start piecing the story together and once it feels just right (you’ll know when it does!) … stop.
Come back to it a day later. A week later.
Does it still feel true to you? Does it resonate with you?
If the answer is yes, you’re ready to move on and use that as a visual foundation for the rest of your brand!