Finding (the right) Inspiration for your Mood Board
I work with a lot of creatives. Many, many creatives. Usually, photographers. And when I do branding design for creatives, I kind of get to cheat when it comes to brand boards. The reason for this is obvious: creatives create, and therefore have visual content of their own that I can pull into their branding, and use for consistency.
Basing the colours of a brand on the creative content that a business owner births, sets the foundation for building an ecosystem in which their work feels natural. It makes their clients feel comfy in their online spaces – and it’s the basis of my work with creatives.
But… I don’t always get to cheat like this! Not every business I work with is a creative one, or at least in the sense that the photographers, artists, and videographers I work with are. They don’t have the same kind of visual content for me to pull into their brands, and I have to (GASP) start from naut.
Start with your Clients
In these cases, I have to start in a completely different place. For these businesses, I flip things around, and source their images and colours backwards. Instead of starting with the images themselves, I start with the feelings that my client wants their clients to have, as well as the aesthetic preferences of their ideal client from what they’ve told me.
Is their client going to be more attracted to something bold? Or something minimal? Or something with elements of both? Something highly colourful, or a palette that’s more neutral?
We base these choices on their ideal client profile, and then I choose images that will appeal to their preferences.
Finding Mood Board Inspiration
The images themselves though… where the hell do those come from? Well, when a business owner doesn’t have images for me to use, or hasn’t shared a Pinterest board with some inspiration, I consult stock image sites! There are far, far more resources there than you might think.
Pexels.com is my personal favourite right now, because they’ve actually begun curating image sets by colour, which is super helpful if you’re looking to create a set that’s cohesive and consistent. They also have images with a more modern mood, as compared to Pixabay and other sites of the same tenor. Unsplash is also a really good option!
What if it doesn’t feel right?
If you’ve selected your images, and something still just doesn’t feel right… go back to those feelings. What do you want your ideal client to feel when they look at your branding? What tone do you want to set?
If you’re struggling to set this tone… Hit. Up. Pinterest. I can’t tell you how much I go back to my own pin boards, and those of the professionals I follow, to get inspiration for mood boards, branding content, and tone setting. Of course, we’re not pulling directly from Pinterest, because we can’t use pinned images directly in our brand without ensuring that we have the appropriate licenses to use them, but we CAN use them as a point of inspiration to help with our process!