Mood Board 101: Branding and Image Development

The branding and image of a company is extremely important, because ultimately a good image leads to more sales – period. Psychology dictates that a person is more likely to buy a product/service if they have an emotional attachment (which can be achieved visually) to that product or service in the way it is presented. In basic terms, if a visitor “likes” your website they’re more inclined to buy something from it. The way you can build an emotional attachment is through design aesthetics which create a feel of quality or affordability (dependent on which image you’re going for).

So, how do you go about planning and implementing a design such that you produce one that presents a positive image? Have you always wanted to adopt a technique that allows you to plan and develop the aesthetics of a website, logo, or poster design to a high degree? Well, I think mood boards are for you.

A mood board is a collage of your ideas and inspiration for any design work, whether it be web or print, in the form of visual representations. It’s like brainstorming, but solely for the development of a design’s aesthetics and feel, rather than its content and other plans as well.

Mood boards are not just visual representations, they represent the emotion you wish to portray across your work – because it is emotion that creates the look and feel of a design of any kind.

Mood boards are absolutely brilliant, because you can use anything you like to develop them. Let’s say, you come across a texture on a piece of old cloth you have lying around the house, and you feel you could implement that texture in your design, you could simply cut it up and make it apart of your board. Like the font spacing and style in a magazine article you read? Cut it out, and stick it on.

You can develop mood boards digitally using your favorite design software, or by hand (which is what I prefer) using real cut-outs and materials.

Mood boards are used in a whole array of abstract disciplines such as:

  • Interface design
  • Website design
  • Brand design
  • Marketing communication (commercials)
  • Movies
  • Storyboarding
  • Video game design
  • Painting
  • Fashion
  • Music

Examples of Mood Boards

Mint Chocolate Chip -Baby Nursery




So, what should I include on my mood board?

  • Color palette/wheel
  • Shapes and textures
  • Effects (such as ripple of water on the 4th mood board)
  • Lighting
  • Vivid imagery
  • Color combination

A mood board is for your own use, there is nothing that must necessarily be included on it. Include what ever you wish to include that you feel will help you develop the look and feel of the design in your own mind, so you can aptly translate that when you construct the design.

If you need to add a process to your work flow which helps you attain excellent results, then I think mood boards are for you. You don’t need to spend hours on end creating one either, just collate bits and bobs you find useful and interesting as you go along your usual day-to-day business. By the time it comes to designing the piece, you’ll have naturally gathered good inspiration and ideas by passively using a mood board previously.

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14 Responses to Mood Board 101: Branding and Image Development

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  2. Good article. I’ve never tried this before but will. Thanks so much.

  3. I never make these myself, but I love looking at them. These are more common among interior designers and such.

  4. Pingback: Mood Board 101: Branding and Image Development | Design Newz

  5. Nice post! Really Love it! thank you very much!

  6. Pingback: Mood Board 101: Branding and Image Development | Web Design Updates

  7. Mark says:

    We have found mood boards to be increasingly popular, it helps people to focus their ideas to create a balanced room. See our latest article on this topic here

  8. You are totally correct!

    A lot of people try to spend as little as possible when it comes to branding and image and then wonder why they are not making large amounts of money.

    I too went this way when I first started my business – however you learn by your mistakes.

    The mood boards look and sound great!

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  12. nidhi agrawal says:

    Moodboards r very much helpful in our fashion designing course!!!

  13. Merit Blinds says:

    Great article on the subject.

    They are a great start to any project, I always advise my customers to use them when they are redecorating a room. When you get the overall idea of your design in mind then obtaining samples for a sample board is the next step in ensuring the design idea will work together.

  14. Pingback: Mood Boards « Purple Paper House