Using Mood Boards to Improve Design

Mood boards = better communication

Mood boards are one of the first things I have my branding clients and the do-it-yourself branders at Jewels Branch create for their brands. Whether you’re working one-on-one with a designer to develop your brand, or designing your brand yourself, mood boards make communicating important brand concepts easier.

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Mood boards translate verbal descriptions (moods, feelings, values) into a visual presentation. This helps my clients show me exactly what they mean when they say things like: “I want my brand to feel fun.” or “I’m looking for a sophisticated bohemian look.”

My client’s visualization of “fun” and mine could be completely different and I want to see exactly what “sophisticated bohemian” means to them.

Mood boards help designers and their clients speak the same language: This is 100% crucial to the success of all branding and design projects.


Mood boards are a must-have for DIY branders

It’s the same if you’re a do-it-yourself brander.

As a DIY brander you’re both the client and designer of your brand, sometimes this is tough spot to be in! Putting together a mood board can help you translate the images of your brand that you have in your head into reality.

They can help you see more clearly the colors, fonts, types of images, and design elements that will visually show the range of feelings and values you want your brand to convey.


Making mood boards for specific marketing projects

Beyond big picture branding, mood boards play a crucial role in defining the look and feel of specific branding and marketing projects like opt-ins and e-books, product branding and sales pages, course materials, and more.

For these project-specific mood boards, the emphasis is a bit narrower than a mood board you’d create to capture the overall feel of your brand.

Instead, you’ll have more pieces that showcase how you want specific aspects of your project to look and feel.


Opt-in and e-book mood boards

For instance, if you create a mood board (like the one above) for your opt-in freebie or e-book you’ll want to include inspiration from the world of publication design (magazines, brochures, e-books, annual reports, newspapers).

  • covers
  • table of contents
  • anything that has specific design elements you like (divider lines, backgrounds, textures, etc.)
  • page layouts
  • infographics
  • font combinations
  • photo and typography combinations
  • photo/illustration styles

Build your board on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the fastest tools for pulling together design inspiration. You can search for “magazine design” or “magazine layouts” to get inspiration for the interior pages of your opt-in, for example.

See my awesome ebook board for more inspiration.


Opt-in Brilliance

We’ll be putting together mood boards, and creating opt-ins from start to finish, as part of Opt-in Brilliance, June 24 – 30 September 23 – 30. Come join us!
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