Image of pins on pinterest in article How to make a mood board by stellen design branding agency

Let’s Make a Mood Board

How to make a mood board

Once you have read through and outlined all the fun points in my article on where and how to start building a brand, you can start on the creative stuff which always starts with building a mood board! You might be wondering, do I need a mood board? How do I make a mood board? And how does this relate to the logo I am envisioning?

In my years as a brand designer I have never been able to successfully execute a logo design or a brand design without having a mood board. They are that important! They help set the tone for the project and help you and your designer speak in a visual language… Imagine you tell your designer you want something “polished yet laid back”, they nod along like they get it and come back with something that is not at all what you considered “polished yet laid back”… it’s not the designers fault they missed the mark. The problem is words are subjective and words mean different things to different people. One person’s “fun” is another person’s “tacky”. A mood board will prevent this problem from ever arising.

When I work with my clients I like the mood board to be a collaborative process. We will either share a pinterest board or they will send me their mood board and I will put one together as well. We review it together and make sure we are both speaking the same language.

Now, you can build a mood board in Pinterest (my preferred method because their algorithms will take over and do all the work for you), or you can do something as simple as Google Doc full of images you like.

This is one of the crucial steps in our Brand Discovery. Read this article to find out what all is entailed in a Brand Discovery.

Search Spaces

It’s very important to gather a mix of images for your mood board. Don’t just find logos you like. Find interiors of spaces you like. This is important even if you have a virtual business with no plans of ever having a formal work space, this will tell your designer what your space would look like if you did have one and they can reflect that through your digital presence.


Image of pins in Stellen Design Branding Agency Article : How to make a mood board

Find a few color pallets you like as well as images where you like the colors. I have referenced images for color pallets countless times. It’s a great way to make a feeling come through in branding.

Show me what you do

Image of pins in Stellen Design Branding Agency Article : How to make a mood boardIf you are a personal trainer, grab a photo of someone doing what you do. If you are a coach, find a good photo of someone getting that epic aha moment. This photo doesn’t need to be you, just something that feels like what you do.

Show your clients

This might sound superficial but it really does help! Find pictures of people who look like who you want to work with. Are they shapely dressed business folks or warm smiling moms? Either way, find who looks like your dream client and include them in your board.

Pro tip: Don’t over think your mood board… the more the better for this process! And in our last step we will reflect and refine your mood board!

Last step: Reflect and refine

Now that you have an abundance of images for your mood board, audit them! Look them over and 86 anything that sticks out or feels off when you put them all together. Look for patterns in the color pallets of your pictures and the overall styling! This will give you clues to what your subconscious really likes!

There you have it, that is how you make a mood board for your brand! If you want more help, get my guide to creating a mood board on Pinterest here!

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Carolina Vangilder of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Carolina Van Gilder
Project manager / Assistant
The coordinator, facilitator and scheduler for all Stellen Design projects. She communicates with clients about everything from contracts and payments to design edits and revisions. She helps keep the logistics on point so Stellen Design can live up to their reputation.
Carolyn Packard of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Carolyn Packard
Carolyn Packard is a seasoned designer with valuable insight into effectively communicating and interpreting design needs to her clients. Carolyn knows the value of creating good, functional design.
Jordis Smalls of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Jordis Small
Creative Director
Jordis is a big believer in continued education. She makes it a point to attend at least four workshops or conferences a year to keep her skill improving. She is also a big advocate for “creative play” and loves to spend her spare time trying new things and learning new techniques.