A mood board can help you connect with your audience in a more meaningful way. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a mood board to design your blog brand and send a clear message to your people.
Creating a mood board is a great way to brainstorm ideas to develop a personality for your blog’s brand. You can then use your mood board as a guideline to design any assets you need while staying in alignment with your brand’s values, mission and personality.
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What is a Mood Board?
A mood board is simply a collection of images, design elements, and design styles that help you define the visual tone of your blog brand and give it a visually cohesive look. A mood board can include photography, illustration, patterns, typography, color inspiration or anything else that helps set the mood for your brand.
I am currently in the process of updating the design for Design Your Own Blog and here is my initial (not final) mood board:
You can see that I’ve incorporated some brand tone words (I’ll explain that a little later) in the fonts I’m considering along with some photography styles, patterns, colors and illustrations.
Here’s another mood board I created for a website I designed last year:
Now I didn’t just throw these all together without some deliberate thought so let’s get into the process of how to create a mood board for your blog brand.
Before You Create Your Mood Board
Before we dive in, there are a few things we need to determine first.
1. Define your target audience
The first thing you want to do is define who you want to target. Knowing who your target audience is will help guide the styles and colors you choose in order to attract that market. You’ll want to know things like:
- Who are you writing your blog for?
- What gender, age group, culture, economic status, etc. do they fall under?
- What are their fears and worries, beliefs and values, dreams and motivations?
Download my free workbook: How to Choose a Profitable Blog Topic and Target Audience.
2. Determine your blog’s mission and offerings
Next, you’ll want to determine how you can solve a specific problem for your target audience. Ask yourself:
- What are you offering or planning to offer your readers that will help alleviate their fears or worries?
- How will you offer that?
- How will your offering(s) be better or different from your competition?
- How do your own values benefit the lives of your clients?
Use these answers to write your blog’s mission statement.
3. Identify your brand’s tone
Once you’ve determined who you write your blog for, it’s time to think about your blog brand’s personality.
- What kind of images spring to mind when you think of your brand?
- If your brand was a person, what would their style and attitude be like?
- Does that personality fit with your mission?
- How do you want your audience to feel when they interact with your brand? Fulfilled? Inspired? Supported? Entertained?
The type of personality I decided I wanted my brand to portray is: A supportive best friend. Friendly, encouraging, accepting, approachable, relatable. Casual, not snobbish. Colorful, vibrant and fun style.
From there, I came up with these five brand words: uplifting, feminine, approachable, creative and vibrant.
Now it’s your turn: write down a few tone words that help identify your brand’s personality and values. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to start looking for inspiration.
4. Create an inspiration board
This is a discovery phase. Go crazy, explore, go down the rabbit hole. Don’t set a limit to the number of images you save and don’t get hung up on anything because this is playtime and no one is going to see it but you.
- Create a new secret board in Pinterest called “My Brand Inspiration” or something like that.
- Start your search by entering your tone words and see what comes up.
- Save images that you like and that match your brand’s intended personality.
- When you find something you really like, scroll down and explore the related images below.
- Search stock photography sites like Unsplash and Stocksy using your brand words and save the images that fit into your Pinterest board.
- Look to favorite online magazines, Dribbble, Creative Market* and Instagram for more inspiration.
- Explore the Pinterest accounts of other bloggers you admire, those with a style you like. Look through their boards and save your faves to your own board.
- You may notice that certain colors will jump out at you from the images you select.
A few things to keep in mind when searching for imagery
- Look for typography and logos you like and that speak to your brand’s mission and personality.
- Look for clues inside the images you choose, then search for those qualities for more ideas.
- Look for color palettes and patterns that fit your brand.
- Look to see what colors and font styles other brands in your niche are using.
- But don’t get too caught up on color yet. You don’t want to filter your creative mindset just yet, especially if the image you like fits the tone you’re going for.
- Don’t worry about making all your selections match each other. We’ll get to that soon, I promise. For now just keep exploring and saving.
Create a Mood Board to Design Your Blog Brand
1. Consider the “Big Picture”
Ok, now that you think you’ve saved enough images to your new Pinterest board, it’s time to distill them.
- Take a step back from your board and you’ll probably see a recurring theme or design direction start to emerge. Are there certain colors that seem to keep repeating themselves? Is there a certain design style that you’ve saved a lot of? Maybe you’ve saved a lot of hand drawn imagery? Or maybe you were drawn to an 80’s pop style? Or maybe you pinned a lot of flowery patterns, photos and illustrations?
- Whatever these themes are, are there some that speak to you more than others?
- You may want to create offshoot board sections with the two or three styles or color schemes that seem to stick out to you. And then you’ll want to explore each a bit more by adding more pins to those sections and see where they take you.
- At some point you’ll have to choose one direction to go in. Ask yourself which style best represents your brand’s personality, mission and target audience.
2. Put an initial mood board together
You can use Photoshop, BeFunky, Niice.co or Canva to create your semi-final mood board. I like to use Canva* because they’ve got some great templates and it’s free and easy to use. Or you can use mine!
- Choose some colors from the Pinterest inspiration board as a starting color palette to guide the rest of your selections.
- Then use a color tool like Paletton to hone it in.
- Read: Ultimate Guide to Choosing Colors for your Blog or Website
- Choose some typography styles that speak to your brand as well.
- Read: Beginner’s Guide to Fonts for Your Blog: How to Choose Font Combinations.
Each time you add something into your mood board, think about the mood and emotions you are trying to evoke. You may want to add your tone words to the mood board as I did. These can serve as a constant reminder to yourself of the personality you’re putting forth.
3. Finalize your mood board
You will probably go through several versions of your mood board before you get to a final version. Keep tweaking it and play with different images and patterns to see how they fit together. Play with the colors and fonts until you’re finally satisfied with what you see.
Don’t stress it. It’s a very organic process and there is no “right way” to create your mood board.
Congratulations! You’ve Created a Mood Board to Design Your Blog Brand!
Now that you have a final mood board for your blog brand and website, you can use this as a guideline for the future of your brand. Anytime you create something new, be it a logo, digital product, social media graphic, blog graphic, etc., you’ll be able to make sure that it aligns with your brand’s personality and your target audience.
However your mood board turns out, I guarantee that after you’ve finished, you’ll have a much clearer idea as to what you want your brand to represent to your audience.
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