Begin with a Strong Foundation
A Mood Board brings the vision in your head to life, in a form where you can share with collaborators, designers, and even set goals for yourself.
There are a lot of moving parts in when it comes to connecting online: using social media effectively, building relationships with other brands, growing trust, and maintaining authenticity.
So much building that it’s good to have a solid foundation in your branding so you don’t sacrifice quality when your online business’ needs to develop visual content increases.
When you first begin to think about or setup a website for your brand, begin with the end in mind: how do you want your brand to make people feel? Creating a mood board helps you get a clear answer to this question.
Defining Your Brand
If you want to do business online and do it well, you are essentially grabbing the attention of the audience that is most likely to find what you do valuable.
Because everything on the internet moves so fast, you want to make sure you establish a visual rhythm so it’s easy to to pick you out of the crowd, and rise above the noise.
Create a rhythm by setting the standard vibe for your brand.
This means, creating a mood board, or a collection of images that represent your vision. Typically, this is reserved for a graphic or web designer to display what they’re thinking your brand should look like. But, like a vision board, being clear about how you want to be seen online is paramount. Your online brand will be everywhere: Your website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Email, etc. Plus, creating content for different social media channels is time consuming enough that having a standard means when you’re ready to go, you can just Go!
Be Pretty + Strategic to Build Your Legacy Online
Starting your online business/project planning with a mood board, or a visual guide to the thoughts, feelings, emotions tied to the root of the why of your business, allows you give your audience an idea of what it would be like to work with you and/or buy your products. Yes, strategy and quality of your products/services is important. You want the visual communication to be clear so the right ones come to your door.
Great visuals/graphics brings your audience to your door; strategy gets them to open; and the quality of your products/services gets them to stay.
Strengthen Your Collaborations + Unite Visions
I didn’t always ask clients to create moodboards or give me visual references. I used to think, “as the designer, should I know what to do for everything? Don’t I already know what’s best?” Experience has taught me time and time again, whether it’s for a big website project or for a simple social media campaign, there’s nothing like agreeing on a visual reference.
It brings clarity to the client on how the ideas should be communicated and makes the best use of my time, so I design websites and graphics that aren’t off base.
What’s also important for me, especially with my small business web design clients: they will be moving forward with these designs for years to come (isn’t that why they’ve invested in me?).
It’s better for them to have an understanding of how to accomplish their goals in the digital space visually.
Getting Started: Asking the Right Questions
This is a visualization exercise. Close your eyes and ask the following questions, writing down the key words, actions, phrases that come to mind.
- “How do I want my customer to feel after using my product/service”?
- “What values does my brand represent?”
- “Who do I want to help (aka your target audience)?
- “What are the top 3 issues of my target audience?”
- “How do I solve those issues?”
After answering these questions, go back through and circle keywords that jump out at you. Namely, adjectives and phrases.
Where to Gather Your Visual Inspiration
Use those keywords in a search on Google.com or Pinterest to bring up photos that portray those words. These can be images of people, of things, of settings. Note the lighting, colors, textures, fonts, and everything displayed in the images that evoke a particular emotion/feeling and make sure it meshes with your brand.
Where to Create Your Mood Board
Where You Can Use Your Mood Board
Solid inspiration from your mood board can inspire the creation of other business elements:
- Brand Style Guide (Image example on left)
- Social Media Style Guide
- Sharing with a designer for a sub-project
- Creating images for your website
- Creating images for social media
There you have it for the case of why to make a mood board. What’s your next project to make a mood board for? Could you use some templates or how to’s? let me know in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading & stay creative, stay blessed!