If you're looking at branding your business and/or designing your website, you probably fall into one of two camps:
You've got some idea of what you want your website/brand to look like, but you're not exactly sure how to go about fulfilling that vision.
You have absolutely. no. idea. where to begin.
Relax! It's OK! In fact, it's totally normal. You don't have to know exactly what you want yet. It's all part of the branding/design process.
So how do you start this process?
The best way, in my opinion, is by creating a mood board (it's also sometimes called an inspiration board).
Which leads us to the next question:
What the HECK is a mood board?
A mood board is exactly what it sounds like: a "board" (physical or virtual) that visually depicts the ideal mood or style of the thing you're trying to design. It's a collection of images that showcase how you want your brand to feel.
It can be comprised of any images you're drawn to. Be creative! If you own a greenhouse and are trying to come up with a brand identity for it, don't limit yourself to pics of plants and other greenhouses. Explore color palettes, interior design pics, artwork, general photography, landscapes, etc. Your imagination is the only limit here!
I like using Pinterest for mood boards because it has a bazillion images you can look through (actual number) and it's super simple to use. Plus, you don't have to download the images – they're all saved in one place. (That way, you won't need to worry about where you found that cool pic of the cat wearing a football helmet that is JUST the right shade of puce you've been looking for.)
So how do you actually create a mood board on Pinterest?
Create a board just for branding. (Hint: title it "mood board" so you can easily find it later.)
Collect pics that speak to you. They don't have to be related to your business or websites in general. Just find pics that you're drawn to and pin them to your mood board.
Give yourself some space – wait a few days before coming back to your mood board. This will give you a fresher perspective when you do take another look at it.
Time to examine your mood board for common themes!
Take a look and see what similarities you can find among all the images you've collected. Do you see the same colors popping up again and again? Maybe there's a general vibe that seems to be everywhere – perhaps a minimalist style or a fascination with floral prints or a tendency to go with bold geometric designs.
From these common themes, you can get a solid sense of what you've been envisioning for your brand, even though you may not have been aware of it. This will help enormously when it comes to picking color palettes, fonts, and an overall style for your brand.
TA-DA! THAT'S IT!
Now go forth and create a mood board for your biz! Post a link to it in the comments – I'd love to see what you come up with!
PS – If you'd like to see an example of a mood board, check out my sample mood board on Pinterest. I also have a board that's all about creating mood boards if you'd like further information on how to make them.