5 Reasons Why You NEED To Do Mood Boards

Leaves - Lola Design Studio

I know what you are thinking about. “Lola, why are you thinking about mood boards AGAIN?!” Well, my friend, it’s because I really use this tool A LOT as a designer for myself and my clients. And still, I feel like not enough people know how to properly create and use a mood board. So to convince you once and for all that mood boards are the shit, I’ve decided to write one more post about it.

So firstly,

we need to establish what is a mood board before I convert you to the Church of the Holy Mood Board. Good thing I’ve written another post on the mather and you can read it here if you’d like to. Otherwise, quick recap, a mood board is a visual representation of your business identity. It needs to represent how you want your audience to feel when they think or interact with your brand. It can also be used for specific projects, it doesn’t have to be only for branding. Now that we all know what a mood board is (and don’t forget to read this article if you need more clarity on that) let’s get this article going.

Number uno in the list of “why mood boards are awesome” is clarity!

Yes, I know you see that word everywhere on Facebook and it gets thrown around like a hot potato but let me clarify, see what I did there, my point. So clarity is basically knowing exactly who, what, why or when for specific areas. Vague, I know. That’s because it can be applied to pretty much anything, that’s why it gets used so much, also it sounds fancy for some reason. So let’s take, I don’t know, branding for example. So having clarity on your branding would mean that you know exactly your business’ identity, who you are targeting and what makes you different. Seems easy enough right? Well not really. See most people, we have these ideas and concepts in your head that seem so clear to us, as long as they stay in our heads. When we try to explain it to someone or to put it down on paper for, let’s say, a sales page, it gets rough. We can’t find the right words to describe what we want to say, the right vibe is not coming across correctly and it gets blurry all of a sudden. That concept that seemed so clear a minute ago is like spiralling words that you can seem to grab. Don’t get me wrong, all the words are there, somewhere, but you can’t seem to nail them down. It’s because you need a bit more clarity my friend and that’s where the mood board comes in handy (yes, remember, we were talking about mood boards before I when word vomit on clarity). So how can a mood board help you out? See, when you do it right, you have to think before you start creating your board willy nelly. You need to establish how you want people to perceive you and how you would describe your business. (By the way, I’ve put together a nifty little checklist to help you out when creating your perfect mood board and you can get it here for FREE, you’re welcome.) So starting the process with introspection allows you to get clarity on your branding. Afterwards, when choosing images that best describe your brand, you also create clarity. In fact, everytime that you are forced to make a choice, like why this picture over that one, you should ask yourself “Why does this represent better how I want people to feel towards my brand?” so you get more and more acquainted with those spinning words in your brain. Because it already knows (it being your brain) what you want, you just have trouble putting it into words. So asking yourself why your brain prefers one picture over the other gives you so much clarity on your branding! Thanks, mood board!

Now for the second course, content!

In the other paragraph, I was talking (for a while) about clarity and how mood board bring it to you, I know you were there, I’m just bridging this. So clarity for yourself is pretty dope, but being able to perfectly explain what your brand stands for to other is also great! So after getting that clarity from doing the mood board, you actually get a beautiful collage of images that represent your business. And guess what? We live in an online world that’s pretty strong on the visual stuff, chances are you might need one or two pictures for content. So while creating your mood board, it gives you a chance to explore what kind of images that you should use when creating content. Because a picture of you at the beach is fine but does it really represent your brand and everything that you stand for? Maybe, maybe not. The important part is that there are so many free online resources for gorgeous royalty-free images. My favourites are Unsplash and Pexels. Both are royalty-free, which means that you can use the images on there for your business without being scared to be sued for stealing intellectual property. Also, pretty much all of the pictures are professional grade and high quality, so no worries pixels are going to show up anywhere. So yeah, your mood board helps you to find the right visuals for your content and your brand.

In the third position, method acting.

Not really, but mood boards actually help you to stay in character. By that, I mean that when you start to create more and more content and your business starts to evolve, you still want to be consistent. You don’t want your audience not to know what to expect from you. That’s why branding is there, to give you guidelines to follow so that you can build an engaged audience. But everyone changes, businesses evolve and projects are diverted. But, your core identity as a business shouldn’t change much throughout the years. Yes, maybe your focus might change but who’s behind it shouldn’t, that’s what gives your business consistency. So what is the mood board doing with this? Well if you’ve created your mood board like a pro (I would again recommend my checklist to get started that you can get for FREE, did I say that it was free, here) you should be able to come back to it everytime that you create something new and feel that it still fits with the essence of your business. But when you feel that your content is not aligned (another word that gets tossed around A LOT, I know) with your identity, you should use your mood board to reground yourself with your core. And if your mood board feels not aligned, well that means it’s time for a new one. So a mood board is kind of a spiritual guide (I wasn’t joking about the church…) of some sort that helps you to stay on track when it comes to your identity and how people perceive your brand.

The fourth reason, you become more independent.

When you learn how to make a great mood board that you feel connected to you can apply that knowledge and use its benefits to multiple areas in your business. For instance, I was telling you how you can use mood boards for specific projects right? Well everytime that you are creating new things, you could be using this technique to give you more clarity, to create content and to align your brand, all without a designer. I know, shocking, a designer that’s telling you how not to use a designer. Well, I know how important the jobs I do are, but I also know that you shouldn’t be trapped of feel obliged to hire a designer when you can (if you want to) do it yourself. Of course, I won’t tell you that the entire branding process is easy and to whip out a branding kit yourself, because that’s crazy. It’s like saying anyone could do the electricity in a house. Nope, but everyone should know how to change a lightbulb. Same goes with design and branding. It’s normal to need a designer for the big stuff, but knowing how to do a mood board puts you in a position where you can go forward with your brand and hire a designer when you are your business are ready for it. So yeah, learning how to create a bomb mood board for when you need one is pretty liberating!

Finally, it’s fun.

As simple as that. Pinning images on Pinterest and placing them nicely into a board is wayyyyyy more fun than so many mandatory tasks that you need to do for your business so why not enjoy it! Have fun with it! You don’t have to do it all at once, it can be overwhelming. I’d suggest to do it piece by piece and to let your brain rest in between Pinterest sesh. You’ll have more fun and you’ll have a board that actually represents you instead of just throwing any pictures you likes just because you want to be done with it (I’ve been there, I don’t blame you).

I hope this was helpful and AGAIN don’t forget to grab your copy of my FREE checklist to create your own mood board and make sure it’s the best DIY mood board you can do!

If you have any questions reach out! I’d love to hear more from you and help you kickass at mood board creation! ALSO, I’d love to see your mood boards! Send them to me, tag me on IG or post them on my free Facebook group! I really want to see what you guys come up with!

Until next time!

Lola xx