How to Create a Moodboard + Choose Brand Colors

When beginning the visual aspect of the brand process, I always like to make sure I have an inspiration board to refer back to later on in the design process. A compilation of images filled with expression and color helps to guide your decisions for your overall style, colors, and eventually logos. If at any point you come to a crossroads on what decision is best for your brand, you can use a moodboard as a reference point to make the best choice. If it doesn’t line up with the overall feel and color scheme present in your moodboard, than it probably isn’t the right decision for your brand. So how do you create a moodboard for yourself or your clients? Just follow the steps below!


1. Start with Pinterest!

I love Pinterest. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t! It is especially helpful in the creation of a moodboard by allowing you to experience a vast range of images and products quickly, without having to know what exactly you are looking for. Any other image based app will do the trick as well.

First: Don’t get caught up in the fact that you are creating a moodboard! Forget that point before you get started or it will cloud your judgement. Get on Pinterest (or tell your client to) and pin everything that you like to a separate, private board if necessary. By everything, I mean EVERYTHING! Fashion, weddings, home decor, plants, graphics, websites, etc. You name it, you should pin it! If it is something that you think, “Wow, I really like that” or “That is really cute” then add it to this board. In the end, you will be surprised to see an underlying pattern begin to emerge from seemingly disparate things. Are you leaning more towards round things vs. geometric? Are there similar colors or patterns emerging?

2. Choose Your Favorite Images

Once you have a good selection of photos (I would say minimum 50 so you can begin to see trends) go back through the board and select your favorite photos along with those that have things in common or look good together. If you look at the board above, you’ll see that I selected images with similar colors and feels. Overall I would say that board has a very natural feel about it from the curves of the plates and the flowing skirt. Although you may not think the images will look good together at first, start copying them over to a design platform. I use Photoshop but another great resource for drag and drop creators is Canva!

3. Arrange the Images Together

The final step for creating your inspiration board is to arrange the images together. I like to choose 8-10 final images to display on the board that really get the look and feel across that I am going for. Your board is guaranteed to look good as long as the quality of the images are all good and you keep a consistent width of white space around every image to create separation. I do this very easily in Photoshop with guidelines and rulers.

4. Choose Your Brand Colors

After you have completed the steps above, it is very easy to see color choices begin to emerge from your new inspiration board. Once I have verified that the inspiration board captures the essence of my brand or my client’s brand, I begin to pull a color scheme straight from the images. In Photoshop, I use the eyedropper tool and pull several colors from the images. Then I arrange them together and make sure the hues work together. Adding and subtracting as I go, until I decide on a final color scheme. Every color you see above came from one of the colors in the moodboard and they work wonderfully together!

Side Note: If you have already chosen colors and want to create a moodboard to go along with them, you can search Pinterest for the rough names of those colors and check out the boards filled with images that are in that color scheme! Just work backwards in these steps to create a moodboard from pre-selected colors.

Have some colors you’d love to see me create a moodboard from? Share them in the comments below!

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  1. February 17, 2016 / 1:42 PM

    When I rebranded, the mood board step was one of my fave parts. This is great info to walk people through the process.

  2. February 17, 2016 / 1:54 PM

    Love the vibrancy of this mood board! Makes me crave spring!

  3. February 17, 2016 / 2:04 PM

    Mood Boards are super important. Your process is spot on. Thanks for the info

    • April 29, 2016 / 10:15 PM

      I read your potsnig and was jealous

  4. February 18, 2016 / 9:08 PM

    Thank you for introducing me to Canva! It looks so awesome with how user friendly and easy it is to use!

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