What is a Mood Board?

FC_Moodboard Photo

Businesses today face more competition than ever to stay front and center in consumer minds. With smart devices and technology providing nearly constant exposure to advertising, brands that don’t take the time to clarify and refine their marketing efforts risk falling behind. 

A mood board can help you focus and direct your advertising and marketing for maximum effect and cost efficiency. What’s more, your entire business–from your people and operations to the way you adapt to future opportunities and challenges–can benefit from the clear, concise vision a mood board creates.

What is a mood board?

A mood board is a collection of images and information that you find appealing. It can be a literal, physical board with images tacked onto it, or it can be a digital collection that showcases things you like. A mood board serves as a place to gather together all of the visual elements that you think best represent your brand, so you can create a more cohesive and comprehensive brand identity.

What Makes a Mood Board

Mood boards can include anything you or your company find valuable. Maybe you really like a particular type of script or font, or maybe there are certain colors or overlapping shades that you don’t want to forget about, especially if you have their Pantone label. Even whole images can be included, showing everything from the type of people who resonate with your brand image to the general composition that you’d like for your visual presence to emulate.

Mood boards are usually made up of four things: a color palette, a texture or dynamic aesthetic, typography, and a visual identity.

  1. Color palette. Your color palette consists of the colors that you feel best represent your brand. Do you want bold and bright or subdued and understated? Loud neons or subtle naturals?
  2. Texture and dynamic. The texture and dynamic are how these colors and other elements interact. For example, maybe your brand is best represented by two primary colors with an area of overlap, or maybe it lends itself to gradients or other designs instead.
  3. Typography. Typography refers to all of the wording for your brand. Do you like serif or sans serif fonts? Cursive, handwritten, chic, or something else? Formal or fun?
  4. Visual identity. Visual identity refers to your brand’s “story”, and includes who you’re targeting, the ideas that are conveyed in your marketing, and the overall emotions you want to elicit with your efforts.

By gathering the elements that you like and comparing them next to each other on a mood board, you can get a better idea of how they will work together. This helps you to see things you might not have noticed until it’s too late, like a thin, cursive font becoming hard to read on the color of your choice or the visual identity conveying a mixed message.

Why would a brand need a mood board?

Mood boards help brands accomplish a variety of tasks, including product launches, brand refreshes, rebranding, and more. Mood boards help everyone in a company to be on the same page because a visual collection can often demonstrate concepts better than a value statement might. This creates a more cohesive and targeted effort from your team since everyone has a clearer idea of the image being presented.

Knowing exactly how you want to present your brand can help you be more confident in making sound, cost-effective decisions, especially for marketing and advertising. By putting in the extra time upfront to develop a mood board, you can increase the chances of success in future campaigns, develop consistent strategies that adapt to your business, and reinforce your brand’s image and recognition. When it comes time to reassess your advertising efforts, you’ll spend less time (and money) brainstorming and mocking up ideas, since your mood board standardized much of this process early on. The mood board also provides you with valuable guidelines and parameters to help make sure you stay true to what’s important about your brand instead of chasing something new or trendy.

Wondering if you’re in a niche or industry that can benefit from a mood board? No matter what business you’re in, the answer is almost certainly yes. If you advertise, mood boards can streamline the process significantly and produce higher conversions. Even if you rely only on word of mouth, the cohesive brand image generated with a mood board can help unify people and processes across your business for a singular and focused sense of direction and strategy that produces infinite benefits.

Making a Mood Board

There are plenty of resources explaining how to make your own mood board, and it’s certainly true that a brand should have an active and direct influence on what is included on a mood board. However, a mood board for the purpose of advertising is more than just a pretty picture. It needs to be a powerful tool for shaping the current and future strategy of your brand. If you really want this mood board to help you produce profits, it’s best to call in the professionals.

Working with a Creative Agency for a Mood Board

Creative agencies, including full-service marketing and advertising agencies, have valuable insights that the average business owner does not, and they can leverage their knowledge to develop a more impactful final product, taking your mood board from a company project to a brand roadmap.

Here’s what a creative agency provides to help you make the most of your brand’s mood board:

Industry knowledge. A creative or marketing and advertising agency is going to know, from a bird’s eye view, what sorts of campaigns are the most effective right now. What are people–and potential consumers–responding to best to? With this information, they can make suggestions for how your brand can pivot to keep up without getting lost in the fray, or they can even help to guide your decisions. If you don’t know what you could add to a mood board or if you haven’t tried marketing to a certain audience, the experience of a professional creative agency can help shape the direction you want to go in. 

Trend awareness. The best brands manage to stay timeless and on-trend, and that requires a well-defined brand image that is as recognizable as it is adaptable, no matter when or where a consumer sees it. A creative agency is going to have its finger on the pulse of trends, so it can help your company stand out without compromising your image.

Resources. A creative agency has a wealth of capabilities, competencies, and resources, such as digital marketing, branding and design expertise, and strategy experience, that will become your advantage, helping create a mood board and brand image that is always accessible and always actionable. Not only does this give you more control over your advertising and marketing efforts, but it also helps streamline efforts for maximum impact.

Mood Boards that Make a Statement from Freestyle Creative

The key to successful brand marketing is knowing who you are and where you’re going. At Freestyle Creative, we believe in creating extraordinary brands and developing masterful messaging to help get your business where you want to be. We go beyond a great logo or catchphrase to build comprehensive marketing strategies that work, delivering real, measurable results for your bottom line.

By combining the power of creative services with industry best practices, we can produce websites, media, content, and more that put your brand exactly where it needs to be. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today and find out what Freestyle can do for you!