Mood boards can be used for so many different purposes from styling a room or styling an outfit. In relation to small business, creating a mood board is a great place to start to develop your brand story. I believe we should take cues from the visual images that inspire us to create our branding components. If your business is built around what you love and what inspires you, you will feel a stronger connection to what you project towards your potential customers or clients.
In this blog I will show you a step by step on how to create your own Mood Board using Canva. But first, if you are not already getting all the blog information, new releases and special offers, then take a moment to jump on board and join my email list.
What is A Mood Board?
If you examine the Oxford Dictionary definition, a mood board is:
“An arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text etc intended to provoke or inject a particular style or concept”
Your mood board can be printed out and pinned up in your home study or office. Alternatively you can keep it digital and use it as a reference. Spend the time on creating your board as it sets the framework for building your brand components that tell your brand story:
- brand colours
- brand “voice”
5 Reasons You Should Create a Mood Board For Your Business
Remember in the definition we learnt about invoking moods and vibes – that is precisely what we want to do when creating a mood board as the context of our new small business. We want to convey, through pictures and words, what our business is all about. What is the mood? What is the personality? Is our brand about casual elegance or sophisticated and sleek style?
1 brainstorm your business identity
2 select brand colours and imagery
3 show others what your brand is about
4 engage your Target Audience
5 reach your goals.
1. Brainstorm your Business Identity
The first step is for you as the business owner to have clarity on what your business identity is, and what you want to convey about your business to the outside world. This is relevant to businesses of any size. You don’t have to be a large corporation to focus on brand awareness. If you don’t understand your own branding, how do you expect your customers or clients to do the same?
2. Select your brand colours and imagery
This is the fun part. In the next part of this blog I show you how you go about this creative but important step. This is a key part of your brand message. I have talked in other blogs about the importance and the power of the visual image. This blog discusses choosing images for your website: www.kdigitaldesign.com/choosing-website-brand-images/
3. Show Others What Your Brand is About
Through your brand collateral – your logo, business documents, website, social media posts and comments, your brand identity is on display for potential clients or customers. It gives a glimpse of the personality and context of the brand and the people behind the brand.
4. Helps engage your target audience
Done right, your marketing content which is built on your original mood board, is attracting your target audience. Your words and images should reach those who align with your brand and want to be associated with it – either as customers, clients, consumers collaborators or influencers.
5. Reach your goals.
This might seem a stretch, but hear me out.
You have taken the time to analyse your what and why of your business. You have then symbolised it through a creating a mood board. Next you gave life to your brand personality by developing your business brand collateral – your logo, brand colours, brand imagery, brand messaging.
You engaged with your target audience because you were on message – your brand conveyed the authentic “you” in your business and your customers could see that you were on brand and had a clear business brand and clear business goals.
Because you created a mood board which describes the who, what and why of your business in words and pictures. It is THAT simple. And it is also THAT important. You achieved your goals and you will continue to kick goals.
Now that you are convinced as to why you need a mood board, besides being a creative outlet and the opportunity for some home office artwork, it is time to create a mood board for your business, blog or even your Etsy shop.
Here is a simple Canva mood board template that I have created that you can grab for free by signing up to the link below. There is no right or wrong way to create your board – make it as simple or creative as you like.
Step 1: Create a New Design
Save the template I have made as your own Canva document. It doesn’t matter what size your moodboard is, what matters is that you make one. The one I have designed has the dimensions of 1920x1080px.
Step 2: Personality Words
Brainstorm some words that you would like to use to convey your business brand to the community. It could be casual or formal, fun or corporate. Luxury, natural, urban, classy, sophistocated etc. If you get stuck you can always do a web search for brand personality keywords, but try not to overthink it. You really want a few words that readily come to your mind that you want to inject into your business branding.
Write these words in the space provided on my template Mood Board that you have downloaded.
Step 3: Images
Search images on Canva or Pinterest to find ideas of things that you love. Just remember when using Pinterest that you are collecting these images for your own use, so it is okay to use them on your moodboard for personal use. If you are looking for brand images to use in your business, then photos you have access to on Canva are fine for you to use. Alternatively, Unsplash is a great source of free stock images.
By way of example, let’s pretend that the keywords you choose are:
Type these words individually or as phrases into Canva or Pinterest and find images that you like based on these keywords. Place the images onto your moodboard. You can use as many as you want. Try not to have so many as you still want to be able to read a cohesive mood or vibe from your selection. They don’t have to be images related to your business but they can be.
Below is the example of my ‘Coolum Homewares’ mood board. It shows some homewares in natural materials and discerning items, but it also shows calm and fun through the beach scene. Have fun playing around with options and settle on 4 to 8 images to reflect your vision or brand mood.
Step 4: Colour Palette
Next we can use our images to select a colour palette. From my photos, I can readily identify natural “raffia” fibre colour, white and blue tones. To find the right tones that blend with the images, you can select one of the blank colour palette rectangles in the template. This brings up the Canva colour options and when you look at those you will see that photo colour options are shown for the photos in the mood board. These colours are shown as they are complementary to your image colours, or close matches.
there is another cool way within Canva itself to generate colour palettes for your brand. For some reason, not many people seem to know about this feature. Head on over to www.canva.com/colors/color-palette-generator/. Next upload single images or your image collage and the Canva generator will pop up with a colour selection. You can get lost for hours researching the combinations available.
If you want to colour match an exact colour in your photo go to Image Color Picker (imagecolorpicker.com). Upload your photo and it will select colour matches as well as colour combinations. The great feature about this website is that it allows you to choose how many colours you want in your colour palette, and also lets you zoom in to refine a colour match.
Now you have a mood board that has been inspired by you and your vision for your business. In turn, your mood board will also inspire your business growth as you move through the different stages of your setting up and launching your business.
It is also relevant from time to time to revist your vision board and see if your business goals and direction still align with your original mood board. Have you drifted away from your original direction? Or has your business evolved so that you may need to update your mood board.
I would love for you to share the mood boards you make using either my template or your own vision board template. Share them below and let me know how you are progressing.