Logo Blog, Logo design tips

Using Mood Boards when designing a brand identity

2. It acts as a great check-in point for my clients

I’ve found that a key way to reduce the number of logo revisions needed (or even forgo them altogether), is by building in multiple check-in points with the client throughout the design process – a mood board being the biggest. It’s one-hundred times easier and faster to change the mood board concept than it is to change finished logo designs.

By having this key check-in point, your clients are able to give you feedback on the direction you plan on going with their logo before you even start sketching. Alternatively, if they love the mood board, you’ll be that much more confident while presenting your final logo designs in the end!


3. Helps develop a colour palette

Not only does the mood board allow for a general, overall design aesthetic, but for me, it’s also a great way to choose a colour palette.

By choosing colours that already appear in your mood board to act as a color palette, you’ll ensure that your final palette matches the overall mood of the brand. Plus, you can also now double check these colors with your client before designing a logo around them.


4. Gives an overall direction for the rest of their brand

Although initially, it serves as inspiration for a logo design, a mood board is also a great reference tool for any other branded pieces that follow. Whether that’s a website, social media graphics, brochures and flyers, etc., all of these can and should be based on the aesthetic of the brand’s original mood board.

A logo design itself can only say and do so much for the direction of the overall visual brand. Having a mood board to reference is a great way to develop matching designs and further strengthen the brand identity.


How I use mood boards in my design process


1. Talk to the client

First and foremost, you need to talk to your client and get an idea of what they’re looking for, as well as gain a basic understanding of their business, brand, and audience. I personally use a brand questionnaire that I’ve developed in order to go through these key talking points and ensure that we cover everything I’ll need to begin designing.


2. Gather inspiration

Most of you probably already have this as a key step in your design process – I know I always have! However, this is also conveniently the first step in putting together a mood board as well.

I personally gather design inspiration by putting together a secret Pinterest board with all of my inspiration ideas and images. If you would rather save all of these images in a folder on your computer, that works too! The point is, you need to be finding inspiration and saving it all in once place.

I suggest finding anywhere from 30-50 images, ranging from relevant photos, fonts, patterns, textures, and other designs.

Here’s where I find most of these images:

  1. Pinterest
  2. Free Stock Photo Sites
  3. Portfolio sites like Behance or Dribbble


3. Identify key trends and moods

Once you’ve gathered enough inspiration, it’s time to identify any key trends among the group of images you’ve selected. Maybe a specific color palette shows up several times or everything you’ve pinned has been super sleek, clean and all include tons of white space. Whatever these trends are, identify them and use them for step four.


4. Choose the strongest images and put them into a mood board

Once you’ve identified these key trends, it’s time to choose the strongest images to use for your mood board. I suggest choosing the following:

  • A few relevant photos that depict the overall mood and feeling that you want the to portray
  • A font example
  • One or two patterns or textures
  • One or two images of other relevant designs that fit this mood and inspire your visual concept

Choosing a range of images to display will give your client a good grasp on what they’re signing off on and will also give you the opportunity to gain some beneficial feedback before you even begin designing.

And that’s all there is to it! As you can see, mood boards can definitely go beyond just looking pretty in your portfolio and instead can act as a successful tool to use in your logo design process.

If your clients have been requesting several revisions for your logo designs lately, a mood board may be a great step to add into your design process. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!


Podcast Interview with Maria

To extend the conversation around mood boards I interviewed Maria for the Logo Geek Podcast. You can listen here…

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