how to create a mood board

3 easy steps to creating a mood board

Branding Tips

You maybe asking yourself, what is a mood board and why do I even need one. And I bet you have been creating mood boards for years without even knowing it! When you were a teenager did you clip out photos or articles from your favorite magazines? Then pin them to or tape them to the wall above your bed? Yup! You were creating a physical mood board!

Hopefully you weren’t like me and didn’t cut your big sister’s magazines before she even read them 🤫.

Sure it might have been a jumbled collage of cute puppies, glitter, favorite nail polish color or a new pair of jeans we HAD to have. But it was our vision of what we had of our teen self. That’s pretty much a mood board!

BUT let’s not let our teen self make our mood board! Because we don’t want our business to look like it came out of Seventeen or US Weekly 🤣. 

Instead let’s create a mood board that helps ensure that your brand looks professional and polished.

What is a mood board?

A mood board is a collection of photos, quotes, patterns, colors, and fonts that convey the overall vibe of your brand. It is a quick representation of how you want people to feel when they experience your brand.

Mood Board examples:

If you are anything like me, then you are a visual learner and you need to see an example of something to truly understand what it is. Here are a couple of mood board examples for one of my logo and brand design clients.

You’ll see that these are starting points for our color palette, fonts and overall look. It really saves us a lot of time! I presented both mood boards to one client and they client chose which direction we should move forward with. This step is such a crucial part in the design process. It saves a lot of time! It allows you to see what the brand would look like without fully designing it.

Two mood boards that I presented to one of my clients:

If you want to see which direction this law firm client picked for their logo & website design, then check it out here: Galloway Law

When to use your Mood Board?

It becomes your guiding light for your brand. It becomes a great quick and easy guide that keeps you in check! When you are creating your logo, website, social media graphics, or fliers, reference your mood board to ensure that you are staying “on brand”. Does it align with your vision? Are you staying consistent and what you are creating aligns with how you want your clients to feel? 

Your mood board is also a great resource to share with your photographer before you get your photos taken to ensure you are both on the same page!

Here is a step by step process of how I create a mood board for all my Logo & Branding clients:

Step 1: Picking your keywords

When I am working with my one-on-one brand design clients, I kick off our project by discovering the foundation of their business. This helps us create a brand that is one of a kind and will attract their ideal clients. In this process, we land on a couple of keywords that are related to their business and brand.

This process is easy & simple! Let me walk you through it.

Pick 3-5 Biz Keywords

First, pick 3-5 words that describe what you do. These words represent the literal thing you do and the type of clients you want to work with. For example if you are a wedding makeup artist you would pick: makeup, weddings, makeup brushes, salons, and the city you are in.

Pick 3 brand keywords

Now you will pick 3 words that best describe the feeling that you want people to feel when they experience your brand. In other words, how do you want them to feel when they work with you? When they visit your website, what is the first impression you want them to have? Or what do you want them to think when they see your social media? 

Thinking through how you want someone to feel when they come across your brand will make them feel connected. Creating a brand that emotionally connects with your clients is going to allow you to attract those dreamy clients with ease.

Going back to our wedding makeup artist, her brand keywords may be: creative, fun-loving, confident

Want more help on picking your keywords? Then download my free brand blueprint guide: 4 Steps To Creating A Memorable Brand

Step 2: Time to Start Pinning Images for your Mood Board!

First you will need to create a Pinterest board. You can even make this board secret if you’d like! Then search for your keywords you brainstormed in step 1 & 2. Try to look for photos, quotes, patterns, textures and fonts that FEEL like your brand. 

Pay attention to the colors in the images you are pinning. If you want your brand to feel high-end and professional, then you will want a simple, monochromatic color palette. Think: black and white with one accent color, navy, or neutrals. If you want your brand to feel more fun and playful, then you will have a more bright and colorful color palette. 

Want more help on figuring out colors? Check out How to Pick Colors for Your Brand

Your mood board should provide you clarity NOT distract you. I recommend keeping your board to no more than 20 pins. Before you move onto the next step, review what you have pinned and remove anything that doesn’t really fit or work with the aesthetic of the rest. If you don’t want to delete them completely yet, move them into a folder inside your board. There isn’t an exact right number of final images that your board should include. I make sure the pins I am using best represent an idea for my brand that is not already being shown through another image.

Step 3: Create the mood board

You can either go back to your roots and do the cut & paste method. Simply print out all your pins and either tape, pin or glue them to a foam board.

Or can be a little more tech savvy like me and use your computer. Although I tend to use design software to create my mood boards (because it’s what I’m most comfortable with!). You can totally create a mood board in a free program called Canva!

Start by downloading the images that you pinned. Simply right-click your pins and then “save image as”. This will download a jpeg of your pin. Once you have all your images saved to your computer you are ready to start creating a collage in Canva. (Canva also has a subscription Pro option with more bells and whistles, but for this exercise you can use the free version!)

Inside of Canva, go to Elements on the left side, then Grid. Choose your favorite one. I prefer to choose a grid with at least 6 image blocks. Then upload your pins as photos and start them into the frames. They will snap right in!

Have fun playing around with your images in different spots. Keep playing until it looks and FEELS just right.

You did it! I love to see what you created. Tag me at @ESCreativeCo on Instagram so I can see your hard work.

Need more help creating your mood board?

Then download my FREE brand guide, 4 Easy Steps To Creating A Memorable Brand. It walks you step by step on how to pick your brand words and create the foundation of your business.


(Well, that and eating pizza. I’m really good at eating pizza!)


I help boss ladies, like yourself, every step in their branding journey.

I understand that visuals attract, but stories are what convert. That’s why I built a branding process that discovers the heart of your business and story.

I create custom logos and branding so you can feel confident in your biz and get back to the things you love! Let’s be honest, you’ve got a mile long to-do list and creating your logo and branding should be the last thing you stress about!

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