Sometimes, inspiration strikes suddenly. You’re sitting there, drinking a cup of coffee… and bam, you know exactly how you want to design that logo.
But most of the time, great ideas can be a little harder to pin down. You’ll have a vague concept, but won’t be sure of the outcome. And that’s where mood boards come in handy.
Creating a Mood Board with Pinterst
In case you haven’t heard of it, Pinterest is a site that allows you to “pin,” or save, images from around the web. This site is often used as a bookmarking tool, allowing you to keep track of the recipes, patterns, and interesting projects you find. But it can also be integrated into your creative process, allowing you to explore concepts and discover new ideas.
Making a themed board is easy: just go to your Pinterest profile and click “create a new board.” You can even make the board secret if you choose.
Next, drag the “Pin it” button into your bookmarks bar for easy pinning.
Once you’ve made your board, it’s time to hop on over to Google (or your search engine of choice). Search keywords loosely related to the project you’re working on; for example, if you’re designing something for an animal shelter, you could look for “pets,” “animal rescue,” or even “pet logos.” Whenever you see an image that seems to hit on your concept, pin it to your board!
Browsing the Results—Digesting your Mood Board
Half the fun of a mood board is the creation. But after you’ve gathered your data, you still need to digest it. You should now have an entire page covered in ideas for your project. Look for the similarities in the images you like, and the elements that stand out in the ones you love.
Mood boards aren’t just for brands and logo design; you can use them for any project that needs a little extra inspiration. If you’re trying to name something, try pinning pictures that evoke the product or service. If you’re planning an event, pin decorations and food ideas. If you need to create a character for a novel, pin objects that he or she might use in their day to day life. You don’t have to use everything on the board in your final product – the collection of ideas is just meant to give you a good starting point.
I frequently use mood boards when designing brands (and highly recommend it in the mood board process in Module 2 of the Build a Savvy Brand Series). Check out some of the boards I've created on university Logos, food quality, and even doughnuts. (Warning: that last one might make you hungry). Whenever I get stumped, I can go back to these images for a little more creative inspiration.