How to use a Mood Board to Discover Your Brand Style

Pinterest and Mood Boards go together like peanut butter and jelly. There are so many beautiful images on Pinterest, they get to know what you like, and you can save them with the click of a button.  But how do you transform all of this inspiration into a brand style?

If you don’t know what you like, pin everything that resonates with you. Any kind of image or product that gives your stomach a little flutter or makes you say “ohh” out loud, you should pin.

If you know you are looking for specific colors, photography styles, or type styles, make sure you pin examples that visually represent the look you are going for.

Look for patterns in the items you pinned. Are most of the images you are drawn to light and airy or bright and bold? Are you pinning bold type or handwritten type? What colors do you notice that you are drawn to?

Make a reference list like this. Now describe the style of each one or fill in the answer if you have specific fonts or colors, for example.

Photographic style

Typography style


Overall description of style

Getting color values for design – Each color has a hex value that looks something like this #ffffff and a CMYK value that may look like this C- 12 M-46 Y-38 k-59. Hex colors are for web and CMYK is for print design. Having these numbers will make sure your color story is consistent. You can enter these values in any design program like Squarespace or Canva and design like a pro.

You can sample colors from any picture from your mood board with the ink dropper tool in design programs like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and even Keynote.

If you don’t have access to these programs you can upload a picture to Image Color Picker to get the hex value. Color Hex  is also a very cool site for developing your color story. You can put in the hex value and they will tell you the CMYK value plus show you color shade, tints, and complimentary colors.

Putting it all together – Look at your board again and delete everything that doesn’t match this list or move it to a new board. Now, you have the foundation of your brand style by defining the colors, typefaces, and photography style you will use on your website, logo, and branding materials. You can lay out your mood board, the values for your color choices, and your type choices in a document so you can easily reference what you need to DIY your branding.

The final piece will look like this.

how to make a mood board




Making a custom mood board and Style guide – You can make your own in Photoshop with this template download, Double click on the colors in the layers palette to change. Add your photos on top of the square where you want it displayed. Hold down the option key and set your section tool in between the two layers. This will add the photo to the box so that it is cropped inside. You can watch a video here of how to do this.

You can also use this Canva template to put together your mood board and style guide. Replace the color boxes with your color choices and enter your hex values for reference. Replace the illustrations with your photos and download.