The Making of a Moodboard

All of our branding projects begin with a client questionnaire aimed to help us understand our client and their brand better. We ask questions like: Who is your target audience? What colors do you like? Which brands in the space do you admire? These answers help us shape the overall strategy we need to approach a project. 

After that, our design process begins. In our studio, that translates to creating a moodboard—a cathartic experience that lets us dig deep into a brand for the very first time. Put simply, a moodboard is a collection of photography, design elements, typography, and color meant to serve as a creative base upon which all branding is built. 

Imagery comes first—and lots of it. Typically, we select around 60 images, at times many more. We then weave together these visuals to convey a mood, color palette, and consumer. Our reference? The initial client questionnaire. If the noted target audience is slightly older, the photography we choose will reflect as such and vice versa. 

Next, we layer on illustrations. These illustrations are evocative of the kind of graphics we eventually suggest incorporating. To give an example, if we include an organic line drawing vs bold blocks of color in a moodboard, this will be reflected during our development of patterns and secondary graphics.

Then comes the typography. The details we choose are typically certain typefaces or designed elements. They too are consistent and lend themselves to the font families we propose. For instance, if there is a strong use of serifs in a moodboard which complement the recommended photography, we will suggest a serif headline for the typography system. 

Finally, we piece the elements together like a puzzle and certain similarities start to form—a common lighting treatment, color palette, typography treatment. Et voila! The building and layering culminates in the formation of a brand. 

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