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Branding 101: The Complete Toolkit

Lesson 4 of 9

Creating A Brand Moodboard

Danielle McWaters

Branding 101: The Complete Toolkit

Danielle McWaters

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Lesson Info

4. Creating A Brand Moodboard


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction To Class Duration:26:35
2 Define Your Brand Duration:34:49
3 Finding Your Brand Identity Duration:10:32
4 Creating A Brand Moodboard Duration:09:10
7 Your Brand Voice And Imagery Duration:11:50
8 Create A Style Guide Duration:17:24
9 Keys To Branding Success Duration:13:51

Lesson Info

Creating A Brand Moodboard

I would like us to do our Go Moodboard exercise. Literally, this moodboard I did here, is through Go Moodboard. I took a whole bunch of screengrabs or saved images from Pinterest or Tumblr or whatever, and then I put them into Go Moodboard and took a screenshot of this, and put it in here. So, let's do this together. Basically, all you do is go to, can you guys see this? Yes. Okay, great. Here were, Interface ... basically you don't need an account, You don't need to pay anything. All you need to do is start with a blank Moodboard. I am going to click that guy. And then, all I'm going to do is upload all of these images that I've put into a folder under Inspiration. Drag my images or upload. We won't do all of them. Here's a good chunk. Let's do down to here. So then I open and then all of a sudden, they start showing up in here. Again, all of this imagery is to show different ways that I am getting inspired to translate my visual essences. In terms...

of photography, in terms of type, in terms of ... here's this apirational ... this is in Indonesia. Okay, cool. I could maybe even show more images about some of the farms in Indonesia, or the people who are providing us with these ingredients. Maybe some cool product ... some ingredient photography like this. Some people, some textures. The other really cool thing about Go Moodboard is that you can put comments. For instance, say I have this image here and I am like this is perfect for my first nourishing essence. I can actually say, 'nourishing essence ... showing ingredients.' Then I can go through and note each of my images and how I actually see how they're coming together. I really like this one, and here I'm like, okay, so this is ... actually this is more form essence ... showcasing lifestyle. And then, maybe here ... I love this color. It's really just showing I'm really into this peachy rose color. And I'm going to say 'color reference.' I also like this as a texture. Maybe I'm trying to think about its only a color, but maybe I can somehow include some type of canvas texture. Waxy texture in my essences. And then over here, I actually really like this type. This is 'type inspiration', which is touching on my 'clean essence.' I really like how we're using this display typeface for my headlines up here. It's tall, it's skinny, it's condensed, but it's really clean. Which is again ... I'm tying back to my essence, and maybe I see this is as a great way ... I could use type very similarly, and maybe it's not that palm leaf, maybe its actually over my image of my ingredients. So, again I am tying my clean essence to nourishing essence. This quote, it doesn't always have to be specifically tied to a type or a pattern. It could also be this emotion that you want it to evoke. I really liked this. I just need time and a beautiful place to clear my head. But to me, speaks so much about this slow movement, slow living. How do I take that and incorporate that kind of essence into maybe my content, or my voice? Maybe I say, "voice reference." And again, maybe here its lifestyle. Here, this is another lifestyle. Maybe I like this image, and when I shoot my product photography, I want to put it somewhere like this, instead of maybe these bowls being here. I'm going to have the candle there. It feels warm, there's sunlight, I'm putting it in actual ... I'm putting it in someone's home. Clean essence ... So again, go through and basically mark all of your imagery. Say how you plan to use this. That way you have this inspiration board that really being ... not just images. You're starting to see how it's all going to come together. So, then, when you have all the images that you want ready to go, all you do is hit 'Save & publish.' And then, basically you have your own Tumblr. Here's a Tumblr of my images, and when I hover over images that I made notes with, it tells me what it is. Here's my 'nourishing essence.' I'm showing it through ingredients. And you'll see a little thumbnail with the thought bubble that you have some note there. I use this all the time. I find it to be incredibly helpful. Instead of organizing all of your images, sometimes in Illustrator Photoshop this is a really fast, easy way. And again, like I said, I really took this and I took screengrabs and then I put it into my presentation. If you're presenting for a client, or something like that, this makes it really easy for you to basically organize all of your visual inspiration. Cool, questions? Yeah, some questions on the moodboard coming in here. So just to clarify, this is mostly for your eyes to help you build your brand. This may be used ... This may be client-facing as well? Yes, absolutely. Because really, this is an opportunity for you ... whether it's your company and you're trying to figure out the look and feel. This would probably be more for you. But again, if this is something that you're doing for a client, it's really, really nice because, not only do you have visual inspiration, but you get to, again, defend why you're making these choices. Right? Because you have these brand essences. You can say, "this imagery really speaks to this essence and this is how I would really like to bring it to life with your product or service. Great. Now, we don't need to get too deep into the legality of things, but we had some questions about, "Well, is it okay to just take these images and put them into your Moodboard?" I guess, if it's an internal thing, you don't have to worry about it as much, but if this does go out in any marketing material, obviously- Correct. Make sure you have the rights to the images. Yes, absolutely. So, if it's only internal and its only going to be between you and your client, and it's not getting published anywhere else, yes, you are okay. But the moment it does get on social media or your website or anywhere else, you do have to look into the ... who created it. You will probably have to pay a fee. Et cetera, et cetera. Make sure that whatever you're doing here is really internally. Or, if you do want to use it, reach out and take the proper steps to make sure that whoever created that image or whatever, is getting credit for it, because, they should. Okay. That's the Moodboard. And again, this is a great starting point to dive into all of these other things that we're about to talk about. I like to basically have this printed out and I keep it on my wall at the office and as we're working through these things ... How is all supporting these visual cues that I've given myself?

Class Description


What does it take to create a successful brand? A strong, clear message and visual consistency is what builds trust, and this course will help you define this. Danielle runs her own successful design studio, specializing in branding. 

She’ll guide you through the process of branding your business from start to finish, including how to:

  • Establish a point of view through tone, messaging and voice 
  • Define your vision, core values and how you position yourself in the market 
  • Create a visual style guide that provides a reference for color, typography, and image styling
This class will teach you how to effectively articulate and communicate your brand to your audience visually, creating cohesion through every touch-point. From how you talk about yourself, to what typeface you use, creating cohesion and clarity builds trust. Position your brand to stand out from the crowd!


- Emma -

Just finished watching the course. Absolutely loved it! I have no experience in branding at all and this course has given me so much information that will help me a lot. I am so excited to get started and creating my brand style sheet. Thank you so much Danielle you were brilliant! Constructive criticism: If would be better if you knew the information rather than reading off the screen in front of you. Paraphrasing would help, too. But very good job nonetheless!


Amazing class! I've been looking for something like this on Creative Live for a long time. It taught me all I needed to know about creating my brand's visual identity and I finally got that needed push to formulate a brand strategy and assemble the visual elements for my brand. Very simple and straight to the point. Thank you, Danielle!

Vivian Bustamante

Great information with handy resources to use after and apply into our own project. The concepts explained made it more clear and I loved the quotes Danielle used to explain this words we heard a lot when talking about branding, the mission, vision, etc. These weren't clear to me up until this point. Thanks so much!