In the overview, I encouraged you to start creating a mood board. The goal for your mood board is to collect some creative inspiration, styles you like, images that caught your eye, things like that. The main goal with your mood board is to surround yourself with the look and feel you're aiming to achieve. Like I said in the overview, if you're doing it digitally, consider using Pinterest or Google Docs or that tool I mentioned, Boards by InVision.
You may also prefer the old school method of creating a mood board. If you have numerous amounts of magazines and newspapers, start cutting your favorite images and pages and start pasting them on the wall or a board. Personally, I love getting big visuals up in my workspace to help me think through the brand identity. You'll probably end up taking bits and pieces of everything you collect and then putting them together for your own brand identity.
So let's get a bit deeper. There are three core elements of brand identity that you can pull out of your mood board. First, your color palette. What are the colors you want to represent your brand? What colors look good together? Colors are an important part of your toolkit. They can elicit certain emotions from your audience but at the same time direct their attention. One quick tip to note about your colors is that it's important to make sure your colors are contrasting well.
For example, if your product description or website copy is difficult to read due to the color of the text, then it might be wise to change the color to work in your favor. Remember, you have your brand architecture to guide you. I can look at my brand pillars and start to answer this question. I want colors that are natural feeling, like greens or browns, to communicate the environment.
But at the same time, I want my colors to stand out. I still want to communicate that joyous feeling to my brand but also want to select an eye-catching color for my main action items on my site. When we get to building out our shop, I'll use a bright yellow and orange for the parts of the website I want to stand out, like buttons or telling the user to shop or buy. The second elements that are going to come with my mood board is the photography and visual style.
Do you like the images with a lot happening? Do you appreciate a lot of white space? For me, I like images of nature since my mission is to ensure we're lowering the impact of technology on the environment. I'm going to find a lot of visuals that incorporate my target audience of yogis into natural settings. A great resource for finding free stock photography is Burst, developed by Shopify, which is a free stock photo library, and you can check it out in the link below.
Lastly, your mood board is going to highlight the kind of fonts you want to use. Sometimes fonts are referred to as typefaces or typography, but it's all the same at the end. Your brand font choice is very important. And I know sometimes it seems slightly ridiculous to think that letters would influence how people would interact with your brand. Lots of studies, however, show that it does have an influence on your audience's sentiment towards your brand.
And I can tell you, from what I've seen working with entrepreneurs, fonts truly do matter. You'll want to find something that really reflects your brand pillars as well. In my case, I'm going to find a font that's grounded yet has some pop to it to really get the fun joyous feeling. Let's be real. I'm not going to find a font that is defined as grounded or joyous.
It takes searching, and it takes a feel. At this point, really nail down your brand pillars into your mind and start searching for fonts that represent these pillars. You'll know when you'll know. This is a part that's more of an art than an actual science. Shopify has an extensive font library, and it's always growing. I've included a handy link below so you can see the full font catalog yourself.
You can also get font inspiration from sites like dafont.com, fonts.com, or even Google Fonts. If you found a font that's in the magazine or an ad that you really like, use an app like WhatTheFont. You can take a picture of the word, upload it, and you'll learn what the font is immediately. It's pretty amazing.
All right, so you're working on your mood board and you're keeping an eye for the color palette, the visual style, and font choice. Now let's start building. In this next lesson, we're going to bring your brand to life.