12 Mood Boards to Inspire Your Rebrand

Key Elements and Examples

By Sarah Love, Senior Designer

To celebrate North Street’s 12th anniversary, we’re doing a dozen blog posts all around the number 12!

Mood boards are an integral part of our branding process. A mood board is a collection of imagery that serves as the design inspiration to get you thinking about how you want your brand to look and feel. They give our clients a holistic, big-picture view of the different directions we could take the design of their visual identity or website. 

Each mood board is a compilation of critical visual components – colors, fonts, textures, and keywords – that set the stage for building out the visual identity directions. Based on the feedback we receive from the client during discovery about who they are and how they want to represent themselves, we build out mood board directions that help them tell their story. We pull keywords that fall into two buckets: adjectives that describe the organization or words that represent the desired brand impression. 

A good mood board showcases how certain elements, colors, typography, and images work together to create a customized look and feel. Colors are an essential part of any design project. When we build out mood boards, we explore color palettes that speak to the story the client would like to tell. For example, focusing on “human” or “approachable” may use a softer, warmer color palette. In contrast, a “bold” or “high-tech” direction may use a darker, rich-hue, high-contrast colorful palette.

We aim to pull inspiration from various mediums (i.e., printed business cards, brochures, signage, digital assets) and mix it with textures (possibly found in nature like sand, leaf, and wood textures), patterns, and typography that pairs with the overall tone. Textures and patterns give the mood board depth and variety, making it more dynamic, while images can evoke certain emotions or narratives.

Looking for inspiration? Here are 12 examples of mood boards we have presented to clients over the years, across a variety of industries. 

Financial Services

1. Financing company dedicated to offering transparent consumer finance options.

Keywords: empowering • transparent • transformative

2. Wealth management firm that has evolved from its roots in managing a family portfolio to a multifaceted private investment advisor.

Keywords: client-centric • experienced • trusted/trustworthy 

3. Unified brand of three companies providing groundbreaking legal funding and technology solutions.

Imagery: employ cartography-themed visual elements that suggest notions of navigation, wayfinding, discovery, charting a course, etc.

Legal & Professional Services

4.  An Am Law 200 firm distinguished for delivering highly focused personal service.

Keywords: creative • dedicated • experienced • modern • professional

Cole Schotz Rebrand

5. Legal advocacy nonprofit establishing itself as a leading resource and vital player in the fight to defend democracy.  

Keywords: impactful • powerful • essential • focused

6. The Workforce Investment Organization (WIO) for a northeastern healthcare workers union.

Campaign goals & keyphrases: recruitment • professional development • meaningful growth

7. Newly-launched research consultancy founded by a pair of industry veterans.

Keywords: versatile • seasoned • empathetic

Construction + Real Estate

8. Collection of upscale accommodations thoughtfully designed to offer guests an unparalleled resort-like setting in Puerto Rico.

Keywords: unparalleled • immersive • luxurious 

9. Florida-based builder of high-end, custom homes.

Keywords: craftmanship • progressive • experienced 


10. Wine merchant providing unprecedented access to the world’s finest producers.

Keywords: authentic • obsessed • professional • inspiring


11. Venture developing offshore wind farms that will provide the United States with affordable energy and drive the country’s energy independence.

Keywords: unity • interconnectedntess • innovative • trusted

12. An organization dedicated to the non-partisan activation of the nation’s citizenry.

Keywords: approachable • trustworthy • action-oriented

We hope these tips and examples have inspired you to go off and crush your next mood board.

About north street

We engineer the thoughtful transformation of great organizations. Our proven process helps us understand what your competitors are doing right — and wrong. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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