How to create a Mood Board using Pinterest

Mood board example for Custom Brand - Pinterest moodboard

Mood boards are the foundation for each Garlic Friday client design project. Before I begin creating logo concepts or illustrating patterns, I always start by pulling inspiration from photos and compiling them into a clean and cohesive mood board. This step is fundamental to my creative process, and it has proven to be effective time and time again for helping me come up with original concepts that my client is happy with.

A mood board gives us both a visual foundation for the brand, it ensures that we're on the same page and it gives me a visual reference to pull from throughout the project.


The simple answer is that Pinterest is a virtual inspiration board consisting of images that link back to the websites they originally came from. People can create a ‘board’ (kind of like a folder) and ‘Pin’ the images they like and make notes on it. What you end up with is a page full of gorgeous images grouped on boards so they have a similar theme.

Using Pinterest is simple. Just say you were getting married, you might start a board and call it ‘Weddings’. Then you search for terms that might apply to this theme, such as, “Wedding dresses”, “Bouquets”, “Bridesmaids” etc. You look through the pictures and find images you really like and want to remember. At the top of each picture you have the option to “Pin” the image and choose the board you want to pin it to. Later, you can go back to your wedding board and review all the pictures you chose.


Go to Register a new account. You will have the option to start a personal account or a business account. This is up to you. Personal is probably better to start with until you have a plan of action for a business account. You have the option to convert a personal account to a business one at a later date.



Once you are on Pinterest, start a mood board and call it something like “Mary's Flowers Name Mood Board”. Hit the Create button.

Note: You can choose to make the board Secret, so no-one can see it except you and whomever you choose to invite to the board.

Once your new mood board has been created, click the Edit Icon.


Now add me as a Collaborator of your new Mood Board by entering and hitting the Invite button!

Don't forget to Save!



Now you are ready to start pinning. Search for terms that might suit your brand.


01. Start with keywords that describe your brand

Sometimes they’re literal – either related to your brand name, your product, or target audience; while other times they’re more conceptual (words like rustic, masculine, and adventurous).

02. Search for images that represent the literal keywords

If your brand was called, Princess Parties you might include images of princesses, a fairy tale castle and party pictures. I usually use these as my main images. These main photos helped drive the vibe of the mood board.

03. Next find secondary supporting images

Look for photos, textures, patterns, lettering styles, etc that encompass the conceptual words, and also match or compliment the style of the main image.

04. Look for other images related to colour

Colours are packed full of meaning and have a huge impact on the mood. Notice colour trends between the images. Lucky for us, there are people on Pinterest who obsessively organise images in boards based entirely on colour. Search for your particular colour, select Boards, and browse through the multitude of images strictly in that colour. Pick ones that further enhance the overall style of your mood board and carryout the keywords.

05. Reflect on your findings

As I search for inspiration, I throw everything into a private Pinterest board to later make sense of. Some of the images I was originally inspired by won’t get used because they either don’t work with the others, or they just don’t represent the brand like I originally thought. As your brand starts to evolve for you, it’s helpful to go back and delete images that aren’t quite fitting anymore, or aren’t as representative as you hoped.

06. Why? This part is important!

The images you have decided to include in your mood board have a purpose and a meaning to you and I need to know what that is. On each image explain why that picture inspired you or why they help influence the overall style of the mood board. For example, in my most recent moodboard, my client included a specific tea cup because she loved the old fashioned floral motifs, the feminine yet strong colours and the outdoor summer mood of the photo setting. All of these observations helped influence the final brand.

Try to avoid pictures of logos if possible as it can interfere with my original thought process.

Try to have at least 25 different images but no more than 75. 50 is a pretty good number.