How to cultivate your brand's style using Pinterest

Before you start picking fonts and colors it’s helpful to know your brand’s ‘style’.

Is your brand going to be more bold and colorful, or more pastel and ethereal, or something in between?

Maybe it’ll be a little goth (is that still a thing?), or nautical, or maybe you really dig some classic Tommy Hilfiger Americana.

Pulling together images that may not directly relate to your brand, but which create the same feel that you want your brand to have, is how you create a style or mood board.

This board can then help you identify the colors, fonts, and even symbolism you’ll need to use to create a brand that fits that style.

But if you aren’t sure what that style is, it can be hard to know where to start.

There are a million different possibilities. Literally the combinations are endless, and only bound by the constraints of your own personal taste and that of your ideal client.

That’s why I love using Pinterest for this.

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At its core, Pinterest is a visual search engine. Perfect for pulling together similar colors, styles, and images.

This is a super simple process. Pinterest is really just a visual search engine… it’s made for this type of thing.

The first thing you’ll want to do is create a new board named something like Mood Board.

Pro tip: If you don’t want other people to see your style until your new branding launches you’ll want to set this to private. You can also add guest collaborators at this step if this is a joint venture.

I love Pinterest for creating mood and style boards.

I use it to create style boards for client projects, as well as for my own illustrations. I have a massive private design inspiration board where I pin other designs that grab my attention or inspire me in some way.

Over time as your board grows you start to see common threads. A color you pin repeatedly, or a certain style that’s somehow different than the others.

The trick is to use your brand words to search instead of wandering aimlessly

Just like hunting for information on Google, this is all about using the right search terms.

Once your board is set up you can start using your brand words to look for images that stand out and feel right for your brand. (Not sure what brand words are? Read this first.)

For each of your brand words, start searching different combinations of “brand word” + “design”, “style”, “decor”, or “colors”.

Pin things that make you feel the same way you want your brand to feel.

For example, if you want your brand to feel bold and modern, you’d search for things like “bold design style” or “modern decor”.

Quick note: You want to avoid using terms like “branding”, “logo”, or even “moodboard”. Those search results will be full of other people’s brand images, which can make it hard separating what style is uniquely yours.

Instead, you’re looking for pictures that embody the word. This might be nature shots, interior design, a big bold quote on a white background, abstract art, or even a marble cheese tray (this was actually on one of my client’s mood boards!).

Your intuition knows what it’s looking for, you just have to pay attention!

Look for images that really stand out to you. Look for patterns in where your eye is drawn.

The goal is to bring together a curated collection of images from every word you chose earlier.

Pin drunk, edit sober. But not really. Unless that works for you.

Don’t be too picky when you first start adding pins to your board. There will be time to cultivate and edit later - right now you just want to add anything that feels right.

I usually recommend your final moodboard have around a dozen images, but you can pin as many as you want.

The more you pin to begin with the better your final board will be. Pin away, then come back the next day with fresh eyes and curate.

Keep pinning and curating until you start to see common threads develop - colors you always gravitate to, a trend towards minimalist or modern styles. Look for the threads, curate some more, and get excited about the image that’s developing!

I’d love to see your boards! Share a link below or share a screenshot on Insta with #brandconfident and tag me @heylenadesigns!


Want to start finding more clarity around what makes your brand uniquely YOU? Join me in my free 7 day email class How to Build a Brand that Connects (and converts).

Here’s some more words you might enjoy