HOW TO GET YOUR VISUAL BRAND TO FEEL LIKE YOUR MINISTRY

HOW TO GET YOUR VISUAL BRAND TO FEEL LIKE YOUR MINISTRY

The ArtSpeak guide to effective Mood Boards

Kirk Hadden | August 28, 2020 | branding Church Branding

NOBODY NEEDS TO TEACH YOU HOW TO BREATHE

The marvel of God’s design is that you come equipped with some pretty intelligent features. At birth, you draw your first breath and your body naturally keeps going.

He’s equipped you with unique talents as well. Your calling, vision, and desires for your ministry differ from those of another ministry. While the overarching goal for each of you is to reach all who will hear about the Kingdom of Heaven, God has given YOU a specific audience to reach in your own way.

Just as John penned out the vivid description of the visions he received while exiled in Patmos, God’s glory is still displayed through a myriad of beautiful visuals.

TRANSLATING HIS MESSAGE TO YOUR AUDIENCE

If you’ve been following us through this series on our branding process, you’ll remember it’s all about bringing focus to your vision. You define your audience, remembering their perceptions about you, and move towards a shared win — that place where your hopes and dreams blend with those of your audience. 

Once you’ve discovered your why, there are a few elements of written statements you’ll establish:

  • Your Value Propositions – This piece shows shared wins through the lens of your audience’s hopes and fears
  • Your Brand Promise – Your summary of all of your Value Propositions
  • Your Core Story – The emotionally-connected story that draws you and your audience  together 

And finally…

  • Your Pulse Words – A series of words and phrases that inspire your brand’s visual interpretation

Once you’ve defined the written elements of your brand, it’s time to begin the process of creating visual elements that support your message.

WHERE DO YOU START?

Before Da Vinci painted The Last Supper, he worked to foster his inspiration. His insatiable desire to learn about the world around him brought his imagination to life on many journaled pages before his brush ever stroked the canvases of each masterpiece. 

In other words, he created a mental Mood Board. At ArtSpeak, we do the same thing — except we use Pinterest. Here’s what we mean.

A Mood Board is where you gather inspiring images that feel like the brand you’re trying to communicate. This step comes before you create anything. 

In essence, you’re loading your palette with colors, textures and various other design elements that catch your eye. 

We like to use Pinterest because it’s  sharable, expandable, and collaboration-friendly. It’s the Creative’s best friend when searching for inspiration.

But your mood board will have limited effectiveness if you don’t follow a process that encourages your personal creativity. Here’s what we do.

BUILD YOUR MOOD BOARD: THE MAGIC RECIPE

We all want an easy button in life. And we all know that usually doesn’t exist. However, we’ve discovered a process for building your Mood Boards that is about as easy as breathing… it’s called EXPANSION and CONTRACTION.

First, Expand

Load your mind by reading through your Messaging Blueprint, check out comparative brands, remember your audience, and keep those Pulse Words in front of you.

Have fun pinning! In the expansion process, you’re looking for inspiration that will fuel the design of your visual brand. 

What should you pin?

    • Anything that could relate to your Pulse Words
    • Logo inspiration
    • Color inspiration
    • Design inspiration
    • Photography inspiration
    • Font inspiration
  • Anything that grabs your eye!

Along with the inspiring elements that you can find on Pinterest, we’ve found several other sources that are helpful (and they’re easy to pin to your boards):

  • Behance
  • Dribble
  • Designspiration
  • Unsplash
  • Getty Images
  • Anywhere!

Remember: Don’t discount or filter anything yet. If it grabs your eye, pin it!

Then, Contract

You’ve built your Mood Board. You’ve allowed your ideas to settle (maybe more inspiration came to you). It’s time to bring those thoughts into focus. We call this process contraction.

How do you make the right eliminations? We’re so glad you asked …

  • Go with your gut – The first step of your contraction process doesn’t necessarily mean pressing that delete button. Instead, review each pin, noting your initial reaction — be it a like or a dislike.
  • Look back at your blueprint – Now it’s time to compare your Messaging Blueprint to your pins. Evaluate each one, noting why and which elements you liked (typography, color, images).
  • Lather, rinse, repeat – In this process, you discover where you might have veered off course. That’s okay! With this new focus, you may go through another round of expansion and contraction. The result will be a specific direction for you and your artists to take as you move into the design phase.

ARE YOUR VISUAL BRAND ELEMENTS CLEARLY DEFINED?

Mood boards are an excellent way to transition from the solidified message you’ve worked hard (and prayed harder) to create into the words, thoughts, and ideas that become your brand’s visuals.

As you continue on your branding journey, you’ll start to take the ideas you’ve gathered from your Mood Board, and translate them into concrete visuals that communicate your brand’s values. You’ll take those visually-inspired elements and create logos, fonts, colors, and other design elements that connect your Core Story with what your audience sees and perceives about your brand. 

Your visual branding strategy becomes an integral part of every communication effort. Websites, printed materials, and all other forms of communication will use these foundational elements to continue to bring your message to your audience. 

We recommend creating a Style Guide to be the waypoint that keeps you on track. This important piece includes your logo, typography, and color palette that uniquely define you as you.

Once your Style Guide is established, it’s time to implement your branding strategy. Maybe that includes social media. Maybe that includes video. There are many ways to creatively communicate your message.

But you’re not alone on this journey. Our passion is helping organizations like yours reach more people. If you want help strategizing, branding, and reaching others, we’re here for you.

TO CONNECT, SIMPLY FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW FOR A FREE 30-MINUTE CONSULTATION