How to Style Your Brand Part 4: Creating a compelling vision / Fiona Humberstone

Authored by Fiona Humberstone.
4 min read
Fiona Humberstone

Now for the fun part – it’s mood board time… over to Fiona for Part 4 in our ‘How to Style Your Brand’ tutorial series.

Whether you plan on styling your brand yourself or will work with a graphic designer, having a vision for how you’d like your brand to look and feel is a really important part of the process. If you’re DIYing your brand, think of it as your jumping off point. And if you’re going to work with a professional, then see it as a stepping-stone to finding the right designer.

As you work through the planning process you’ll inevitably have ideas that inspire you. And if you’re working through the process in my book, you’ll also no doubt be filling your scrapbook with creative fodder for this very step in the process! At the very start of your journey it’s worth curating inspiration on a Pinterest (external link) board and following some of the designers you admire on sites like Behance (external link) or Dribbble (external link). It’ll open your eyes to what’s possible and also give you some great leads for potential partners for your project.

This week we’re going to create a mood board

This week we’re going to create a mood board that reflects how you’d like your brand to look and feel. See it as a way to articulate what’s in your mind; to sift through often conflicting ideas and see whether they work; to bring clarity and calm to your mind and to inspire and energise you. Every time I mood board with students on my workshop I find that they love it – expect lots of lightbulb moments!

Brand Styling Image

 Image credit

Essentially we’re going to curate a collection of images, colours, textures, patterns and design elements that inspire you and use them to help you move your branding forwards.

Pull out your Planning Workbook (external link) and start by reminding yourself of the three key words that describe how you’d like your business to come across. Keep these at the back of your mind as you select images that reflect how you see those three words.

Start simply pulling out images instinctively: from magazines, pinterest boards or your own inspiration pile. And after a break, start to be a little more selective: only putting items onto the board that tell a strong story about your brand. This should start to give you some inspiration as to which fonts, colours, patterns and images will work well for your new brand identity.

You’ll find that your mood board provides the ultimate inspiration point when it comes to designing elements for your business. Often it’ll spark off an idea that you can make your own and come up with something that’s totally unique to you. Other times you might find you use it simply to get into the right space, to channel your creativity into a design that creates the right mood.

Use your mood board to find the right designer for your unique project

Brand Styling Image

Even if you’re outsourcing, it’s still a good use of your time (and fun and inspirational) to create a mood board. It’ll help you visualise what you’re looking for and you can use it to review whether what you see in a designers’ portfolio reflects how you’d like your business to come across.

If you see the same spirit and style reflected, then it’s definitely worth talking some more; if you can’t see the style of your mood board in the designers’ portfolio then move on, it’s unlikely you’ll be a good match.

Five questions to ask yourself about a prospective designer

  1. Does their style reflect what I’m looking for?
  2. Do I like their portfolio?
  3. Do I like how they work and their approach to design?
  4. Is their portfolio cohesive, and do I trust that they will do a good job?
  5. Do I like their website and their branding?

Next week we’ll look at the essentials you need to know about reviewing creative work effectively. I look forward to seeing you then! Don’t forget that you can find out plenty more about styling your brand on my blog (external link) and also in my book (external link).

Will you be getting your mood board on after reading this? Has your board helped spur your branding Eureka moment? Share below…

Fiona Humberstone is a Hiscox business insurance customer. To find out about business insurance you might need, visit the Hiscox Business Insurance page page on our website.

How to style your brand Part 1: The absolute essentials

How to style your brand Part 2: Finding your focus

How to style your brand Part 3: Colour psychology – your secret weapon

How to style your brand Part 5: Reviewing creative work

At Hiscox, we want to help your small business thrive. Our blog has many articles you may find relevant and useful as your business grows. But these articles aren’t professional advice. So, to find out more on a subject we cover here, please seek professional assistance.

Fiona Humberstone

Fiona Humberstone has been styling brands, creating websites and running workshops since 2000. Having founded, grown and sold one of the UK's most successful brand styling companies, Fiona now works as a freelance Creative Director for branding projects and consults for design agencies who want to sell more creative work. Find out more at