What is a Mood Board?
A mood board is a very important tool when it comes to researching and creating your brand and brand identity. It can either be a physical or digital collage of elements that can be used as inspiration to design a project. They are used to communicate concepts of your brand’s voice, tone and style. It enables the client and designer to visualise the designing direction before investing hours upon hours of work in it and can also eliminate the risk of having to go back and start all over again.
Why do you need one?
It brings your ideas to life: you might have a vision of exactly what you want when it comes to your brand and its identity, but that doesn’t mean your ideas will work well when you put all the elements together. By creating a mood board, you will have the clarity you need before starting to design anything.
It helps others to visualise your ideas: you might be able to visualise what you want, however it can be hard for others to visualise the same thing. A mood board will help you communicate your ideas visually and will make sure you, your team, designer or client have a clear understanding and picture of your ideas and vision.
What is included in a Mood Board?
The elements of a mood board will vary according to each project. The most common elements in creating a brand mood board are photos, font styles, designs or illustrations, colour palettes, textures and descriptive words. You can literally add anything that will help you define the direction of the project.
Physical Vs Digital Mood Board?
The materials used to create a physical mood board will vary from project to project and can include printed photos, illustrations, pieces of fabric, sketches and many other elements. They are typically laid out on a corkboard where all elements can be rearranged as the board is built.
With interior design projects, some of the elements are examples of the actual materials being used on the project such as pieces of fabric, wood, tiles and colour swatches. The advantage of the physical mood board is that it brings reality into the project and colours, textures and patterns are shown more accurately. The only downside is that they are harder to share with colleagues and clients.
Digital mood boards are more practical and can be easily be modified and shared with colleagues and clients. The biggest advantage of a digital mood board is that you have an infinite source of inspiration and there are numerous websites and apps that you can use to source photos and all the elements you need to help build your presentation.
How to create a Mood Board
1. Define what you want to achieve: My number one tip to create the right mood board is to write 3 words that represent your business, product or service and then use them as a guide to start collecting elements. (E.g. fun, quality, eco-friendly).
2. Collect your elements: start searching for elements associated with those 3 words. They will be used as inspiration to create your project/brand. Elements can include:
- Font styles
A great and free tool to collect mood board elements is Pinterest. You can create a board (private or public) and save all your elements in one place. You can also share it with your team, designer or client and have them contribute towards it as well.
3. Review, organise and present: Now you might have ended up with a lot of elements and information, and it’s time to pick the ones that better represent your band. If having trouble deciding, go back to your 3 initial words and pick the elements that best describe them.
Physical or digital, the layout of your mood board needs to give prominence to the key theme. You can then surround these with smaller supporting images that enhance the theme.
When it comes to creating a digital board, my tip is to use Adobe Illustrator, Spark or Photoshop to create a nice and cohesive layout. If you do not have those programs or are not familiar with any of them, my best tip is to use Canva as it’s a very easy, user-friendly and free platform to create simple designs. You can download Canva on your phone, iPad or use the Web version.
A Mood Board Is important
In conclusion, a mood board is very important in the creative process and should not be neglected. It will ensure that your project does not lose sight of the big picture and all those involved know exactly what direction to take in order to build the right project or brand identity.
If you need help building your mood board, get in touch and we can work together on bringing your vision to life.