For designers, digital storytellers, project managers, or anyone in the business of creating, mood boards are a useful way to brainstorm, showcase specific design concepts, or communicate the bigger ideas around a project.
Never made a mood board? Give it a go! Even if you don’t consider yourself a designer – you may find that honing your ability to organize images enhances your power as a communicator. If you’ve hit a stuck point at work, or need a jolt of aesthetic inspiration, making a mood board is an inspiring way to drill down to basics, rediscover what matters, and shake out some new ideas.
When creating a mood board, keep this advice in mind.
Think Like a Collector
Whether you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed or taking a walk in your city, take in your environment through the lens of an image curator. Smartphone cameras, bookmarking tools, and screen capturing software make it so easy to create ad hoc scrapbooks of the colors, patterns, and other sights that catch your fancy as you go about your daily travels.
Center One Big Idea
To make your mood board more cohesive, start with one large image, place it near the middle (or in some way that indicates its prominence), and arrange other images around it. Some of the best mood boards also function as visually rich mind maps.
If your mood board is for your eyes only (such as a vision board to help you set personal goals), it’s not so important that it be easy for others to understand. However, if you’re sharing your mood board with colleagues, collaborators, or especially clients, be ready to answer any questions they might have before they have them. That means it’s okay to use well-known “classic” images, or even use text to drive home important ideas.
Go For Emotional Resonance
Be cognizant of color theory, Gestalt theory, and best practices around typefaces and other design decisions. Make sure your smaller choices are in service to the larger emotional sweep of your mood board. The goal is to create an emotional response to give your ideas the power of strong feelings.
Experiment With Different Sorts of Images
As long as your mood board makes sense as a whole, there’s no reason to limit yourself to photographs, illustrations, and other common images. Experiment with text, maps, diagrams to create striking visual metaphors, and anything else that may help you get your points across.
Experiment With Formats
There is power in the unexpected. Tools such as Pinterest now make it wonderfully easy for almost anyone to generate a mood board. That means that, if you want to go offline, break out your glue sticks, and do some old-fashioned collaging, you can make an even bigger splash at presentation time.
Presentation Is Everything
Whenever possible, always present your mood boards in person. This gives you the opportunity to showcase your work as you want it to be understood, to clear up any confusion, to receive feedback (an opportunity to improve and clarify your work), and to transmit the personality and flavor behind your mood board. Presentation skills are important, so whatever you do, seek as many opportunities as you can get to become a more agile and effective presenter.
For practice, try communicating your personal brand through the medium of a mood board, and then present it to a sympathetic colleague or your creative recruiter.
Mood boards are just one of our favorite techniques for honing ideas and building a brand, a company, or a creative career you will love.
Contact us today to discover many more and see what Artisan Creative’s knowledge, experience, and inspiration can do for you.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our 510th a.blog.