It seems that in the last few years mood boards have exploded online (have you seen Pinterest lately?). It’s like everywhere you look somebody’s making one, whether it’s for their wedding, logo, or a remodel, there’s a mood board for everything.
Perhaps you’re starting a new project or thinking of rebranding your business, and are overwhelmed by this idea. I want to share a little as to why they’re so important when starting a new project or working with other creative people.
As a graphic designer I find that they’re extremely important in the initiation of the creative process, it helps me get inside my client’s head, to really see what they mean when they say they like ‘stylish’ things or they want to go for a ‘modern’ feel, as these things could mean something completely different to both of us. The mood board bridges what you’re saying with what you’re imagining, it ensures everybody is on the page about the vision of the project at hand.
I asked my friend Alicia (who is also a graphic designer) what her opinion on mood boards and client experiences were, and we both agreed that we could’ve saved ourselves a lot of headaches at the beginning of our careers if we’d asked clients to make them. These boards guide us and help us get “confirmation from the client that we are indeed heading in the right direction.” From making sure we’re using the right shade of colour like here to using the right typeface like here.
I recently worked with Jenna Friesen (a local landscape designer here in Bend, Oregon) to create a new visual identity for her, and this is the mood board and logo we came up with for her new brand.
As you can see, the board influenced shapes, icons, colors and type. I asked Jenna what her impression of this exercise was and she said she had found it to be incredibly helpful in representing that we were both in agreement regarding the design… “seeing images of the driving concepts that would guide my business’s logo design was both exciting and critical in feeling we were on the right track.”
Of course, a mood board isn’t enough, she also answered a questionnaire where she was able to tell me about her business, her goals and her vision, this was then backed by the mood board and used as starting point. You can read more about the ideas and vision behind her brand here.
If you’re working on a new project or thinking about it, I strongly suggest starting by writing down your ideas and backing them up with images, they don’t have to be related to your industry. If you would like some inspiration on how to start, Alicia has a wonderful mood board column, and of course Pinterest in always full of inspirational images.