If you are into design or just love creating in general, chances are that you are always looking for inspiration. And sometimes, inspiration can just run dry. If you are feeling in a bit of a creative rut, it’s time to start approaching things differently. Perhaps it’s time to create a mood board.
Need some inspiration?
A mood board, often times called an inspiration board, is a collage of physical or digital collage of ideas. It can include just about anything from photographs, illustrations, textures, descriptive words, color pallets, and anything that helps you define the direction of your project. It can be in the physical format, or the digital with sites like Pinterest.
For ‘oh so many’ purposes
Creating a mood board can help you in numerous ways. For one, gathering designs and inspiration before you start designing can streamline the process and cut down the time wasted looking at a blank canvas. Second, it can help your clients, and your business. It gives them a glimpse of what the completed project will look like and an idea of what direction is being taken so everyone can give their input before too much work is done. It’s also good for establishing the aesthetic feel of a website, project or brand.
How to Create a Mood Board
Look beyond the digital world. Not all of your inspiration has to come from Google Images. You can use magazine clippings and pick out color schemes from the things you see around you.
Take pictures while you’re out. There is inspiration all around you. Use your camera or your phone to capture things that inspire you, like a bird in flight or that tree you’ve always seen since you were a small child. They don’t have to be great photos in the traditional sense. It’s all about capturing the thoughts, impressions, and feelings.
Build things up around large images. Whether digital or physical, your board’s layout needs to give prominence to key theme images. Anyone inquiring answers to the larger images on your board will quickly begin to scan the rest of the images looking for answers. Smaller supporting pictures should give answers to the bigger picture.
Dont ignore the power of a few isolated words on your board. Well-chosen words can give your viewer pause for thought as they have to mentally read what’s in front of them. Big bold words strategically placed can create drama and tone for any project.
Communicate with your Team in Mood BoardsIf you provide mood boards with any type of artist for your project, it will help the artist access the type of look and feel for what you are looking for. Sometimes visual aids will communicate much more than any spoken word. Having trouble communicating ideas to your webdesigner or graphic person? Send mood boards!! You will thank us later.
Match brand qualities to content.
On some creations, not everything that made it onto the board may be incorporated into the finished product, but those images may have been selected because it represents the brand you are creating for. It may have captured the aesthetic or the feeling you were going for.
When creating a mood board for your brand, it will always conceptualize your brand before you dive into the design process. Find out all you can about your client to decide how you will present and organize your creation. Be involved with the presentation of your mood board so that messages aren’t misinterpreted.
Mood boards can be done to get an idea on how to proceed on a specific project, or they can be done for just you to get the creative juices flowing. Nothing has to be off limits when it comes to your creation. Ask yourself what inspires you. Did the smell of fresh coffee wake up your senses today? How is the weather making you feel? What about the feeling your favorite song gives you? No matter how you are feeling, there will always be something that triggered it.
What’s your mood?