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Mood Boards | The What + Why

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Mood boards are such an important tool when it comes to design but I am often met with the question, “a mood WHAT?” so let’s dive into what exactly a mood board is and how it can be used. First things first, a mood board is an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept; it’s the initial drawing board of inspiration for your project or design. I offer a mood board with my branding proposals and they are so helpful in portraying to a client the overall aesthetic that their brand will encompass.

So where does one even start? Think about the look you’re going for. Is it a formal, classy design with minimalist tones or is it a vibrant and funky brand with a lot of color and texture? Obviously you will compile very different photos or materials for each look. Collect more than you think you need and then weed through which ones just don’t fit. Your images also don’t need to be just of your final concept. For example, if I’m drawing up a mood board for a coffee shop logo, all the photos won’t just be of coffee shop logos. In fact, I encourage you to have less than 10% of your images be examples of the final product as this helps your client focus not just on that exact image (since you won’t be replicating the logo) but on the overall feel. Highlight color schemes and textures to give your look cohesion.

The beauty of mood boards is that there isn’t a formula you need to follow. They can be a digital collage of stock photos and textures or a physical collage of materials, photos, and random props. Rip out pages of magazines (like I did on my office wall above) and harness your crafting skills or lack thereof because anything goes! The most important thing is that you are getting your message and vision across.

Lastly, mood boards are effective beyond the initial inspiration stage. For example, I always encourage businesses to keep coming back to their mood board when it comes to social media content. Before posting something, ask yourself if it aligns with your mood board. Pretty soon you won’t need to do this each time as it will become more natural and your overall aesthetic will become something you don’t have to think about!

Cheers, friends! Have a great rest of your week!


#moodboards #branding #logos #design #graphicdesign

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