When you have to convey your style and quality as a designer, it often becomes tricky to describe that in words. If you want to communicate a brand to others, then you have to provide them with something that is visually engaging, something that will set their mood.
For every design project that you work on, you will have a certain set of ideas that you wish to execute. It allows clients to understand what you are thinking, helps settle down on a color palette of the project and reduces the number of revisions needed to finalize the design. For many, mood boards are an integral part of the design workflow.
What is a Mood Board?
A mood board is essentially a collage of images, text and other objects that describe your design ideas and define the brand. The mood board helps you define the brand identity and often serves as a guide when it comes to doing design work for business. If you are launching a new brand or simply trying to refresh your brand identity, a mood board is a good place to start.
If you are starting a new project, creating a simple collage with a familiar design can help put things in focus. This will highlight the different attributes of the company, the vision and the emotions that you want to convey. The mood board will also help translate concepts like the culture and the values into the more tangible and visual form. A mood board is also a great source of assets for other materials such as websites and business cards.
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What Does a Mood Board Include?
Putting together an entire board can be a challenging task. However, it can also be fun and inspirational. It is like putting together a puzzle. There are five key elements that make the mood board interesting. These include:
- Layout: The structure of your mood board is important to create a balance. Make sure that you stick to a single layout throughout the mood board. If you are using borders, make sure that the width is equal all throughout.
- Digital or physical: A digital format is easier to share and present. However, a physical format can add a lot of drama. With physical objects, the project seem a lot more real.
- Colors: Colors set the mood of the entire project. Selecting a color palette can be a daunting task. You can take inspiration from physical objects as well.
- Typography: There are a lot of original fonts out there that you can incorporate in your design without being too stereotypical.
- Texture: The texture also helps in setting the mood. It can allow you to portray something soft and plush, such as a comfortable shirt or a soft couch, or it can be used to portray something hard, such as a steel reinforced structure, or rocks. The texture allows the audience to feel the design more intimately.
Do’s and Don’ts for Creating a Good Mood Board
Conveying the right mood can be a bit tricky. Mood boards, if not created properly, can be confusing. So, here are some tips on how you can improve mood boards and some things that you need to avoid.
Find Inspiration From Real Life
The best content for your mood board can be collected from real life. You can photograph everyday objects using your phone and use those those images to convey a certain mood. It can a catchy billboard, a cool sign or something else.
Do not rely on just digital content to inspire you. Physical content too can have significant impact. So, make sure of physical objects whenever possible.
Make Your Own Content
When you are creating a moodboard, try to tell a story with the pictures and words. This allows people to understand your vision and emotions better. You will have to curate your own content in a way that allows viewers to find a flow between the images.
Do not copy when you are creating a mood board. It can be quite easy to introduce plagiarism in your mood board.
Have a Consistent Style
Before you start with a mood board, you need to decide if you want a physical or a digital board. Think about the method that will fit your style the best. When you are picking a style, the color palette and the layout make an important design choice. It is imperative that you stick to one style.
Do not switch styles when you are building a mood board. Also, do not be too literal. Use the colors, textures and layouts to suggest the mood. It does not have to be necessarily linked to the subject.
Creating a mood board is an experimental process. You will have to build and rebuild your mood board over and over again.
Do not limit your creativity. Try to think out of the box. Just because someone has build a moodboard in a certain way does not meant that you too will have to do that.
Reasons to Use a Mood Board While Designing Packaging
While designing packaging, a mood board can allow the client to get a better vision of the outcome. It may look an overhead task, but it will speed up the development cycle and reduce the number of iterations needed. Here are some of the most significant reasons why you should invest in mood boards.
Allows You to Visually Communicate With Clients
Often, the way a designer and the client envision a project is quite dissimilar. Even though the client understands what the designer is thinking about, they cannot visualize the same thing that the designer is thinking. Hence, a mood board can really help the clients understand exactly what you are thinking.
Reduces the Number of Revisions Required
When building packaging, the design may need to be revised multiple times. Often, making small changes can be a lot of tasks. Therefore, it’s important to establish certain check-in points where the client will finalize whatever work that has been done till that point of time. A mood board is much easier to change than an entire packaging design.
Helps in the Developing Color Palette
Since the color palette is a crucial part of the packaging, the mood board can help you narrow down the color choices faster. In the case of packaging, often the branding of the company or the content of the packaging determines the shades that can be used. A mood board can help you find just the right color palette and even allow you to explore other unorthodox color choices.
For the Client
Makes Collaborations Easier
Mood boards allow clients to better understand what the designer is thinking. It allows clients to suggest changes before a pixel perfect design in finalized.
Gives a Direction to the Brand
Even though a mood board is used as a source of inspiration and to communicate with clients, they can also provide a direction for the brand. The mood board can further be used for creating social media graphics, visual assets for websites, flyers, brochures, and other promotional material.
For the Consumer
Provides a More Consistent Experience
Mood boards help create a responsive design that scales across multiple media or devices. This allows consumers to get familiar with the brand across different media.
Mood boards are a powerful way to express ideas and communicate with clients using visual cues. They can drastically speed up the designing process and often aid the development of front-end components such as websites. It enables designers to work faster, allows clients to collaborate more easily and provides end-users with a more consistent experience.