Tips for a Better Mood (Board)

On: August 1, 2013
In: Design
Views: 1655

As a designer, I’m always looking for new ways to be creative and efficient in my work. I’ve been hearing talk of mood boards lately and wondered if it was something that could help me in my own job. After doing a little research, I couldn’t believe that as a designer I’d never used this technique before! So for those of you who, like myself, are novices to the world of mood boards, here is some info that might help you out!

What is a mood board?
A mood board is a technique used by graphic designers, photographers, interior designers and the like to illustrate the general “feel” that a designer is trying to achieve. Through the use of text, images and samples of object, all carefully arranged on a board, mood boards enable designers to use subliminal visual tricks to make the client “get it.”

Where do I find inspiration?
Just because we use technology for most of our work doesn’t mean we can’t find inspiration elsewhere. So stop searching Google Images and look for inspiration in the real world… books, magazines, nature, etc.

What should I know about mood boards?

  • Choose the right format… mood boards can be created online or off, but each requires a very different approach.
  • Use one large image… use one large image and build around it with other images and objects that support the main image and answers any questions the client might have about it.
  • Save the surprise… don’t show the client ahead of time – if you wait until the meeting to show the client then you can get their honest reactions and not a bunch of preconceived questions.

Need extra tips?

  • Practice your mood board skills by creating a small mood board about yourself and share it with co-workers.
  • Don’t ignore the power of just a few words… using a few bold words on your board can create drama, tone and meaning.
  • Spark an emotional response… real objects are good for doing this. For example, if your project is inspired by the beach, bring in a shell.
  • Test your board… if your test audience has too many questions about an object and why it’s on your board, then you might consider if it’s really meant to be there.

Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

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