Monday, January 25, 2010

Creating mood boards for design projects

A mood board is a wonderful way to present your ideas and design direction to your client. Not only does it keep you on track and focused throughout the design process but it also helps to keep everyone on the same page as the concept evolves and is finalized. I create mood boards all the time, especially for identity and packaging projects. I have found if I skip this step, my mind will wander in a thousand different directions, resulting in wasted time (and money). And my clients do love the mood boards—it's definitely another way to reinforce your design choices.

If I am presenting to a group, I prefer mounting photos, fabrics and color swatches on a piece of large foam core. This way, it can be displayed and viewed by all as I'm presenting my concepts. But sometimes I create a mood board simply on paper, pulling images into my Indesign file and exporting the page as a pdf for my client to view.

Mood boards are definitely a visual thing but it can also be tactile. One time when I was presenting a mood board to a client, I had him close his eyes and touch the board which contained many different textures—rough stone, suede fabric, embossed paper, etc. It was important for him to understand the concept which was focused around the sense of touch. Needless to say, he loved the concept and totally understood where I was going with it.

Below are a few examples of mood boards I have created for various projects. Enjoy!

the mood board kept me on track with the organic feel of the pieces below

simple and to the point – rough layouts shown below

Vivesan mood board on foam core

the final pieces for Vivesan, plant-based cleaning products

a mood board for a project in the works – I love this color combination!

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