THE CREATIVE PROCESS – PART 1: CREATING A MOOD BOARD

Published on August 19th, 2015 // BRANDING BASICS DESIGN PROCESS MOODBOARD

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I used to leave it to my clients to choose to put together or not a mood board and share it with me along with the creative brief. I can remember some specific projects for which retrospectively I wished we had created one together. It would have saved us all the following awkward conversations about the meaning of the word ‘modern’ for example. I have since then realized having a mood board for any creative visual project is not at all optional, it is necessary. I now include the creation of one as part of every single one of my packages and you would not believe how much it facilitates the whole creative exchange.

At first glance mood boards are simply pretty posters and seem to be nothing but a useless step in the big picture, but trust me on this one they are invaluable in the creative process. Mood boards give a shared visual platform with your clients, assuring some type of a set creative agreement before starting to even work on the actual project. They can be tweaked and moved around until you all are on the same page. It is also a base tool to go back to throughout the project in case of creative disaccord. Plus, whatever can’t easily be expressed verbally can be expressed visually.

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There are many tools out there to help you create mood boards (Pinterest, Moodstream, Musepeak, etc…) but here are some basic elements to keep in mind: colors, textures, patterns and above all I think the feeling or the emotional connection you want your target audience to experience.

For the visual learners here is a practical example of the opt-in I did for my mailing list subscribers. It is a collection named ‘Pineapple Frenzy’ of three desktop images and a bonus recipe card. Okay now pause right here – join the mailing list and snatch your free download before the summer is over – resume reading.

Before starting to collect images for the mood board I had to define what the feel of the collection was going to be and what I wanted the images to inspire. It was back in June and I wanted something related to the summer but not go the obvious route of colorful, beach-y and sunny. We have a pretty cozy deck on the back of our house that is perfect for cool summer nights, string lights, friends hangouts with fresh drinks and laughter. You get the picture? The idea of the pineapple came because I just kept seeing pineapples everywhere this year and I love the sweet and rough character of the fruit. I then collected images that supported that concept and voila! I got to this mood board.

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PHOTO SOURCES FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7).

It is such a fun task to gather pretty images and see it all coming together as one. It brings creative clarity and I believe it is the perfect way to get started with a client. A creative ice breaker of sort. Your turn now! Go make a mood board just because it’s so much fun but also please do yourself a favor and make it a must in your creative process.

REVERIE MINGLES: SHOW ME THOSE MOOD BOARDS OF YOURS AND SHARE THE ‘FEEL’ YOU WERE GOING AFTER WHILE CREATING THEM.

  • Diane Schmitz

    Loving your blog, Katell, and the mood board! You are an inspiration and an encouragement to find one’s voice in the realm of creativity. I think the mood board is a great idea and fun one too! Congratulations on this new venture, and I will be following you for sure!

    August 19, 2015 at 5:05 pm

  • Thank you, Diane! I am glad you got inspired by the mood board. Make sure to show me if you create a mood or inspirational board.

    August 19, 2015 at 9:20 pm