Mood Board Basics


What is a mood board?

A mood board is a summation of visuals on a single platform to articulate an underlying theme. It can be useful for designing a logo, graphic design, and branding. While also used for website development and social media, the mood should be established with the foundational pieces of marketing so that there is consistency across all facets.

So why develop a mood board?

At NWA Brand, we primarily discuss mood boards during the ideation stages of a project. It is customary that the agency assembles the mood board to convey the visuals of an upcoming marketing effort (which we generally do). However, upon working with small businesses and individuals, we have found the benefits of the client assembling a mood board to be much more conducive. This concept is beneficial for inspiration, guidance, expectation articulation and communication. The client often times has an expectation, “mental picture”, or idea prior to convening. These ideas may be difficult to articulate or interpret. If you already have an idea, we will make it come to life [of course not without offering our professional insights and recommendations along the way].

How to create a mood board?

A mood board can be digital or physical. The primary consideration here is whether you plan to present it in person or email. Both have their advantages. Digital is easier to share. While going offline allows you to articulate different aspects, such as touch and texture. For a digital mood board, you can something as simple as Word Document. There are professional platforms and software for developing mood board. Our team likes to use Evernote and Mural (which has a free 7-day trial). You might even consider Pinterest! For a physical mood board, one might consider a tri-fold standing display or a foam board. With a physical board, you can always print your digital finds and tack them up.

There are a few consideration when assembling a mood board.

  1. Upon completion, there should be an evident theme/ feel/ concept to the board
  2. This is not a place to articulate dislikes, we can and will discuss those at another time.
  3. Keep the ideal customer at the core of your vision. What is their age demographic? Hobbies? What color and images appeal to them? Married or single? Rural or suburban living? Outdoor or indoor activities?

Here some items you might consider adding to your mood board:

  • Pictures you have taken
  • Images online
  • Textiles, cloth, materials
  • Letters – is your brand more professional and business-oriented [consider a serif font] or energetic and feminine [consider script].
  • Select words
  • Logos/ your logo [if you already have one]
  • Magazine images or article clippings
  • Newspaper images or article clippings
  • Colors – when selecting colors, keep in mind the connotation that the colors have
  • Paint color swatches
  • Arts and craft material (if physical)
  • Art
  • Shapes

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