When you get down to it, a mood board is a visual brainstorm. Visual creatives compile a collage of colour swatches, fonts, imagery and samples in order to gain a more holistic view of a brand or the campaign they’d like to present to clients or customers. All of these elements, over time, will then come together to become your design. On its surface, it may seem counter-intuitive, but when used correctly, mood boards can be a powerful design tool. Here are three reasons why.
1. You can approve ideas ahead of time
Once a designer has perfected the mood board from their side, they will send it over to you. This is the best way to find out if you are all on the same page, before you pay a designer to spend hours working on graphics that you may not like. Advise them on how you’d like your colour palette adjusted, what types of font you think represent you best and anything else you’d like removed, added or swapped.
If you have business or campaign stakeholders, send the mood board through to them as well before giving the design team your final go-ahead. There are plenty of aspects of a brand that need to be discussed cross-departmentally, and ideas that may not be appropriate for other (business and legal) reasons. With a mood board, a lot of this can be ironed out early on.
2. Your audience hasn’t been tested
Whether you are wanting graphics for your own follower base on social media or for a new client or campaign, you will only have a very rough idea of what will perform well online and what your audience engages with. This is where a mood board is valuable to you.
Your mood board should be a perfect representation of who you are. Your creative team will use it to pull a colour, font and an inspiring visual from your mood board and bring them together to create a design. If something doesn’t perform well, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel, but merely go back to the mood board, swapping bits out and testing them until you find a formula that works. The benefit of this is that you will be using your mood board as an anchor to keep your designs on message, while still remaining dynamic.
3. Your ideas are incomplete
If you can’t finish a mood board in full, you probably aren’t ready to put branded graphics out into the universe. If you aren’t sure what you want from your visual aesthetic, you can work closely with a design team to create a mood board from scratch, helping to guide you ever closer to your ideal brand identity.
Remember, ideas that aren’t fully realised and fleshed out will translate in the design. Audiences and followers will find that they don’t like the image, logo or other artwork, but they probably won’t be able to tell anyone why they don’t like it or pinpoint what they don’t like. This could make them uncomfortable, and this is never the feeling you want to elicit from a customer, client or follower.
So there you have it! Not only will excellent and consistent mood boarding habits prevent back and forth with your designers, but they can help solidify your brand identity too.
If you’re looking to start your own brand or to re-brand, our designers can help you to constructively compile your ideas into a plan of action. Click here to get in touch.
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