Mood boarding is a technique often used in web and graphic design, but its use is even broader than this. Painting, photography, game design, interior design, movies, marketing, fashion, music, advertising and even architecture are domains where mood boarding is often used to develop creative concepts.
A mood board is a type of poster that contains text, images, and samples of objects used in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator, and serve as a visual tool for communicating ideas and creating inspiration.
Why and Where?
Mood boards can be useful when trying to establish the aesthetic flow of a website. In most cases, it doesn’t give a tremendous amount of inspiration, but what you can get from it is something you can use further. It is also a very good time saver in the creative process. Many issues can be solved right away (or at least easier) if you go for a mood board – which also solves some problems you would normally encounter later on during the development phase.
Mood boards also set a general direction for a layout and project in general. It cuts the time spent on a project which has a bad planning phase behind. We say that an image is better than a thousand words. Imagine how much a mood board with ten images can do.
You will understand this better if you’ve had a situation that you couldn’t understand anything about a concept, but got the idea immediately when shown a picture or an example. A mood board works in a similar way. It creates the picture.
The first thing you need to do is to choose the best elements that can help. Start thinking about the general direction you want your project to take and also about the projected image it needs to send in the website design.
Mood boarding can also be done in a different way than most do it and this is where you can already start designing your layout, only just on paper. You will only draw it in grayscale and will only draw the homepage and two other subsequent pages – with not very much details besides the containers and menu.
I think that this overlaps with the creative process and don’t usually like starting designing before the mood board is accepted.
Designers who use mood boards to set up an environment or a general feeling do not start designing already. They include a few examples of websites they like, color schemes, textures or photography.
All these come in a style which will be further developed into a website. Words that can describe a mood board could be: dark, slick, glossy, modern, soft, round, elegant, realistic, rough, bright, sketchy, colorful and so on.
As you can see, these are words that can also describe a website or a poster. The transition from a mood board to the final product should be easy to notice.
Mood boarding is not a difficult process and doesn’t need too much of an explanation. The most asked question is if it should be done on paper or the computer. As mentioned earlier, I am a fan of doing it on the computer. Photoshop works just fine for our team and for most other design professionals.
If you find yourself often in the middle of the creative process and don’t know where to head, think of using a mood board. Many us of use mood boards and, in the least, they will help you set up the mood of the project. I am not saying mood boards will solve all your problems – they will obviously not, but they will help you along the way.
They are not very difficult to create and are a solid base for bespoke website design projects. Getting the design our clients need (and may have not initially known they do) is helped using a defined design process and our own research.
This one of the reasons our company is different to others, we truly evaluate your business and build it from the ground up, setting your website apart in its defined industry.