5 Reasons Why Every Design Project Needs a Mood Board

No matter what your upcoming design project is, you need a mood board! 

Whether you are about to start redecorating your kitchen, planning your wedding or your branding for your business – a mood board is a must-have key step that can help you to make sure the design comes out as you had envisioned!

In case you aren’t sure what I am referring to when I say mood board, here are some examples:

Bright and eclectic design of orange and pink.
A French countryside inspired design.

A mood board is a collection of images, graphics, textures, words and photos that create a distinctive, cohesive theme. It is a visual tool for designers & business owners to convey their ideas for a brand’s tone.

Some key elements that a mood board may incorporate to effectively communicate the overall theme are: 

  • Colour palettes
  • Font choice
  • Textures & patterns
  • Photography style
  • Feeling/emotion

For this reason, it’s often the first step in the design process and one that shouldn’t be skipped. 

But a mood board isn’t just important if you are working with a designer, it can also help you make sure you are clear on what you want your brand imagery to look like. I’ve seen many times where clients start out with one idea about what they think they want and end up with something completely different. 

This is a big reason why this step shouldn’t be skipped! Better to find out early in the process what you really want, rather than after all the branding is complete! 

So here are 5 reasons why you need to have a mood board for your design project:

1.Clarify your vision

This is particularly important if you are working with someone to implement your design. When I work with my branding and design clients, it’s helpful to have a mood board so I can get an idea of what sort of imagery, colours and aesthetics they are drawn to. 

I tell my clients that what is on the mood board may not even show up in the final design or branding. But it helps to convey an idea you have in your head with your designer, as words can be hard to find to properly convey that ‘beachy, laid-back, minimalist yet spirited’ look you are going for. Everyone can have their own interpretation. 

2. It gets the creative juices flowing

Whether it’s me or my client that is creating the mood board, it is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. When my clients are creating their own mood board, I encourage them to incorporate any image, colour or words that invoke the ‘feeling’ they want their design or branding to embody. 

That means that a lot of the imagery may never be used in the final project, but it helps clarify, both for myself and for my client, exactly what you want your brand to ‘feel’ like. 

3. It acts as a design guide

I use my client’s mood board as a guide when creating their logo, branding tone, marketing materials and anything else for their business. Using this visual tool as a guide ensures what I create for my client maintains consistency with their desired brand tone and aesthetic.

4. They can save you time

Starting off your design project can save you time, or your designer if you are working with one. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of time creating some amazing visual designs, only to have the client say ‘ummm, that’s not quite what I want.’ 

Oftentimes I will create several different drafts of versions of a mood board with my client before we move forward with the project. That way I am sure I have fully understood what look and feel the client is after, but the client is as well! 

5. A mood board allows you to explore

A mood board or a set of varying mood boards is a great way to explore different colour palettes, visual design, look and feel. Generally, mood boards aren’t extensive creations, so a new alternative can quickly and easily be mocked up. This means you can explore what an alternative design would be like and really understand which one you are more drawn to.

Now you know all the reasons why you need to have a mood board for your upcoming design project, it’s time to make your own! 

If you are a Canva user (and if you’re not, check out this article about why you should be!) you can download a set of free mood board templates I’ve created just for you. Add these to your Canva account and start designing! 

If you don’t yet have a Canva account, it’s quick, easy and free to create one! (you won’t regret it). Start your Canva account now.

If you want a step-by-step guide on how to create your own mood board, just like I walk my clients through, I’ve got that for you too! You can get an easy to follow guide to create your own mood board here. (it’s free!)

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