What is a Moodboard?
Before jumping into a project, a graphic designer or artist will begin to work on preliminary proposals for a client or themselves. These components may take the shape of any visual form necessary to communicate the feel of the intended project, but here we’re going to be talking about moodboards.
A moodboard is a collection of images, typography, and colors used to convey an intended style, feeling, and vibe for a project. It can be a helpful tool when trying to communicate with a client what you are envisioning so you can be on the same page when it comes time to start creating.
A moodboard will help you and your team collectively be able to work together on a project so it can be unified and cohesive. It is a great reference piece to stay focused on your visual message and goals.
When Matt and I meet with new clients in the beginning stages of storybranding, we find it helpful to come up with the kind of content and messaging we will be using. After we figure out the style of rhetoric, then I can piece together the visual mood we intend to display across social media whether through images, GIFs, or videos.
It’s helpful to ask yourself or your client these questions in the beginning stages:
Who is your intended audience?
Which platforms will your content be posted on, and what kinds of content is appropriate for that site? (To note, there’s a difference when posting on Instagram compared to LinkedIn)
What feeling does the written content give the audience?
What style of illustration, photography, and typography would best convey your message and pique the interest of your audience?
What color palette allows you to communicate your message effectively and aesthetically in an eye-catching way?
Oftentimes when creating a moodboard, I can lose sight of the purpose of it and start to take the work literally. It is key to remember that this is not a time to find stock photography you would like to use in the future for a graphic. Instead, try finding images that portray the emotion you’re looking for. When you keep in mind the emotional layers of a design, you will be at an elevated level of connection and understand with your audience.
The truth is, no one relates to a picture of a smiling woman holding up your product in a random field in the middle of nowhere. But people can relate to complex feelings and genuine imagery where they can picture themselves in that situation.
The Bottom Line
As long as you keep in mind the purpose of your moodboard throughout the whole process of creating it, you will be successful in communicating the desired message. This way, when you are presenting it to your client you can clearly convey the appropriate information that will win them over!
Join the Conversation
What is your goal for creating moodboards and how can you make sure you are successfully communicating that goal?