What the *@#$% is a Mood Board?
Mood boards are a great resource that designers have in their tool belt.
A mood board is defined as an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept. This is a good way for designers to produce a rough outline of what their clients want. There are so many different colors, pictures, and typography, that without mood boards, it would be close to impossible to find a solution for the clients. Talking to the designers at Wyred Insights helped open up the world of mood boards to see how incredibly useful they are to their job.
When you first meet with a client, it’s hard to know exactly what their vision is just by talking to them. Even in-depth conversations may make it more difficult to pinpoint what styles they prefer and colors they want because everyone has a different opinion. This is where mood boards come into play. I talked to Chalyn, the lead designer at Wyred, and she told me that mood boards are helpful in cutting out the guesswork for agencies. They allow you to “Skip the awkward ‘I don’t know what they want’ phase”. That way, she can narrow down exactly what the client is expecting from her. She can gauge their taste and expectations, and give them the final product they're more than satisfied with.
There are several different types of mood boards, but it really depends on what the maker of the mood board prefers. For Yousef, the brand manager at Wyred, the free collage stands as his favorite. With so many different ways to represent a brand, it helps him narrow down what the client wants. He compares it to a painting in that it is easier to get the feeling of a painting by looking at it rather than hearing about it. If a client decides to just tell you what they want, you're more prone to giving them something that might dissatisfy them. That’s where mood boards enter the equation. The client may have specific expectations that are hard to describe.
When sending mood boards to the clients, there’s always more than one option. There are so many different ways to represent a brand and everyone’s representation is different. If you have 100 designers come up with even one moodboard, you will still have 100 different designs to look at. They are helpful in that they give you a 360 degree look at the brand and what it could be. The trick here is to make sure that you and the client are on the same page. This means sending the client several different options and letting them choose their favorite, making sure everyone agrees.
Mood boards are just one tool in a designer’s tool belt. There are many other ways to get a feel for the clients wants and needs. These are helpful because they give you a visual feel for what is needed to complete the clients projects. Utilizing them is just one step in the bigger picture but it is quite a helpful one. This gives the designers a rough road map to follow in order to finish their project, and it’s all about what the customer wants.