You suck with words; you struggle to put a descriptive sentence together; you don’t know your adverbs from your adjectives. This is a place I find myself in daily. Let’s face it, most designers suck at writing and spelling. I spent my year 12 English exam designing a fully interactive website on paper. I failed the exam, but I built the website in my first year of Uni, so not a total waste after all.
Instead of struggling to find words, I do it visually with Mood Boards. When I start working on any project, this is where I start. It’s like a visual brainstorming of ideas and feelings.
It doesn’t matter what the job is: a website, redecorating a room, the decor for a party. A mood board captures just that – the mood or feeling you want to create.
You soon realise that inspiration can come from anywhere or anything. A photo of a place you love, a surprising Instagram feed, a sign, a texture, whatever visual element or typeface triggers the feeling you’re after, grab your phone take a pic and add it to your board.
The purpose of the Mood Board for us at Create & Co, is to show our clients a visual aesthetic and style of the direction we want to take their brand or website. With feedback and discussion, we can quickly all get on the same page, leading to less surprises (or shocks) for our clients and ourselves. It also solves the issue of designers having to throw around terms like hierarchy, serif, kerning, and even the term ‘mood board’ itself.
Some of my tips for creating the perfect Mood Board
Colours: Creating a pallet of colours to set the mood can quickly help set a direction. Using an excellent adobe tool called Adobe Color (The American way), you can explore by image, industry type and trends.
Textures & Patterns: Sometimes, a simple pattern can inspire the shape of a logo or solidify the connection of a brand to its origin. An example of this could be a fashion label using an iconic pattern like houndstooth, or tartan.
Fonts: Serif, Sans Serif, Decorative, Script the list goes on. The choice of the fonts you use on any brand can make or break the message. Nobody wants to see a lawyer’s logo in Comic Sans.
Images: Social photos, adverts, google searches and photoshoots all help to set a direction, moody, clean, minimal, sharp or abstract it will quickly show you the style and trend you like.
Logos & Brands: Other brands can be a great eye-opener of what the market looks like, do you want to sit in this space, do you want to be different?
With all mood boarding, it’s best to never over complicate it. Start messy or tidy, jump in and don’t be afraid. As you refine, add and remove, you will start to see the consistency come together. When you begin to see this, you’re on the right path, and the best thing is you don’t have to write any words, just like an English exam.