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  • Writer's pictureAlis Hâf

In the mood to moodboard?

I've always loved collaging, cutting out images and sticking them together, adding in type or drawings to create visual guides and artwork. I'd done this for years before I realised what I was doing was considered moodboarding.

When I started to freelance and help clients with branding I realised that moodboarding and creating a visual guide ultimately helped with the research part of the branding process and also helped with defining a style for your client or brand.

And you don't need to be a designer or very arty to be able to create one, there are loads of apps that now make it easy for you to grab images and out them together or you could even pick up your nearest magazine and a scissors and get started that way. Moodboards are also not just part of creating a brands visual identity and style, but they can also be put together on a rainy day for fun!

First of all what is a moodboard and why are they important?

According to the Google Dictionary 'moodboard' is a noun meaning "an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept".

Every brand will have it's own unique style and a look that will help it to stand out and look different to its competitors. The look and feel of the brand should also convey the values and tone of the brand. A moodboard can help to put these all together before you even get started on thinking about a logo, website or branded materials.

They are also important to help keep your brand consistent. You might create a moodboard at the beginning of your branding process but you can use them and keep referring back to them throughout the process as a guide with a clear theme. You can even continue to use them even after you've set up initial branding and continue to use them for inspiration.

Who and how can you use moodboards?

In reality anyone and I mean anyone can create and use a moodboard. From creating a look or feel for a business clients, or brand to creating a look for a redecrating project in yourh home. As I mentioned earlier I used to create moodboards all the time when I was younger didn't even realise it, even if you have a Pinterest board you could consider yourself to be moodboarding!

Nowadays I mainly create them for brands or local and small businesses, but they can come in handy too for social media content creators, or bloggers when thinking about the kind of content to create and use for Instagram or a website. By having a mix of textures, type, colours and photographs you can create a moodboard that can work for many parts of the marketing process, or even if you took a moodboard to a photographer it would help them get a sense of your brand and the kind of aesthetic you're looking for in any brand or product photography.

Digital or physical moodboard

There's nothing like spreading out a bunch of magazines, gathering a scissors and glue and creating a moodboard by hand. But for those of you who maybe don't hoard magazines from the earlier 2010's then you can easily create a digital moodboard using accessible platforms. I prefer using Photoshop or InDesign so I can keep track of different layers in the moodboard but if you don't have access to Photoshop then you can easily use a Canva to create your moodboard, I think they might even have some templates which you could use or follow for inspiration.

When you have your platform sorted gather your images together. Websites like Pinterest and Unsplash are a great place for inspiration. You might already have a board set up which to pull from or if you were looking for a specific aesthetic then Unsplash is useful to search for images that contain similar colour.

When considering what images to use then think about using images of different shapes or crop images to ive them an edge and also consider what textures are used. Look at brush textures or using a textured images like a painted wall or paper in the background to give the moodbaord a softer feel. Also think about the placement and layout of your images, overlay images with type and colours or if you can draw over the moodboard and add in unique drawn elements to push the moodboard that one step further.

Moodboard Tips

I usually get started with moodboarding straight after I talk through with a client about a new branding project to get my initial thoughts and visuals together. At the beginning of the process I will also ask a client if they have any images they would to use as inspiration, and most of the time these images are logos from other brands or an aesthetic from an Instagram page.

I also like to ask if a client has a clear idea of what they don't want. By getting this out of the way before you start on putting any visuals together you can save yourself a lot of time. Imagine working on an amazing moodboard where the main colouring is orange only to find out your client hates the colours coral or tangerine!

It's also a good idea to create a few boards that have different feelings and aesthetics that could eventually develop into different concepts and visual identities. They might work together as one large moodboard, but by pulling out different concepts this can help create a much stronger and clear theme.

If you need any further advice on moodboard then do get in touch and if your looking to develop a new style and identity for your brand or business then send me a message to discuss how I could help.

Happy moodboarding!

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