Monday, 2 July 2012

Getting you in the mood

Mood boards are a great way to get a feel for the industry you are working for. As a graphic designer who will work for any industry you can throw at me, you can’t expect your style to suit everyone... so as chameleons of the creative world we have to adapt and a great way to start the change is with a mood board.

What is a mood board?

It probably means different things to everyone, but for me it is a page with a collection of different images, fonts, graphics, colours and anything I can find that fits in with the style they are after for their target market.

How do you start?

I start with a brainstorm first, write down as many buzz words as possible to do with that industry. Then on to Google. God I love Google. What did Graphic designers do before the internet?? I use the images tab on Google search and start typing in buzz words at random, you’ll be surprised at the amount of content that comes up. Sometimes it isn’t much help other times it leads you to more buzz word ideas.

Start copy and pasting these images on to the page. No matter how random if what you see makes you feel like it is related it is worth putting down. Mood boards are an emotional response to what you are designing; they set the tone for the rest of the brand to follow so if you are feeling it, it’s working. FYI - we aren’t going to steal any work we find, we are using the images we gather to inspire a new design.

Here are 3 mood boards I have created for a new mountain biking website. The style was to be young, tough, and urban and more importantly nothing about this brand must say it is for road cycling. Road cyclists and their spandex are not the target market; this site is for rough, dirty, grungy extreme "sportists". The brand has to have many elements so it can be used on clothing as well promotional material and sports gear.

You can see I have used existing brands that appeal to the same target market Fox, Red Bull and Monster Energy and found other sports the audience might be in to – Skating, Snowboarding and Motocross. I love the sketchy, graffiti style mixed with dark greys, dirty oranges, whites and a bright colour to make it pop - I will probably look at using these styles and colours as a base for my design too.

I love mood boards, not everyone needs them, but it gets me excited about what I am about to create. I am about to venture into the new mountain biking brand from these mood boards so watch this space to see the result!


  1. fantastic post and Thanks for sharing this info. It's very helpful.
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    1. Thanks Cristeen, glad it could help you out. Happy Mood Boarding! :)