Designing a vision board, or ‘moodboard’, is one of the most exciting steps in a brand’s creation. This is where all your creativity can be expressed and where you lay the first bricks of your brand identity.
This moodboard will capture emotions, values and a mission to communicate them through a single board by gathering a whole bunch of visual elements. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the purpose of a moodboard and the process to follow to build your very own!
What is a moodboard?
A moodboard is a board composed of images, photos, texts, fabrics as well as objects intended to express the general style of a company or a corporate production. Whether the board is physical or digital, it gives free rein to your imagination and that of your team.
Why create a moodboard?
A moodboard allows you to orient and create a visual identity through a variety of carefully chosen items. It must eloquently represent the graphic style of your organisation so that it can be recognised by your target audience.
The moodboard concept is very much in demand when launching a brand through a branding agency, new product, store or a website, because it allows you to synthesise the visual identity that will be given to each of the elements we have just mentioned.
The vision board can be born from the reflection of a single graphic designer just as much from a team that’s brainstorming together.
How to put together a moodboard?
A moodboard is not a simple matter of gathering and formatting a group of images related to the general theme of the brand. It requires a real investment of time and resources to maximise the impact that this moodboard can generate.
Gather content that will inspire you
The first step in designing a moodboard is to research and gather content that will inspire you and resonate with what you want to create. It’s important to stay open as much as possible because everything and anything can become a source of inspiration: magazines, the internet (Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr in particular), advertising posters, art paintings, newspapers, car trips, landscapes, song lyrics, plays, passages from a movie, etc.
It is important not to get fixated on a single idea line. This first step of moodboard design is all about collecting as much content as possible and the synthesis will come later.
In the case of a physical board, you can gather many different types of objects: pieces of fabric, polaroids, calendars, postcards, jewellery, book or magazine pages, lights and any other object that awakens some kind of inspiration in you.
During this step, it is important not to limit yourself and to really go for all the contents that inspire you: be wild!
Defining a style for the board
To get a logical and impactful general style, you’ll need to create a guideline for your moodboard. It can be electric with dynamic colours and images or merely clean with white, grey and black. Pastel tone palettes will bring a more friendly feel while some images can create an abstract style.
Of course, the picture should be built around the company’s sector of activity: fashion, cooking, gardening, sewing, furniture, jewellery, etc. All these fields have their own universe, and it is important that their moodboard can convey these specificities.
Therefore, the look of the moodboard must be in line with the universe of the brand or product it promotes.
Choose the most inspiring content
Once the main idea of the moodboard has been defined, it is now time to sort out the various pieces of content that have been collected.
First, all the elements that have a direct or indirect relationship with the general idea of the board should be put aside. Also, the components must meet the requirements of colour, material, shape and typography of the style of the board. It is therefore possible that you may need to get rid of all the elements that have no relation with the spirit of the future moodboard in order not to be cluttered by superfluous ideas.
Among the elements that have been discarded, it is necessary to start sorting again in order to select only the most representative and eloquent contents. It is advisable the you choose the same colour tones among them. Why? Because the goal is to keep mainly two or three shades that will be dominant. The selected elements must indeed be harmonious and coherent for a better visual communication.
Putting the board together
To finalise your art project, it needs to be formatted.
First, if it is a physical moodboard, all the images and digital texts will have to be printed to be assembled on a single board. The physical board allows you to touch the different textures on it. In the sewing industry for example, a physical moodboard can expose fabrics and threads used by the company. This allows team members to draw more inspiration and gain a better understanding of the company’s project.
Secondly, if it is a digital moodboard, all the images and texts are assembled on a digital board. This type of board is mainly used for websites. The physical objects that are to be included in the board can be photographed to be integrated into the final board.
In the end, the purpose of your moodboard will be to help you define the visual identity you wish your company to have. To achieve this, it is first necessary to open your mind as much as possible and to remain open to a maximum of sources of inspiration. Once this is done, you will be able to sort through all the elements you have gathered, according to a guideline based on your company’s field of activity and the values you wish to transmit.
Also, don’t forget that a company evolves with time, and that it is quite possible that your moodboard will need to be updated.