What is a Mood Board and Why is it Important?

by Jesh Anies | Jun 22, 2021

Thoughtful, intentional design is important for any business trying to tell its story. Sometimes, getting started on a design project, branding overhaul or marketing campaign can be overwhelming. You might be scratching your head and asking yourself, “Well, where do I start?” But fear not, design production can be streamlined, especially when you have the opportunity to organize your thoughts, ideas, and inspiration together early in the process. Enter the mood board.

So what is a mood board? 

A mood board is a collection of images, fonts, colors, art styles, patterns, textures, and any other design element that helps define the direction of the design. This can be for a brand identity, web design, or marketing campaign.

Example of mood board on Pinterest with logos, colors, and fonts

Here’s why a mood board is so important in the design process.

Clarity

As a designer, communication is key among your team members and with clients. Sometimes, ideas can be miscommunicated between each stakeholder and we get caught up playing a game of broken telephone trying to interpret each other’s words. Because of its visual nature, mood boards alleviate this problem by giving everyone an invitation into each other’s thoughts. Providing visual clarity will limit that back and forth between each stakeholder.

Intention

Oftentimes a client will state the goals they intend to hit with their design needs. While a project can go in multiple directions, mood boards can be used to organize and present options for a project before any direction is finalized. They provide clarity on the differences between each concept ranging from images, fonts, colors, art styles, patterns, textures, etc. With each nuance, the client is able to make an informed decision on a concept based on how closely it matches the goals stated early in the process.

Direction

After a period of review comes the moment you’ve been waiting for: the client’s decision. Once that has been made, the team can start production on all the designs they need to deliver, but not without a reference tool to fall back on. Mood boards make things easy for everyone involved since it determines the direction of the project moving forward. Each stakeholder in the project can look back to this tool to stay consistent with the goals stated from the very beginning of the assignment.

Utilizing a mood board in the design process ensures your brand identity, web design, or marketing campaign produces thoughtful, intentional design. Getting started on your design project will be a breeze because of the clarity, intention, and direction that result from using it.

About the author

 by Jesh Anies

Posts by this author