Set the mood with mood boards
A mood board (sometimes called an inspiration board) is a tool to collect and communicate visual ideas and concepts.
Mood boarding is one of our design team’s favorite methods to approach a new project. It’s a great way to communicate ideas to clients and get their take on initial directions before diving into full-on design mode.
Each project starts with a discovery phase where our clients complete a brand personality exercise. During this exercise, we compare and contrast words, narrowing down to a short list of adjectives that accurately describe the organization’s tone and personality, as well as how they want to grow in the future. We’ll use this list and other key findings about the organization to get the wheels turning on concepts for branding and websites.
Begin with the research
Last year, we wrapped up a project for Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), an organization that seeks to empower Jewish women and communities through the bonds of sisterhood, spirituality and social justice. We kicked off their project in our normal fashion, assembling a list of words that inspired ideas for their mood board:
Keeping in mind our word list and other research findings, we scoured the internet for images that showcased our thinking for specific design concepts. Our favorite sites for inspiration are Behance, Dribbble, Pinterest, and Awwwards, among others. Inspirational images can include pictures of actual people, sample color palette directions, typography, or just about anything that gets the creative juices and communicates where we’re heading in design.
Set the mood
In WRJ’s case, we honed in on three potential directions that focused on specific elements of their brand identity, and created a mood board for each: Energetic Changemakers, Inclusive Community and Spiritual Progressives. We pulled inspirational images to identify fonts, icons, photography, and more that reflected the vibe each direction could embody.
Start your engines
Building from each mood board, we created a series of logo concepts.
WRJ enjoyed these bold colors and unique fonts, but decided they wanted a logo that combined elements of all three mood boards.
More specifically, WRJ enjoyed the typography of Spiritual Progressives and the boldness of Energetic Changemakers, and altogether wanted a logo that evoked the feeling of Inclusive Community. We took all of this feedback into account and tried to include as much as we could from each mood board.
See the results
In the end, we created a logo with bright colors, bold typography, and a nod to the organization’s religious roots.
The initial step of introducing mood boards helped create a clear path to this logo – a logo WRJ now proudly shares with the world.