Oh, the good ole mood board. Its so powerful and yet so subjective in what it should be and contain. Its not an easy thing to define exactly and it feels like everyone could have a slightly differently approach to it as long as it conveys the right things; style, feeling, tone, etc.
Google called it this, “an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.” … and I don’t hate that definition.
I broke it down a bit differently to give instructions on creating one.
- The end goal is to convey the style and tone in the design you are concepting out
- The audience is usually a creative director or client stakeholder
- Use elements from research, past designs, current collateral from the same brand or newly created elements
- Re-create any elements that are too far off-brand (like the completely wrong color or image) but don’t spend too much time making them perfect
- When you squint, it should start to mimic the design style you have in mind
I actually think this is a powerful practice to complete even if you’re not showing a stakeholder for approval but only for yourself. Its not easy to have the discipline to do that, but I bet it will pay off in the long run in making you a stronger visual communicator.