How to Use Mood Boards to Collaborate with Designers?

December 5, 2022

Outsourcing designs in hopes that you'll fall in love with the final deliverables is a tricky business at best. My advice? Getting involved with the design process. Jump in at the brainstorming phase to work with your designer and help prevent the “I’ll know it when I see it” attitude that every graphic design company hates to hear. It also saves money by not having to review and approve countless design in an endless cycle of design changes. It boosts confidence for your designers and gets the design into your hands faster.

Words often do not define your message correctly. Words are vague and learn plenty of room for misinterpretation. Clean can be misinterpreted as neutral; edgy as chaotic; minimalist as nothingness. Instead of relying on words to convey your needs, you can also explore creative ways, particularly digital mood boards or inspiration boards to get the message across.

While mood boards are often used for interior and fashion design, they are also helpful for graphic design as well. It will help you put together inspiring elements to effectively communicate your message, as well as determine what colors and typography suit the look that you’re going for.

Here are some rules to make your mood board a successful visual based design resource consistent with your specifications.

Take Pictures 

Inspiration is everywhere around you. Can't seem to find the right pictures or moods or feelings online? Stop the mindless scrolling and head out for a breather. Go to your favorite coffee spot or have a relaxing walk in the park. While you're there, take pictures of things you like when you find inspiration in them. It can be in the shape or colors or lighting or patterns.

The key artist reference materials are photos of the project’s space and inspiration. These small items will be a useful way for a designer to understand the direction of the project. 

Become a Curator

When you've compiled a series of ideas for your designer, it's time to tell a concise story with the board.

When you walk into an exhibition, the curator not only wants you to view the image gallery, but to absorb every aspect of it. The emotional response that you are expected to get is therefore carefully selected so that you will get an impression that will tell your audience about you. 

Firm up strong feelings around your brand with visual elements that evoke the emotions you want for your brand. Curate your designer-approved photo collection so there’s meaning and a common thread that can be interpreted and understood by the designer.

Find Your Theme

Make it clear what the direction should be for the design you're after. While it's good to give flexibility to your designer, it's entirely up to you where you steer the project. If you're looking for a contemporary design, be sure that you make that clear with them. 

Narrow down your design desires, make it clear with your mood board what you’re looking for. A contemporary presentation mood board should not have minimalist elements. If you want blue and white as your only colors, make sure that is explicit in your color choices (don’t add an image of a purple couch, no matter how clean the lines are!).

Don’t Forget the Fonts

Like any good accessory, typography has the ability to make or break the design. Do a quick search online and navigate around the different font options and pick ones that look good to you. As always, make sure you pick the version that matches the mood or theme for your product. 

You can inquire with the designer for ideas as to which fonts they have used to match your inspirations. Their experience in choosing fonts that match and also bring you inspiration. 

Best Online Tools to Create Your Mood Board

In mid-July, the company Behance launched its mood boards for interior designers. They provide a platform for you and everyone in your team to collaborate on design ideas and workspaces. They offer an alternative to traditional methods that require all participants to work from concept to design to implementation. Besides that, there are a number of other tools that can be used for your moodboard design:

- Pinterest

- Behance 

- Canva


- AdobeSpark Palette

- SampleBoard

- InvisionBoards

In Conclusion

Use this time to share with your collaborators what you’ve worked on so far. Your collaborators can provide valuable feedback. When it comes to working with your designer, remember that it is a collaborative effort. Your designer is not a mind reader and the best way to get designs you love? It's by telling them. If you're looking for a professional graphic design team, Mad Creative Beanstalk could be your answer. Share that newly created mood board with us and we’ll help you finish up that design in no time.

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