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Mood Boards or How to Deliver a Layout to a Client Quickly


Photo by MING Labs on Unsplash

The standard process of creating a branding in the agency X: the marketer meets with the client at a briefing, asks questions, writes down the wishes. As soon as he has an idea in his head of what a landing page looks like, he draws a prototype and takes it to the designer.

A marketer did not consider that his ideas about the landing are different from those of the client. The finished layout receives feedback from the client: “This isn’t what I want”. They make changes, the designer draws icons over and over again, and every time he fails to meet expectations.

There is one step missing between the prototype and the finished design – the wiseboard or mood board. It’s a set of references: examples of images, fonts, color schemes. We tell you what the benefits of a mood board are and how to make one in three steps.

Why the Mood Board Isn’t a Waste of Time

Mood boards help to make sure that the customer and the executor understand each other, and that the task is accepted correctly. Here’s an example: a customer Y orders a corporate identity for The designer briefs the client, clarifies the product features and the client’s expectations. Then work on the “mood board” begins.

Another useful property of wiseboards is that they help to clearly communicate your thoughts to the customer. The task of design is not only to be aesthetically pleasing and reflect brand spirit, but also to increase metrics. With a mood board, it’s easier to explain to the customer why a low banner in the body of the email would work better and what the prominent CTA buttons are.

Color Palette, Structure, Graphic Solution

We go from the general to the particular in preparing the wiseboard. First, we pick a color palette: Out of Cloud’s designers and content marketers use a color filter feature. Dribbble, Behance, and Adobe Color have it.

Another way is to type “palette + color name” into a Google or Pinterest search.

Next, move on to searching for references by structure. Everything has a structure, whether it’s the main banner of a letter, a branding or advertising creatives. The basic structure is a set of mandatory elements: header, footer, body. The structure of the blocks within the body depends on the objective. For example, if the goal is to increase clicks in an email newsletter, it’s better to choose a structure with bright and prominent CTAs.

The last step is to choose a graphic solution. We pay attention to details and choose the visuals that will solve the problem and reflect the spirit of the brand: photos or vector illustrations, abstract background or gradient, grotesque fonts. Often, we look for such references on Pinterest, Shutterstock, Behance, or Dribbble.

The Culmination of the Work: Creating a Mood Board

Let’s move on to the creation of the mudboard: gather all the elements that appeal to you in one space. To do this, choose a convenient tool: Figma, Canva, Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Spark, or PowerPoint will do.

The key principle of a wiseboard is the uniformity and compatibility of its parts. It’s important that it conveys the general mood. For example, from the mudboard above, we understand that the final design will be minimalist, using 3D elements and sculptures. Abstract shapes, bright color accents, and sans serif fonts are welcome.

A mood board is a tool that helps the client and the artist understand each other better. It creates an idea of the result, focuses attention on details, and helps to clearly communicate the idea to the customer.

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