Since it’s been a week I’ve launched my blog, I wanted to share a tip that helped me build its visual identity. I’ve made some readings, and I found that a mood board was exactly what I needed to think that through; A mood board is an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept. Thanks to a mood board, you can go look for inspiration, consolidate ideas you might already have, being creative and also productive.
Indeed when you create a website for a blog, a product or a business, you invite your audience to understand your concept with both the form and the content. The visual identity of your website should be coherent with your story and the topic of your posts. But it should also be personal with an original proposition of what you like and what inspires you. It should look like YOU.
Although designing the visual identity of your website is fun, it can also end up as a dead end nightmare: you have too many choices, it’s going too many different directions, you are never 100% satisfied with the result and endlessly try to improve it. Believe me, I have been there, it is not an easy task and this phase can cost you many unproductive weeks delaying your blog release.
To avoid that, I did a mood board for Picture The Motion as the very first step before designing anything. I really liked doing it and it has been very helpful when I designed my logo, choosed its colors and built the pages in wordpress. It was also a great experience I highly recommend you to try for your own project.
Here are 3 reasons why you should create a mood board for your own project:
1- Be CREATIVE
Maybe you have already an idea how your project should look like visually, it could be crystal clear or the complete opposite, you have no idea, it’s a blank page. For both cases, doing a mood board is a good step to take. You need to see around what’s the world has to visually offer before narrow it down to your own project. Pick pictures, material, anything you like without thinking too much about how it would look like in your website. It will come after. They don’t have to be “artistic” pictures only. You website is about wine? Pick a glass of wine. You love pink? Go for a pink texture. etc…
Just pick things following your flow and your mood. It’s the phase of the creative invasion. You may think that it’s a waste of time in your tiny planning. But it’s not! If you know already how it should look like, then this step will help enrich and broaden the possible visual combinations. If you couldn’t imagine anything for your blog, start with things your like then get lost by liking a picture after another. The good news is that you can never be too creative. And all the material you are gathering will help in your designing process.
Personally, I loved that phase. It pushed me really open my mind to things. I got free for a second from all the marketing and branding concepts I’m used to apply. It was like seing the world as an art gallery. When I started, I was hard to stop!
2- It’s SUPER EASY to try
Thanks to digital it makes the experience so easy. If you want to start a mood board, you can easily like pictures on Pinterest. You can also do some researches by keywords and see what you can find.
Then, you have other websites that can help you build a static mood board, like canva. On my end, since I’ve picked some gif, I rather had a dynamic one that you can scroll on a page.
PICTURE THE MOTION MOOD BOARD – click on the image below
After picking your pictures, you can also rearrange them to see which one match best and how their order can tell the story you want. This is another creative phase that is maybe a little bit harder that the first one, but definitely worth it.
3- It effectively helps you being PRODUCTIVE for your website design
All the time you spent looking for visual inspiration, you also build the eye you need to take necessary decisions for the next steps of your website design. Indeed, a mood board is incredibly effective in 2 ways:
It requires you to choose: I know, this could sound hard for some of you like me, but you can’t have a 100 picture mood board. You can technically, but you will lose the point of your mood board: It should help you extract the core themes of your website’s visual identity. How can you choose your top 3 colors if you liked 60 differents? Actually not all the colors match well together, you need to pick those which create an harmony and are pleasant for the eyes. That’s why I recommend you to rather pick images that represent something you like so the color mood can be found naturally from them. For instance, if you chose many pictures about wine, you probably end up with a nice tone of reds. For my mood board, I’ve selected 27 pictures with different sizes not to have it too busy.
It helps also identify what you don’t want for sure: Even if scrolling down many pictures can be hard to select, it can also help you figure it out what you don’t want for your website. For example, I have been able to identify the “too trendy fonts everybody uses” or realize that some objects or patterns are really related to a topic. For example you have the ananas mania for fashion or the trendy deer head with the hipster brands. It is a way to build your awareness of what it’s done in other websites.
End of the line, when I was about going ahead with my logo and setting wordpress, I knew where to start with thanks to my mood board. And it was a time saver for me! I knew what I was designing on photoshop or the color key I was using were from a mood that corresponds to a personal inspiration and the topics of my posts. The variety of the pictures in my mood board helps build my confidence in my website visual identity. It is like a painter using his palette: all the colors he selected before will be used to create the painting. The mood board is the tool which facilitates your create work.
4- BONUS !! A mood board is challenging your mind set :
A mood board is a great step to achieve your creative objective for your project but it’s also a great challenge for your mind set. This exercise asks you to open your mind to things, feeds your interest & your curiosity and shapes your eye to actually SEE things. That is the great TAKEAWAY from this experience; it builds you a stronger awareness of what you like, what inspires you and actively see the beauty of things out there!
That’s why I will keep going on with that exercise and update my mood boards!