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From notes to vibes: Step one in our creative process


Mood boards are the first note of a design composition. They set the tone for the whole project and act as guidelines for how the final piece will unfold.

These collections of images, type, texture, and color create a “mood” or “feel” to be conveyed to a particular audience or market, usually based on a provided theme. At ColorWord Creative, mood boards are often the first deliverable a client receives at the beginning of our creative process.

I always start by wrapping my head around the client’s vision: What is their ultimate goal for the end product? How do they want to make their audience feel? How do they hope their audience will respond?  

Then I take to the internet and find images that inspire me, or that I hope will establish a variety of design directions that might work. Pictures begin to fill my screen like a Pintrest board gone haywire. For a moment it seems like a mixed up mess, but then my collection begins to curate itself into categories and clear intention emerges. All the pieces on each board fit together and work as one, cohesive vibe.

By starting with a single image that represents a particular aesthetic, I can find other matching parts to complement and enhance it while keeping the elements consistent. That common thread is what produces a well-rounded, yet consistent and comfortable board.

Even though mood boards are the first step for all of our projects, I’m often amazed that no two ever result in exactly the same aesthetic--they each represent something unique and specific to clients’ particular goals and personalities.

Boards all begin with a single, clear note, yet each has the potential to develop into a chorus of color, type and texture that gets our audience into exactly the right mood.

- Abby Burgett
Creative Communications Associate

P.S. The board featured here was curated around a Great Gatsby theme for the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin's 2019 Great Futures Gala. We provided three different possible design directions, but this is the one they ultimately chose to create hero art and subsequent deliverables. Check out the BGC final art at www.bgcelgin.org/gala

Abby BurgettComment