In the old analog days before digital took over (THANK GOD), we used to mood board literally. It went on a literal board.
If you’ve watched much HGTV, you still see analog mood boards at work.
The Designer pulls out a large board, puts it on an easel, and on the board, we have images and samples….colors, textures, layouts, icons, etc.
For me, my mood board is not something I share with my clients most of the time, but I do find it useful to create one for my own reference when I’m working on a project. And, nowadays, I always make it digital.
Pinterest is a great example of a mood board for different purposes.
Each account creates different boards (or mood boards) on different topics. If you’re thinking of redoing your kitchen, your redoing your diet, or redoing your wardrobe, you create a board and pin different ideas and inspirations to the mood board to gather ideas for the project before you ever get started.
This past summer, I saw a full set of wrought iron patio furniture, circa 1960s, complete with a sofa, three chairs, two end tables, and a coffee table for just $100. Naturally, I bought it because I have a vintage early 1900s farmhouse with two huge covered porches, seven in my family, and only three chairs outside at the moment. The problem is, this furniture was in poor aesthetic shape — peeling paint, no seat cushions (but grooves for the cushions to go), etc. Plus it would change my whole porch. So, I gathered up a board full of information, tutorials, ideas, and such for redoing my porch, sewing box cushions (as the standard sizes sold today did not fit), and how to refinish the metal furniture. I’m still sewing box cushions, but the ideas I gathered there helped me decide what to do instead of just winging it.
When it comes to client ideas, I always have a massive amount of graphic design inspiration at the ready on my Pinterest boards, under different topics (logo design, illustration, brochure design, web design, etc.). This helps me gain inspiration for the project initially.
More specifically for my clients, though, I create a Notebook in Evernote to organize everything that I need for their project, including their own specs (usually bookmarking the printing specs from their printer’s website), what they are looking for, research about their field, and the ideas I have regarding this project. Then I break down the project into prioritized notes of things that need to be done, as I wrote about here.