In the Mood(board)
Anyone who has ever worked on creative problem solving knows that the process can sometimes be a little messy. Like capable athletes, creative teams need to warm up—by researching, brainstorming and sketching—before meaningful (and presentable) ideas emerge. If we’re not careful, we can use up a huge chunk of budgeted time in the concepting stage, leaving little time to actually execute the concept.
So how do we develop and present more ideas (good for the client) in less time (good for the budget)? Our answer is a mood board—a collection of relatively unrefined concepts and ideas designed to facilitate a client’s response. Just as interior designers use mood boards to present fabric swatches, paint chips and furniture styles before actually working on a physical space, our mood boards help our clients visualize multiple ideas and color scenarios without getting bogged down by details, such as how big their logo is and why the dummy copy is in Latin.
We were recently asked by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) to develop communication materials inviting companies and wealthy advisors to join Africa’s leaders in their fight to eliminate malaria by 2015. Four concept areas were developed and presented on a single mood board. Because the concepts were rough and arranged in a group, the client was able to respond more broadly to the ideas and easily compare the themes and visuals.
With ALMA’s direction, we moved more confidently to cover refinements, happy that we hadn’t wasted hours refining a design concept that would not have been chosen anyway. Wasting time is not an option for our clients with limited budgets. Notice how the charts, colors, textures and graphics from the original mood board (above) made their way to the final piece (below).