First, lets define mood boarding to prevent some of you from thinking I’m blabbering about some new Winter X-Games Sport (which I’ll take full credit for if someday it does). The great & powerful wikipedia describes it as:
A type of poster design that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator…mood boards are often used by graphic designers to enable a person to illustrate visually the direction of style which they are pursuing.
Our creative team brushed the surface of utilizing “official” (as in, clients were aware & understood it’s part of the overall Caxiam process) mood boards over 5 years ago. It might not have completely stuck because we didn’t layer the process of choosing adjective clouds, color palettes, typography, imagery & textures in a convincing way. Or, maybe the value wasn’t organized in a way understood by the client. Regardless of the failed attempts, we kept massaging the process (realizing its potential) and have found tremendous success in making it officially part of the CG approach. Mood boarding, when done properly & involving the client strategically, can be very useful in creative collaboration.
Two recent projects at Caxiam were put through some successful mood boarding, and I wanted to highlight that success we shared with these clients. I picked these two particular projects because:
- they are vastly different in nature (one is a non-profit, the other a custom real estate application)
- one involved a thorough logo design, the other had established branding
- one client was very hands on, the other was what I call a “casual mood boarder” (they’re there for the ride)
The first of the two projects I’ll highlight is The Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools. We’ve had the pleasure of working with this great organization, and have really enjoyed guiding their online initiatives. The creative possibilities for this website were dramatic, and mood boarding truly set the tone for the project’s vision.
A vital objective for the Foundation, as with many non-profits, was the actual donation piece to the website. From a technical perspective, no sweat for the CG team. The key was not only providing an online environment for users to donate, but INSPIRING them to donate. Donate Time, Resources and/or Money.
The Foundation was that “casual mood boarder” I spoke of above. Decision making was done by a large committee, which can be challenging sometimes, but the marketing team loved our ideas from the get-go. They quickly got on board with our proposed concepts to inspire users to take action right from the homepage. The Foundation was certainly there for the ride! (this is not to underscore their amazing input & feedback)
The key step in the mood boarding process for the Foundation was when we took inventory of their existing imagery assets. We quickly came to the realization that:
- their point-and-shoot photos were extremely limiting & lacking quality
- using stock photography meant less personalization & little control over shot composition
With a distinct vision to utilize their “BE INSPIRED” off-line campaigns & existing branding (red apple), we took some of their existing point-and-shoot photos and suggested ideas like this:
Which then convinced the Foundation to hire a professional photographer (marcharmonphoto.com rocks!) and have Caxiam art direct shoots like this…
…which lead to amazing shots like this…
…and then worked into our visual design mockups for the homepage (below)
With telltale images (using actual students from SCPS) + distinct call-to-actions to donate (in this concept, donating time to their mentorship program) + familiar settings (shooting on-site at SPCS), the website now generates a platform to clearly communicate The Foundation’s purpose and vision, and hopefully inspire their audience to take action & DONATE!
Check out FoundationSCPS.org in a few weeks after launch to see our ideas in action!
Continue reading Part II of this post where I highlight an aspect of another client’s mood boarding process.
See what others have been saying & doing with moodboards around the world of Web Design: