Mood boards: great for sparking your creativity, streamlining thoughts and communicating to others

I’m mood-board tastic at the moment! It all started when Bernay Laity asked us to each prepare mood boards for our Colour Psychology accreditation. We all had a lot of fun cutting, sticking and mounting textures and images that represented our personalities. And as we presented our “selves” to eachother we learned a lot.

Mood boards have long been used in interior design, but they also have an important place in creating brand identities. One of the biggest breakthroughs I had when we were creating the Flourish identity was to create a mood board to show the team the kind of “feel” I wanted to create for the brand. You can see a part of the Flourish mood board above.

Mood boards are time consuming, so we don’t do them for every project; but they are invaluable as a part of brainstorming, sparking creativity and also streamlining your thoughts – not to mention communicating what you want!

I’m currently putting together a board for the flowers for the launch party. My PA trained with Paula Pryke, and I’ve done some flower arranging courses, and have a passion for flowers, so between us I think we’ll come up with something fabulous! I have an idea in my mind of what I’m looking for, but by getting it down on paper before I visit the flower market on Tuesday I can be sure I’m getting what I need.

Here’s how I’m doing it…

Step One: focus

I have a tight budget so I know I need to stick to flowers in season: tulips, ranunculus, anemones and greenery. I know my colour scheme should be purple, orange and green – the primary Flourish colours (but pink just keeps on creeping in!). And I know it needs to be simple to put together – so no crazy wired arrangements. I also know that I want a relaxed and informal feel (without too much primping and preening), but at the same time I want impact. Not too much to ask then…

Step Two: select anything that catches your eye

With my “brief” at the back of my mind I’m cutting from wedding magazines, home magazines and also scouting the internet for any images that appeal to me. I’m not editing too heavily at the moment. I know there’s a lot of pink creeping in – that’s because I love it! And I know I’ll need to edit that later, but for now I need to keep an open mind. There are also some gorgeous, tasteful, white arrangements that I would die for and I’m hanging on to them for now, but I’ll need to look at why I’ve included them later.

I love the “relaxed” feel of the white arrangement top right, that’s the “feel” I want. But I still need to get to the bottom of the look. I know that acid greens will look great with my bright colours. I also love the twigs in amongst the flowers in the bridal bouquet at the bottom right. And I think that’s part of the point with a mood board – you’re not saying “I want it to look exactly like this”, you’re creating a mood, setting the tone.

Step Three: Edit

Once I’ve gathered together my inspirations I can start to look for a mood, a theme and get a clearer picture in my mind of what I’m looking for. Some of the pink and white stay, but only because I like how they’ve been arranged, and that’s important for Rona (my PA) and I to bear in mind when we’re putting together the arrangements.

Step Four: Mount

Now I’m clear in my mind about where I’m headed I mount the images to provide inspiration. The finished board also helps me communicate so much more powerfully with anyone that works on this project with me.

I’m a huge mood board convert. So much so that we have run a couple of “mood board” sessions with clients to help them really get to the heart of their brand. A lot of fun and great for focusing the mind! And even if you don’t have the budget to work with a design agency on this, how about putting one together yourself?

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Flourish, 5 Millmead,
Guildford, Surrey, GU2 4BE