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The Quick How-To for Creating Mood Boards

A mood board is one of the essential communication pieces in the fashion design process. It can be used both within teams and with external partners to bring alive the concept of a design. Mood boards are fairly popular in the fashion industry, but creative agencies from all walks lean on them to explain their ideas to clients.

Not designing a mood board can be a mistake of the same proportions as some of the others we discussed earlier, and can cause your team to run around in circles.

In this article, we cover the five primary elements of a mood board and how you can create an impactful one.

1) The mood of the collection: This forms the basis of your color choices, as well as your designs. For example, hearing ‘urban desert’ immediately inspires ideas filled with muted greens and browns, while ‘floral’ evokes an equally distinct image. Choose the mood of your collection carefully- it becomes the basis for all design decisions.

Mood board created by Fuel4Fashion, inspired from the Minimalism lifestyle for women’s start-up fashion brand.

2) Concept board: The concept board is the idea behind the idea. ‘Floral’ is a concept. ‘Active wear’ is a concept. The concept board details which aspects of a design to highlight and which ones to assign a second priority to.

Concept board created by Fuel4Fashion, inspired from the Minimalism lifestyle for women’s start-up fashion brand.

3) Style board: A loose crop top or a well-fitted blouse? Should trousers be narrow cut or broader? A style board defines the aspects of your collection that will eventually drive who will buy it. Indeed, most brands have a clear target audience and design exclusively for their body type.

Silhouette board created by Fuel4Fashion, inspired from the Minimalism lifestyle for women’s start-up fashion brand.

4) Color Board: Be sure to use the right swaps and choose your colors carefully before they go into a mass product. The color palette you select underlines the entire collection. Not getting a shade just right can ruin the whole process. Having a fixed color palette solves the problem.

Color board created by Fuel4Fashion, inspired from the Minimalism lifestyle for women’s start-up fashion brand.

5) Collection planning: This aspect determines how many pieces of a category you wish to have. For example, you may choose to design ten blouses, five skirts, three trousers and two accessories. Use past buying trends to of your customers to make these choices.

6) Optional: Artwork Inspiration: You can choose the art forms that you want to see represented in your collection. These can further be translated on to clothes through embroidery, sequins, digital prints, etc.

Creating A Mood Board : When creating a mood board, think of these elements- your reference imagery, colors, and typography. The last one may not seem too critical, but it often offers that extra dash of inspiration for your team.

Recap of complete Mood Board created by Fuel4Fashion for women’s casual wear collection for startup fashion brand

While both digital and physical mood boards are in use today, you can choose the format that serves your purpose best. If you have elements of embroidery and other work involved, a physical board may be ideal.

Experiment with different layouts for your images. Even the way an image is laid out (in a grid, triangular, scattered) in itself can represent the essence of your collection. So spend some time thinking through the layout.

Lastly, use color and type to highlight your ideas and give them new life. Today, there are many fonts and styles you can experiment with. Use those elements that add to your central them and do not distract from it.

On the whole, think through who your user base is. Whom is this mood board being designed to help? Design with their perspective in mind, and you are sure to succeed.

Also, are you following our inspiration cards on Instagram? If you find them thought-provoking, be sure to add them to your mood board and let us know!

Fuel4Fashion is a design, branding and technology consultancy for the fashion and apparel industry. We provide consulting and advisory services across design, business and IT processes to early stage and mid-sized apparel manufacturers and brands looking to grow their business with the help of smart sustainable management practices. Visit our website here and follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates.

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