Make no mistake, coming up with different creative logo concepts for your internet marketing company clients can be challenging! If you typically find it difficult to think creatively, and you are searching for sources of inspiration for your logo design project, a mood board can be the ideal tool to use. A mood board also called an inspiration board by some, is a collage of images and ideas that are often used by graphic, interior, fashion, and logo designers. It can either be a physical board or presented in digital format and can include any photos, words, designs, colour schemes, pictures, textures, etc. that can make it easier for you to determine the direction for creating your logo designs.
The Perks of Starting the Design Process With a Mood Board
A mood board is a very handy tool that you can use for several different activities or functions such as presenting your proposals for possible logo designs. The following are just two of the reasons why it is wise to begin your logo design project by creating a mood board first.
For starters, it can help you to work more efficiently. By collecting a couple of ideas before designing the actual logo, you will save loads of time. Instead of looking fixedly at your desktop’s blank screen, you can turn your attention to your mood board that can serve as a source of inspiration.
Also, if you need to create a business logo design for a client, a mood board will help you to get your custom logo design concepts approved beforehand. This means that you do not run the risk of investing a lot of time and effort into a design only for the client to give your design the thumbs down.
In addition to actually helping a logo designer, it can also help the client. Mood boards help businesses to gain a better understanding of what the finished logo will look like. This knowledge empowers all the other parties involved to formulate a plan of action before the project is in full swing.
The reality is that even though the client and the logo designer might use the same words when describing their logo design ideas, they could have completely different concepts in mind. Using a mood board can assist in preventing such misinterpretations and see to it that all the parties are in complete agreement.
If you have never used a mood board during your logo design process yet, here are a couple of pointers that will help you to take advantage of these benefits that a mood board can offer.
The “DIY approach”
Logo designers who are busy helping a business with their branding can incorporate the design elements that they thought about using in the final version of the logo design in their mood board, instead of turning to external sources like magazines for inspiration. As mentioned earlier, by going this route, the client can get a feel of the general style as well as get a glimpse of details like typefaces, colour combos, and graphics.
Turn to a theme
If you are creating a logo for a company or yourself, another approach is to make use of a theme. By going this route, you can put together a mood board (or possibly even a couple) that uses certain qualities as the starting point or foundation for the logo.
You can, for instance, create a mood board that showcases all the graphical elements like the colour pairings, typefaces, patterns and so forth and then create another mood board that has examples of how other brands have used a similar style for their business logo design. Thus, these mood boards will help you to communicate the visual direction that you plan to explore.
Represent the qualities that the business or brand presents
You do not have to include the actual elements that you will use in your logo design. A mood board can also be used simply to convey a specific feeling or underlying principles of your business or brand.
For example, if your business can be associated with the great outdoors, you can include images of children playing outside, a picnic basket, a sun hat, and so forth. Similar to the previous approach where you turn to a theme, you will use your mood board to communicate something about your target market and business style which will serve as your building blocks as opposed to the actual logo design elements.
Create multiple mood boards
Logo designers very often identify a couple of concepts for when they have been tasked with designing a business logo. You can, for instance, create one mood board that has a vintage touch and warm colour scheme; a second one that incorporates sharp edges, geometric patterns, and several straight lines; and possibly even a third one that rather plays around with curved shapes and softer colour combos.
Concentrate on one thing at a time
If the logo design project in its entirety is too huge for you, instead concentrate on only a single design element before you move on to the next one. This way, you will have created a complete mood board in almost no time at all. You can, for instance, start by identifying a colour scheme for your logo design that will connect with the character of your business, helping you to communicate to your target audience what the essence of your business is all about.
Return to the source
Sometimes you will find that a specific time period such as the Victorian era will be your source of inspiration. If this rings true for your project, it can be a good idea to track down original memorabilia such as postcards, posters or stamps from that period that can give you fantastic ideas for colour schemes, typefaces, etc. Even your own photos could possibly serve as an inspirational source!
That being said, to make sure that your logo design will be unique and really stand out, be sure to mix and match design trends from different eras. In short, rather allow art history to inspire you than simply copying and pasting the style of a period without changing anything at all.
You can, for instance, create a shortlist of a couple of eras that you really like. Then, make a list of the design elements that have made the strongest impression and those that you like the least. Perhaps you like the font, but do not like the colour scheme one bit? Using this list, you can begin to experiment by mixing and matching different design elements that complement each other nicely. This way, you will have plenty of one-of-a-kind designs that you can customise to fit your requirements.
Include a couple of explanations
Do not forget that words can also be used as an effective tool. If there is something important on your mood board that you would like to highlight or there is perhaps a photo that does not communicate everything, you can use a short phrase to make sure that your vision is clear. Not only can short descriptions be used to elucidate info, but it can actually improve your mood board on a visual level too.
Show your ideas in action
A mood board can be so much more than just a great tool where you can pin your inspirations. It can also be used as a tool to show your logo design ideas in action, especially if you are working on a branding project. You can, for instance, show how your custom logo design will be included on a business card, letterhead, social media page, etc.
Do not restrict your imagination
One of the attractive features of creating a mood board is that nothing is stopping you from including elements that connect with your logo design project more indirectly too. You can, for example, include cool packaging and creative website designs that you have seen, even though your goal is to come up with a custom logo design. Even elements that belong to a seemingly unrelated field can help you to construct the trends that you will want to follow. In short, you can turn to as many industries for inspiration as you like.
Try out new ideas
In addition to a mood board being a great tool when you are searching for inspiration, it can also be useful if you need to make minor changes to a specific idea that you already have in mind for your custom logo design. You can, for instance, use a mood board to play around with different colour pairings for the same logo design.
You can also experiment with complexity and simplicity. If your current idea for your business logo design is minimalist, try to come up with a couple of versions that are more detailed and showy (and the other way around).
Sometimes you need to abandon your usual way of designing for you to grow. You might just be pleasantly impressed with what you can achieve when you try out new ideas. Removing or adding details and checking how it affects your logo designs can help you to come up with diverse and powerful designs.
Start with a sketch
It is great that logo designers have so many great software solutions, programmes, and other tools at their disposal that will help them to create digital logo designs. However, they should guard against depending on these tools only. If they make use of the same set of tools every time they need to create a custom logo design, they face the risk of creating the same content.
The alternative – turning to pen and paper to sketch – is a great way to allow your mind to come up with one-of-a-kind designs. These unique designs are the type of fresh ideas that your mood board needs. Plus, hand-drawn elements can help you to create a mood board that is fun and quirky. You can even experiment by pairing your digital and analogue elements together to create a unique custom logo design that is bound to engage your target audience.
Deal with all the elements thoroughly
If you are using a mood board, you must check that you do indeed create a visual plan that looks at all the necessary elements of your design. For example, if you are designing a logo, you cannot just focus on fonts. You will need to give thought to other elements like colour schemes too. By making sure that you deal with all the different elements thoroughly, you will ensure that you have not failed to include something important. This way, your mood board will become a detailed visual map that will help you to work much more efficiently.
The last few points to ponder about
If you are using a mood board to create a custom logo design for a client, the process will most likely have a couple of steps. Just like the clients of a web design company, a logo design client can request changes after you’ve suggested a design and shown your ideas. So, do not be surprised if your final mood board looks totally different. For instance, your first mood board could be darker, more retro-looking, while the next concept could be lighter and brighter. As new ideas pop into your head, your mood board can also change.
Though, using a mood board for your logo designs do come with a friendly word of warning: know the difference between inspiration and copying. There is nothing wrong with looking at the work of other logo designers (in fact, it is one of the best and oldest ways to familiarise yourself with various techniques and styles). However, logo designers need to proceed with caution. While no logo design will ever be totally original, there remains a difference between blatant copying of a logo and allowing another logo design to influence your work. Therefore, guard against including unique elements of another custom logo design in your final logo.
For more information on custom logo design, get in touch with our logo and website design Sydney team.