March 22, 2016 by Hedgehog

Getting in the Mood

So, you want to give a prospective client a glimpse of what you can do. Perhaps you want to convey the “essence” of the Website or branding campaign you would create if the company hired you.

A mood board—a sort-of collage of images, patterns, colors, fonts, and interactive elements—might be just the thing you need to show the client that you “get it.”

Mood board and sample home-page design

Some agencies submit sample home-page designs to the potential client. This is a reasonable approach, but bear in mind that if the client hasn’t actually hired anyone to do the job yet, bidding agencies will be armed with very little concrete data about the client and its goals.

Here at Loewy, we don't like to do work that’s speculative. Our mood boards allow us to show off our sensibilities without committing to a specific design based on scant research. We can present ideas that are flexible and refine them as more information becomes available. Also, because mood boards consist of a variety of elements, they’re an efficient means of exploring multiple ideas at once.

When we get a mood board project, the first thing we do is research. We may not have a lot of details yet about the client, but we need to gain at least a general understanding of the organization’s market and audience.Then we collect samples of images and other visual elements that inspire us and align with the customer’s image.

We don’t use InDesign files or PDFs. Loewy is an interactive agency, so why would we create a mood board that’s not interactive? Ours display colors, typographic styles, and animation as they would appear on a Website. Since an online presence is what we’re ultimately creating, it makes sense to start off that way.

Recently, we created a mood board for a potential client in the commercial real estate space. We knew we’d need to show how we would present images, property and team member information, charts and graphs, and company news—among other things.

We stumbled upon a site with animated graphs that we thought would be perfect. The content didn't matter; we just wanted to get the animation style and concept across to the client. We took a video screenshot and turned it into an MP4—a video file. Our mood board also featured samples of drop-down menu styles, images, fonts, colors, and a user interface for price-range selection.

As a company, we knew that this interactive mood board format was a great asset, so we built it out as an efficient application. One of our developers did this in a way that allows us "non-coders" to change images, typeface, color, etc., on the fly, which will save us a great deal of time in the future. P.S.—That same developer added some nice hover states.

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