If you’ve been involved in marketing and branding for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered a mood board. Maybe a graphic designer you worked with created a visual assemblage to inspire a conceptual direction for a project.
But you may not have thought to create one yourself. It’s actually a helpful exercise that’s an essential step in the packaging process for your brand. When we work with clients in wine and spirits, we encourage them to bring a mood board that represents their brand story to our collaboration.
So let’s explore what a mood board is, and why it’s a beneficial element of the creative packaging process for wine and spirits brands.
How to Create a Mood Board that Works
Simply put, a mood board is a visual representation of your brand’s essence. Think of it as a scrapbook of your brand’s world. Designers in various disciplines — graphic, fashion, interiors — use the mood board as a way to capture imagery that inspires their work.
Before digital tools were the norm, these would literally be large poster boards covered with color samples, fabric swatches, photos clipped from magazines and the like.
Today, it’s easy to compile imagery (such as downloads from the internet or snaps taken on your mobile phone) into a digital document, or you can use an online tool like Pinterest or Evernote to create and share a collection of images.
So What Should Go On Your Mood Board?
The most successful examples we’ve seen from clients imagine the brand’s persona and the world it lives in. Even though you’re doing this exercise to inspire a package or brand identity design for your wine or spirits brand, you’ll want to look far beyond bottles and boxes of the products in your competitive set.
Instead, capture the emotional impact of your brand on your audience. How will they feel when they consume your product? When and where will they enjoy it? What kind of people are they? How are they dressed? Look for lifestyle images — people doing things in specific settings — that reflect your audience and their connection to the brand.
How a Mood Board Sets the Stage for Design Success
Playing around with color and type and photos can be a lot of fun. But there’s a serious reason to devote time to building a well–curated mood board. In short, it leads to a better-finished packaging design.
First, it prompts you and your team to envision the brand’s story and aesthetic sensibility — and get on the same page. And then it helps your creative partners understand your vision.
Our client’s mood board serves as a starting point for creative exploration and, more important, creates guardrails that steer the process in a focused direction. It helps prevent the “I know it when I see it” scenario, where the team is constantly chasing a goal that no one can agree on.
It allows us as your design collaborators to more quickly land on a solution that you’ll love. And it helps us to know what you don’t like.
During our concept phase, we typically build on the client’s mood board with design research of our own to show the creative direction we recommend. We have a deep well of inspiration and an extensive library with thousands and thousands of images.
Just as you might use an inspiration board to help plan a special event or tell an architect what you’re looking for in a house design, a mood board is an essential tool in packaging and brand identity. It’ll help the design process run more smoothly and ensure the best return on investment.
Need help getting started? Let’s get in touch.