As a designer who deals with many different kinds of clients, mood boards and mock-up designs are crucial to communication and the forward progression of a project. Designers deal with a range of clients whose knowledge of art and design varies greatly.
Both mood boards and mock-ups aid in the visual storytelling of a product or a series of designs. Mood boards are usually assembled with look-and-feel images, font choices and color palettes. Accompanying these elements are a series of adjectives. Mood boards can be used to propose different portrayals of a single idea, such as different campaign approaches or event themes.
Visuals aid in the initial compilation of a client’s wants and needs for a project. When designing and developing a campaign, mood boards usually come into play during the proposal. They begin to bring concepts and goals to life, defining client motivation and purpose through color, photographs and specific typefaces.
Mood boards don’t necessarily have to be strict guidelines to then structure the rest of your project, but they should be thought out in order to give a clear indication of where the project is intended to go.
Mock-ups are visual representations of how a project will appear in the real world. These are created at the end of the creation of the project. Whether it’s a logo, a full brand or a postcard, mock-ups help give a realistic idea of how the design functions in real scenarios. Sometimes ideas seem brilliant, but when realized in a mock-up they seem off and far less impactful as originally believed.
Mock-ups are also great for truly selling your design to a client. When a client feels on the fence about a design, the logo they’ve been dreaming about for so long finally comes to life when they are able to see it in real-life scenarios. That can be an exciting experience. Nerves are calmed, and clients begin to see their — and the designer’s — efforts paying off.
Mock-ups and mood boards are among the most important components to developing a logo or a brand. They aid in communication between designer and client, they give designers an opportunity to be creative and propose new ways and ideas the client may not have thought about, and they help truly make the project come to life.