In the Mood—My Design Process Part One

Today, I thought I'd share my design process in a series of three blogs. I've already discussed the importance of researching, investigating industry norms, and discovering a target audience, but I haven't talked a lot about what comes after that in my process. 

Here, in the first of the series, I'll talk about what I do after I've probed the competition, and laid the groundwork—creating mood boards and style tiles. 

My mood boards consist of a combination of Pinterest, and collecting inspiring items for the project, then pinning them on a physical board or in my sketch book. Inspiration comes from many sources and in many forms: a vibe or mood of a photograph, a color palette that reflects the product or concept, typography that speaks to the project, patterns, and anything else that may emulate the brand/identity. I then take all of it, narrow things down, process and absorb it all, and build an ultimate board digitally to refer to while designing. It keeps me anchored and focused on the concept. My boards are collage-style, and kind of an organized chaos. 

Style tiles are similar, but more coordinated, formulated, and ready to present to the client—I wouldn't typically offer my mood board to view. Tiles are a perfect way to show the visual beginning and evolution of your concept that make it easier for the client to grasp. This deliverable is expressed with color palette options, fonts/typography, and frequently interface options you have in mind. I use this method more in web design than print, and always offer at least 2 different concepts. It's just a nice, clean way to present your thoughts. Below is an example of a mood board and style tile combination from a recent project of mine, and shows the differences:



An example of a mood board:


Two different directions of style tiles for presenting:



In the blog that follows, I talk about the next step in my design process; sketching. 
Stay tuned!

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