Build things up around a large image
Whether it’s being electronic or physical, the layout of your mood board needs to give prominence to key theme images, then surround these with smaller supporting images that enhance the theme.
Again, it’s a subliminal trick. When someone looks at a large image on your board in their heads they’ll have questions about it – which they’ll quickly scan the rest of the board to find answers for. If you place smaller supporting images around the larger image they should do this job for you by clarifying the messaging given in the larger one.
When making a physical mood board, don’t be afraid to get, well, physical. Traditionally mood boards are made from foam board and cutting this stuff up with a scalpel and spray mounting cut-out images onto it can be a pain, especially if you’re not dexterous with a blade. But it’s extremely effective as a presentation tool. The tactile nature of cut-out images glued onto boards enhances the emotiveness of what’s being explained.
It may seem like a ridiculously old fashioned thing to do, but perception-wise it’s a real ace up your sleeve as a designer. Just be careful with your fingers on that blade…
Show your mood board early
Generally, mood boards are considered to be separate to pitch or presentation work; they stand alone to show mood and tone. This is standard practice, but consider instead making them part of your pitch or presentation. Remember, you’re trying to use subliminal visual tricks to make a client ‘get it’.