Moodboard vs. Stylescape
Two words that the dictionary doesn’t deem real words are used in the design space everyday. Interior, graphic, industrial, and product designers use them all the time to develop the visual content around the product or brand; Moodboards, or more recently; Stylescapes have been taught throughout design schools as a collection of images, typography, colors, and signage strategically combined to curate a vision for the brand/ project. They are super helpful when done right. Below are one of the most common moodboard structures you’ll find on Pinterest, Instagram, and online. In my experience they didn’t play out well long after the first round of logos had been shown.
So, a few months ago, I came across theFutur, a youtube series by Chris Do (I’ve referenced him in other blogs), among many other design courses, he also teaches a course on Stylescapes. A horizontal scape of curated images, typography, attributes, colors, shapes, signage, etc –
everything a moodboard would also entail but wider, and for lack of better terms, a moodboard on crack.
It’s a beautiful visual, presented to clients to really capture the true vision of their future brand. How is this different from a moodboard? If you take a look at the example below and compare it to the examples above, i think you can see the differences. But to spell it out, the scape has gone much further in depth and includes your target audience. It’s much more of a story, showcasing who this person is, what they wear, where they live, what they drink, etc. It tells the who, what, where, when, why, and how unlike the moodboard. It also possesses the opportunity to display beyond the common expectations of what can be created for your business.
The key differentiators between the two:
The detail – instead of directly pulled images from the web, these have been edited to fit the vision of the brand.
The font name has been added and is displayed throughout signage, packaging, and accessory possibilities.
Colors are integrated as well.
Yes target demographic! This should always be included in developing a new brand. She is wearing comfortable yet professional attire and shown again opening her new subscription coffee.
3 key attributes have been discussed by client and designer, and used to describe the vision on the brand.
Even a potential logo to get a sense if the client even likes that direction.
So, instead of the discovery phase only taking a day or two, it will now take longer – about a week, but will reduce the amount of possible revisions and added costs at the end of the project. This phase is the most crucial. I present 2 or 3 stylescapes depending on the project size, and when it comes time to present them, it is either done in person (if we are close enough or over video call, no exceptions. I walk through it with the client, keeping an open mind and no attachments. This is the time to bring up any new thoughts or ideas. There should be no lingering thoughts or concerns once a scape has been chosen.
By going above and beyond the expectations as a designer, you can gain more business, and as a client you can see the designer has really put a lot of passion and thought into your project.