What Is an Advertising Moodboard?

When a creative agency pitches an advertising concept for your product, they may create what is known as a moodboard. The moodboard presents the aesthetics and flavor of your brand, as the agency perceives them. As the client, you should be able to take one glance at the overall image of the moodboard and know the direction the ad designer is going with your product. Specializing in concept board artist is never easy, as a company you need to be updated as well with the software tools that you are using.


A moodboard is a visual tool that helps establish a vision or approach to an advertising or marketing concept before the designer creates the actual ad layout. Whatever idea the designer has in her head, she conveys that tone through visual elements like magazine tear sheets, stylized typography, soothing colors, interesting texture samples or headlines that evoke certain emotions. A moodboard is often presented like a collage or storyboard, weaving the general flavor from start to finish.


Upon viewing a moodboard, you should be able to select the look of your ad or branding campaign without being overwhelmed by design choices. This is the time to tell the designer that you don’t like certain colors, or that you love a certain typeface. Perhaps the attitude is too bold, or the tone is too dark. Using a moodboard reduces the costs of your advertising budget by minimizing excessive changes during the design or production process. By getting involved with the selection process early on, it creates less work and helps you pinpoint the concept quicker. Moodboards are usually far less expensive than mockups to execute.


Mood boards may be created traditionally — as in a physical collage or images pasted onto a foam core board or poster — or laid out digitally. The advertising agency may present two or more moodboards for variety. When it’s created online, you will typically receive a link or password with which to log on to view the moodboard. The moodboard may also be interactive, which means you can move things around or eliminate an image you know doesn’t represent your brand. Some design studios don’t mind if you make edits on the moodboard, while others may appreciate notations instead.


After you have viewed the moodboard and approve of the creative direction of your brand, the designer incorporates your feedback into the concept. This method allows the designer to more quickly implement a design mockup that includes more specific images from a photo shoot for your product, or actual copy written by a copywriter. The mockups will no longer be generic — they’ll be specific to your product.

About the Author

Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.