Images are often regarded as a lingua franca that can be understood easily once placed in a specific context, and thus they can be used to communicate ideas. Consistent with this view is the idea that mood boards, as collages of images representing a particular thought or concept, can be used in the creative process. Due to the possibility of using images in multiple contexts with their meaning changing in each setting, mood boards perform different roles in the creative process, including arranging ideas, spurring creative thinking, and mapping key items.
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Since mood boards make it possible to manipulate visual information effectively, they can be seen as a tool for mapping ideas that have emerged during the creative process. This role of a mood board is critical for evaluating the potential solutions to a specific problem and determining the outcomes of each creative solution (Freeman, Marcketti, & Karpova, 2017). Mood boards provide a chance not only to establish the links between different elements clearly but also to make them visible to every team member.
Moreover, mood boards offer a plethora of opportunities for spurring the creative process by representing the data in an unusual way that can fill one’s imagination with innovative ideas and thus prompt further progress of the creative process. Once the available data is summarized succinctly with the help of visual tools and organized in a specific fashion, people start noticing connections between different items that did not register with them before (Freeman et al., 2017). As a result, the participants in a conversation can use mood boards to promote the formation of new ideas and solutions to problems.
In addition, the design of a mood board and its elements can vary greatly, thus creating an environment in which participants will be inclined to be creative. For instance, a mood board may be creative in the use of colors (dark/light, bright/pastel, and so on), the choice of materials, and the aesthetics (realistic or cartoonish). Each of these options may serve a particular purpose in the creative process, allowing the participants to process information and creative design solutions (Freeman et al., 2017). In fact, the very process of building a collage with the help of a mood board can be seen as a creative process and as an extension of an ongoing project.
Recent technological advances have made it possible to use interactive digital mood boards, which are especially helpful for supporting creative thinking. In contrast to traditional mood boards, interactive ones provide participants with a chance to study the items represented on them in-depth and to focus on different aspects of them, potentially leading to the creation of new links between them (Freeman et al., 2017). As a result, people are invited to take an active part in the organization and presentation of data, which increases their motivation and prompts creative thinking.
Since images and especially combinations of images can have different connotations depending on how they are composed and in what setting they are used, the role of mood boards varies between educational, organizational, and aspirational uses. Mood boards provide a chance to rearrange data and present it in a way that will elicit new meanings and ideas, which implies that they can be used for summative, argumentative, and explanatory purposes. Although mood boards do not provide a substitute for a live dialogue, they are an important tool for enhancing the creative process. Mood boards are instruments for efficient data management, which is essential at all stages of the creative process.
Freeman, C., Marcketti, S., & Karpova, E. (2017). The creativity of images: Using consensual digital assessment to evaluate mood boards. Fashion and Textiles, 4(1), 17-31. Web.