How to create a brilliant moodboard: Five expert tips
By WGSN Insider

Whether you’re at the start of your career or a seasoned creative pro, moodboarding is something you’ll do at least every season. Jason Hall from WGSN’s menswear team explains his process

Sep 09, 2015

2 photos

I love creating moodboards – in fact, I remember the first one I put together. It was the early 1990s and I was obsessed with those iconic black and white Calvin Klein adverts. They weren’t picture perfect – Kate Moss had ill posture, the male models were not physically flawless – but it was a very authentic campaign. I tore out every tear sheet featuring it and literally covered my room.

As a designer, menswear editor and creative consultant, I still create moodboards every season. Having something visually in front me helps provoke and stimulate thoughts – they’re an essential part of my process. And this is how I put them together…

1. I begin by planning concepts at the start of the season. These tend to be quite high level, ethereal and based on non-fashion drivers. In fact, often they are around socio-economic events or innovations that don’t follow fashion. For example, at WGSN one of our big concepts is “Edgelands” – the notion that people are leaving cities for smaller places or the periphery. We translate this social shift and analyse the impact on fashion and trend.

wgsn moodboard

2. I divide the concept into two smaller trends, usually by figuring out what would work for the mens and young mens markets. Each trend should be able to stand on its own – it should be very distinct and you should be able to see that, without question, in your moodboards.

3. I take it offline. Your eye has a much bigger scope than your computer screen and there is something romantic about having something tangible to move around. The vastness of the internet is something I definitely take advantage of, but with moodboards I find it helps to be able to stand back and look at them.

wgsn moodboard

4. For me it’s all about research. You should never be afraid to dive deep and get lost – your best moodboards will result in starting with an open mind. This is important: don’t start having already decided the end result. You’re on a journey but you shouldn’t know the destination. Personally, I love Japanese magazines and my bookmark of Tumblrs is about three miles long. Look at art and fashion. A moodboard I just created includes some amazing imagery of tiles – I want to relate that to laser burnout.

5. How do you know when it’s finished? Unfortunately there’s no solid answer – you just know when you’ve got it right. Until that point, it simply looks like something is missing.

Like what you just read? Follow Jason on Twitter and Instagram.

MORE: Want to know more about Edgelands, one of our key forecasts for S/S 17? Subscribers can see every report here.

NEED INSPIRATION? WGSN publishes 350 in-depth reports each month. That’s a seriously awe-inspiring amount of inspiration. Join WGSN.

How to create a brilliant moodboard: Five expert tips

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3 Secrets to Avoiding Creative Burnout - Holistic Honey
Jul 23rd, 2016

[…] If you’re not into the old-fashioned inspiration boards, complete with magazine clippings and glue, there is always Pinterest and Instagram. However, if you haven’t ever tried creating a board with magazine cut-outs and quotes, I highly recommend it. It’s super therapeutic to create and once it’s done, you can look at it when you need some help staying focused on your brand’s feeling and message. Here are some tips to creating your boards online

michelle pergolizzi
May 11th, 2016

great help

Manual Accounts
Dec 30th, 2015

Thanks in support of sharing such a pleasant thinking, paragraph
is good, thats why i have read it fully

5 Expert Tips: How To Create a Lingerie Startup! Get Designing! » MyComeUp World
Nov 19th, 2015

[…] you’ve got your inspiration, you’ll want to create a moodboard to help you with your focus and direction. But also think about market research, go into shops, […]

How to create a lingerie start-up: five expert tips
Nov 17th, 2015

[…] you’ve got your inspiration, you’ll want to create a moodboard to help you with your focus and direction. But also think about market research, go into shops, […]

anisa k
Nov 11th, 2015

I like this idea. It shows that inspiration comes from anywhere

Mens designs
Oct 13th, 2015

I love your take on the moodboards concept. Pretty deep. I guess knowing when you have got it right depends on instinct.
Unique Mens Hats | Complementary men suits

Oct 09th, 2015


Oct 06th, 2015

Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.

I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin.
Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

WGSN Tip for Direction Designing | Direction Design: Studio™
Oct 04th, 2015

[…] […]

subeer dubey
Sep 22nd, 2015

very informative blog….. I love to read it again and again to understand everything.

Sep 14th, 2015

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Sep 10th, 2015

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