Workshop Exercises: Define

Mood Board

Capture the feel of an idea from the gut

Illustration of Mood Board
Run a Mood Board play

Prep time
30 minutes

Run time
60-90 minutes

Group size

Why: Allows for abstract representatiosn of ideas to unify understandings of a vision

When: When the team is exploring ideas and setting a creative direction

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Prepare Materials: Gather a range of visual materials such as magazines, print-outs from the web, color swatches, etc., along with scissors, tape, blank paper, or flip charts.
  2. Set the Theme. Before the workshop, or as the first activity, decide on a theme to be interpreted through the mood board. The theme could be “Our Culture”, “Next Year”, or “The New Product”, among others.
  3. Create the Mood Board. Set a Timebox for 30-60 minutes for participants to choose and arrange their materials on the board to represent their interpretation of the theme. It can be done individually or in groups of 2-3. Encourage participants to follow their instincts rather than over-analyzing their choices.
  4. Discuss and Explain. Have each participant or group Playback their section of the mood board, explaining why they selected each element and how it relates to the theme.
  5. Keep for Reference. After the exercise, keep the mood board visible and refer back to it throughout the development process to ensure the project maintains the “feel” that was captured during the exercise.

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.

Tip: Capture mood, not a plan

The aim is to capture the essence or 'mood' of an idea rather than to create a comprehensive plan or description. Trust your gut and have fun with it!


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