Creating your own Mood Collage


Fashion Trend Mood Collage

Concept collages, style manuals, and mood collages, used by many different creative industries are basically all the same thing – a way to TELL THE VISUAL STORY. 

Creating MOOD COLLAGES which are used in the fashion industry, is a good way to explore the COLOR, SURFACE AND FORM ELEMENTS of a project.  For beginning students it is also a great way to put into use the design and color foundations taught in most art schools.   Creating your own PERSONAL MOOD COLLAGE is the best way to start.  It helps you discover your own personal aesthetic and tell your own visual story.  After doing your own, understanding and creating industry trend collages will be much easier.

TELLING THE VISUAL STORY – breaks down into 3 categories: Color, Surface and Form Language. 

COLOR – warm or cool, bright or dull, black or white, etc.

SURFACE – pattern, texture, matte or shine, solid or print, etc.

FORM LANGUAGE – angular, curvelinear, geometric, etc.

collect images for collage

This is a step by step explanation of one I made for myself.

I start by tearing out lots of magazine photos of images that appeal to me.  They can be from any kind of magazine. I usually use a mixture of fashion and interiors magazines. 

 I edit by cutting away parts of the photo that I don’t care about, leaving only the color, surface and shape elements I want. 

 When I first lay them out they look chaotic and need to be organized into groupings.

image 2 - Edit images

 I usually start by organizing by color to see if there is a theme to what I have picked. 

In Image # 2 you can see I am starting to sort the dark purples and mauve browns on the left with the lighter pastels and greens on the right.

Image 3 - Coordinate colors

 As I start to coordinate the groups  I look for relationships between not only the colors but the form language elements. 

In Image 3 I tried different ways of combining the dark purples, olives and browns and transitioning them to the softer pastels.

Image 4 - Link design elements on the page

 I also find it very helpful to try to link up design elements from photo to photo so it is easier to see the elements as cluster groups.  You want to make it easy for the viewer to “read” the composition. 

Color Swatch Palette

I can sample some of the colors in the collage to create a color palette for my project.  I can also sample some of the textures and patterns as well.

The next step after creating the mood collage is to create “ideation” sketches of the objects in your project that are inspired by the mood collage elements.  Even the design elements in the final product should TELL A VISUAL STORY.

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About Justine Limpus Parish

Associate Professor - Art Center College of Design apparel design - Product Design Dept. costume design - Entertainment Design Dept Fashion Instructor: Mt San Antonio College Workshop instructor: Disney Consumer Products
This entry was posted in ENTERTAINMENT DESIGN, FASHION DESIGN, INSPIRATION, PRODUCT DESIGN/APPAREL, TEACHING and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Creating your own Mood Collage

  1. stellacouture says:

    Great explanation of a mood board. I’m inspired to create one for my spring project. I’m often tempted to start working without one, but a mood board gives me inspiration, direction and keeps me on my path.

  2. Patriciann says:

    Thank you for such a detailed explanation! I’m revitalizing my fashion career and looking for just such information to bring my work into the 21st century. Much appreciated!

  3. Pingback: THE MOOD COLLAGE: Giving meaning to non-verbal messaging | Justinelimpusparish's Blog

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