A Surprising Tool for Creative Direction

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A Surprising Tool for Creative Direction

I recently transitioned from a strictly video job to a role as a Creative Director over print, web, video, advertising, brand, etc. One of the biggest tools for me in my new job is one that I had pretty much written off and rolled my eyes at not long ago. There’s a good chance that I’m waaaaay late to the game on this, but Pinterest is a fantastic tool for creating mood boards.

Initially, I assumed that Pinterest was only useful for the things my wife (an avid Pinterest user) used it for: fashion, home decor, recipes, and gift ideas. I’d also heard the usage statistics of an enormous amount of women using it, which seemed to fall in line with my wife’s usage. After using it to collect inspiration for office layouts/designs and a few other small projects, I realized how powerful it could be for campaign/design (again, I’m probably way behind the curve on this).

As a Creative Director, I spend a large portion of my time researching and creating mood boards for the various campaigns, pieces, etc. that we produce. We work with several freelance graphic designers and animators, and mood boards are the best way to communicate the vision I have for the project. I can collect images and video from all over the web – or ones I create myself – add notes on what elements of each image I like and find applicable to the current project, and send it over to my designers with a few notes on general feel, requirements, etc. This whole process works well with our project management workflow (which I might detail in a later post).

Here are a couple examples of boards I’ve created for various projects, ranging from email template design to full campaign to conference materials:

Mood board for an upcoming series.

Mood board for an upcoming series.

 

This is the mood board for a parenting/family conference that our church is going to be putting on in a few weeks.

This is the mood board for a parenting/family conference that our church is going to be putting on in a few weeks.

 

Here's a mood board for a dummy teaching series I had to create a campaign for during the interview process for my current job.

Here’s a mood board for a dummy teaching series I had to create a campaign for during the interview process for my current job.

 

Mood board for an email template we had built for our weekly newsletter.

Mood board for an email template we had built for our weekly newsletter.

Here’s what a typical email that I’d send to a designer looks like:

Grace Email Brief

Here’s a rundown/brief for an upcoming teaching series at my church.

 

Here's a rundown/brief for a brochure we did for new visitors that would be handed out at our new Guest Center.

Here’s a rundown/brief for a brochure we did for new visitors that would be handed out at our new Guest Center.

As a mood board platform, it gets even better when you move out of Pinterest’s own search (which isn’t bad at all) and pair it with sites like Designspiration, Adbuzeedo, Brand New, Vimeo/YouTube, Ice Cream Hater, and more. You can really see the power of Pinterest as a mood board. It’s not just for girls, fashion, recipes, etc. (thought it’s great for all of those too; my wife swears by it for meal planning and Christmas lists). I’m finding myself using it for just about every project – big or small,  print, web, video, or animation. If you haven’t looked at it yet, you definitely should.

If you want to check out how I’m using it, you can find me here (one of the few sites where someone beat me to the punch on the username “videoaaron” … grrrr….).

3 Comments

  • Martyn J Bull

    04.11.2014 at 11:14 Reply

    I’ve found Pinterest great in pre-production on films as a way to communicate with location managers the feel of a location I am looking for. Really helped them to narrow down possibilities fast, and also to find a few possibilities that they thought I might like based on what was in the mood board. Really saved on footwork on the ground. They would then load up location stills to the mood board, so that we could compare, contrast and discuss. Also works for sending ideas to wardrobe, makeup and other departments.

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  • Sebastian

    24.05.2016 at 03:56 Reply

    Hi, I was looking for direction tools online, found your post to be very helpful.
    Thanks & Regards,
    sebastian

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