From an original idea by Stefano Mirti developed by Spartaco Albertarelli.
Image research by Silvia Piombo, graphic design by Claudia Neri
ed Elisa Stagnoli (Teikna Design), digital communication by
Fosca Salvi (Super, Scuola Superiore d’Arte Applicata di Milano).
See the Italian booklet for the credits concerning the images.
English translation by Cesco Reale, revision by Adam Atkinson and Jordan Aikins
What is a moodboard?
A moodboard is a composition of images, materials, texts, whose relationship evokes a given style, concept or idea. It is a tool used by designers (fashion designers, graphic designers, interior architects, stylists) to communicate in a direct and immediate way through the use of images. It can be understood as a visual story, a collection of shapes and figures, the sharing of an atmosphere, a series of “moods”, attitudes or feelings.
In fashion, and in the world of design, the moodboard is therefore used to explain and share an idea or concept. Very useful to focus on the overall sensorial and stylistic approach, the moodboard is usually the starting point for any creative agency that wants to communicate with its client.
As far as our game is concerned, the moodboard is the communication tool between the agency players and the client player.
The aim of the game is to make your agency receive as many like points as possible.
In each round of the game one of the players becomes the client who givesa brief valid for all the other agency players (from now on simply agency or agencies). Once the brief is established, each agency will have to propose
a creative and effective moodboard, able to capture the fascination (and therefore the likes) of the client. A game lasts as many rounds as there are players (each player plays the role of the client once). At the end of the game, each player adds up the number of likes received and whoever has the most likes wins the game.
300 cards divided as follows:
Take the like cards and divide them into as many decks as there are players.
Depending on the number of players each deck should consist of the same number of cards according to this scheme:
Seven players = six cards: 10, 7, 5, 3, 2, 1
Six players = the five value cards: 10, 7, 5, 3, 1
Five players = the four value cards: 10, 7, 5, 2
Four players = the three value cards: 10, 7, 3
Now give each player a deck of cards, place the sand timer within reach and leave all the visual cards inside the deck (you can shufe them frst, if you like).
The visual cards are printed on both sides. If you shufe them, you can turn them over as many times as you want.
The next person to have a birthday will be the first client and the others will be the agencies. As an alternative to this method, draw lots.
A MOODBOARD game is divided into as many rounds as there are participants and each round is divided into three phases, called brief, mindstorming and pitch. At the end of these phases, the client has to give a secret evaluation to the agencies’ creative ideas. In each round, one of the players will play the role of the client, while the others will be the agencies.
The client’s task is to provide a brief, i.e. a brief description of the project for which a creative proposal accompanied by a moodboard is requested from the agencies. At the end of the rules you will fnd a list of possible briefs to
use freely in your frst games. Later on, you’ll discover that part of the fun is in creating particularly interesting, extravagant or bizarre briefs. After providing the brief to the agencies, the client randomly takes a number of visual cards and scatters them on the table, avoiding overlaps.
The number of visual cards to use depends on the number of agencies in play
3 agencies = 25 cards
4 agencies = 30 cards
5 agencies = 35 cards
6 agencies = 40 cards
Once this is completed, the client starts the time for the mindstorming phase by turning the sand timer once. They will then turn the sand timer two more times, for a total of three minutes.
The agency players then have three minutes to imagine (each on their own) a creative idea, to be accompanied by a moodboard consisting of a minimum of four and up to a maximum of eight visual cards.
Each player is free to draw the visual cards they need, in any order and at any time.
There are no turns to respect and everyone can take, from the cards on the table, those they consider useful to create a moodboard suitable for their creative idea. Each agency is free to start from an idea and look for the most suitable images among those available or, on the contrary, let themselves be infuenced by the images to come up with a creative idea.
The only rule to be respected is the following: the cards chosen must be used in the fnal phase of the game round (the pitch), so when you touch a card you must take it and you must use it. Whoever touches a card frst wins it.
Since the cards are printed on both sides, players will be free to use either image for their moodboard. They cannot, however, look at what image is on the back of each visual card on the board before deciding whether or not to take it.
Touching a card therefore means taking it and then using it, on one side or the other, in the fnal phase of the game round: the pitch.
At the end of the three minutes of time for the mindstorming, each agency (starting from whoever is sitting to the left of the client and continuing clockwise), will have one minute of time (always marked by the sand timer and controlled by the client), to expose their idea (“pitch” in the jargon of creatives). In the pitch the agency must comment on the moodboard, that is the composition of images printed on the visual cards chosen during the mindstorming phase. There are no limits to what the agency can say or do in this minute of time to demonstrate that it had the most creative idea, except for the fact that in their story/explanation they will have to refer to all the cards drawn from the table during the mindstorming phase, used by one side or the other (but never by both, so one card = one image).
After listening to the pitches of all the agencies, the client will give their final evaluation by choosing the most appropriate like card (the higher the rating, the higher the number of hearts) for each agency, and placing it face down in front of the player. These cards must remain secret, i.e. with the value facing downwards, until the end of the game, without anyone being able to look at them, not even the person who received them.
When one round of play is over, another one begins. Whoever is sitting to the left of the client becomes the new client, while whoever has just done this task now becomes an agency. The used cards and those still on the table are put back in the box and replaced with other cards chosen at random by the client.
When everyone has played the role of the client once, it is time to decide who is the winner of the game. Everyone shufes their like cards received during the game (it’s important to do so in order not to know where they came from), then they turn them over revealing their values. Whoever has obtained the highest number of likes wins the game (the game allows the possibility of a tie).
There is nothing to prevent you from playing an extended game if you so agree before the start. In this case, at the end of the frst game you can mark the final score of each participant and play another game, redistributing the like cards and carefully shufing the visual cards. If you play an extended game, you will obviously have to add up the scores obtained at the end of each game to know the fnal winner. The extended game is advisable if there are only a few players, as it reduces the chances of a tie.
These rules present few indications as to what can or cannot be done. This is a deliberate choice. It is up to you to develop variations, new rules and new ways of playing. For example, in the pitch phase, there is nothing stopping you from criticizing your opponents’ ideas, if you enjoy it. If you have doubts about the interpretation of a rule, use the solution proposed by the master Alex Randolph: the right one is always the most fun.
It follows that you are free to invent all the house rules you want, as long as they are agreed upon before you start playing. For this purpose, you will also fnd eight blank cards, which you are free to use by giving vent to your creativity, with images, drawings or variations to the rules to be drawn at random.
In addition, MOODBOARD is designed to be not only a fun game, but also a creative tool. Use the visual cards to stimulate your imagination and unleash the creative person you are. A set of cards that can be used to play games, to develop your creative talents, for divination purposes (if you enjoy it), and for a thousand other uses that you will discover by yourself.
Finally, a note on the term mindstorming. In the world of creatives, we usually use the word brainstorming to indicate a group work that aims to bring out a series of ideas from which to draw out the fnal one. In our case, however, we play individually and therefore the word brainstorming has been replaced by mindstorming, which is actually a neologism. Obviously, if you come up with your own, share them with the community!
Here’s a frst list with ninety-nine project themes, what we call briefs in the game. They serve as a cue to get the hang of it and learn how to play. Consider them as simple examples, as starting points. Use them when it’s your turn in the role of client, but feel free to interpret and modify them as you like. Then, when you have fully got into the spirit of the game, part of the fun will be to create your own briefs. Warning: in many briefs we have deliberately used terms that are typical of the world of marketing and creativity. They serve to “get into the part”…
1. New line for the New York subway. What should the liveries for the cars be?
2. International federation of bowls players. Imagine visual and corporate identity.
3. Digital interfaces of the new Panamanian bank “Bitcoins ‘r Us”. What graphic style?
4. Great international fashion brand launches a collection of capes for hamsters. Ideas?
5. Set design for a new production of “Romeo and Juliet” at the Woodsbury Festival. Which way to go?
6. New website for Mexican car manufacturer. Concept and visual.
7. Osaka Grand Sumo Tournament. Visual language for paper and digital invitations.
8. Caracas. A new 24-hour news channel on the most popular social networks. What should the visual identity be?
9. We need to think about a new uniform for the Queen’s Guards at Buckingham Palace. Where to start?
10. New collection of garden furniture for the upcoming Milan design week. The trendy doghouse. What are the highlights?
11. New York, Grand Central Terminal. A new restaurant of Mongolian cuisine opens in a big tent (yurt). In what style to decorate the huge spaces of the tent?
12. Christmas lunch at the French Embassy in Tripoli. How to organize the interiors and the “mise en place”?
13. Hong Kong. A new pedal-powered microcar for the trafc of the great Asian megalopolis. How should the coordinated image be conceived?
14. A ceremonial outft for the Emperor of Japan and his wife. Not traditional, not déjà-vu. Daring but with respect.
15. Football. New design for the third jersey of great team that won the Premier League championship last year. Ideas?
16. New transgender collection (autumn winter next year) for Antwerp fashion week. General coordinates?
17. Advertising spot for big international NGO: campaign for sustainable fashion that respects workers’ rights. What’s the mood for the advertising campaign?
18. Logo and visual for the next Gay Pride in Bangkok.
19. Berlin, the Chancellery is calling for a TikTok channel that would appeal to older people. What to do?
20. Community outreach campaign for urban farmers with rooftop gardens. Visual language for digital and also for print.
21. Seven-star resort in Galway. How to organize the common space between the pubs and the look and feel of digital communication?
22. The Swiss government is calling for a new federal passport. Where to start?
23. Well known patron of arts organizes a theme party to celebrate the opening of Venice Biennale. What is the dress code for all the guests?
24. Famous fashion house launches a new niche brand on sustainable fashion. What are the references for corporate identity?
25. Concept for famous pop star’s capsule collection for big fashion brand. To see and buy only on Instagram. Where to start?
26. Large mural for LGBTQ+ elder rights. What could be the overall visual theme?
27. The look and feel for a new digital magazine dedicated to wellness and lifestyle. It will be released in the Gulf countries. What kind of feeling?
28. Launch of a new non-alcoholic champagne for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monte Carlo: what packaging, how to conceive the label?
29. New manual refll vacuum cleaner “Gnome”. Visual concept.
30. New chips with a tropical taste. Visual identity and packaging.
31. Interior design for your in-laws’ beach house. What mood?
32. Set design for the next Aida at the Arena of Verona. The director wants a subversive and disruptive proposal. What to do?
33. Big amusement park in Valparaiso. Concept and visuals.
34. The North Korean government wants to launch a travel agency to discover the hidden corners of North Korea. Any thoughts on visual language?
35. Restyling of the website of famous national newspaper. Images and captions only. How to do it?
36. Dubai. New clean energy provider: logo and consistent visual branding.
37. Visual identity of a new on-demand television platform dedicated to preschoolers.
38. NYPD. New York Police Department: a new conception of the uniforms of the policemen of the Big Apple.
39. Cover of next album by famous old lady of music. LP (double), cd, website.
40. CTS. Kingston Taxi Cooperative (Jamaica). What visual language for car interiors?
41. Interior design of new sushi bar in the main street of the city.
42. Your home will be the ofce of the future: concept and possible scenarios.
43. Lagos Airlines. A new Nigerian airline: visual language, connections and implications.
44. New fag of the United Nations. Concept and various declinations.
45. Coordinated image of a new foating disco in Mykonos.
46. Concept for the set design of European tour of great Korean boy-band.
47. London, opening of large fagship store of multinational consumer electronics company. Concept and visual identity.
48. The daughter of illegal immigrants from Haiti has succeeded in becoming president of the United States. Ideas for new White House interiors?
49. Visual identity for three pop-up stores in Berlin: a new pet-food chain is launched. Woof woof!
50. Great event dedicated to “street food”. The frst edition will be held at the Gare du Nord in Paris. Ideas for the installations?
51. Setting up big exhibition on the king of 70s glam rock at Art Basel in Miami. What visual?
52. London. Kiosks for the sale of new vegan meat balls. Ideas for the corporate image?
53. The U.S. government wants to rethink dollars and the iconic color green. Where to start again?
54. Biodegradable aluminium water bottle that will save the world. Launch of the new product with an evening broadcast.
55. Opening Ceremony for Olympic Winter Games: Maracaibo 2034. Overall concept?
56. New York, the Met’s Grand Gala, the biggest night of the year is here. What’s the theme for the dress of the celebrity whose public image we look after?
57. A birthday party in Marrakesh for infuential creative director of great Parisian fashion house. Overall theme and visual conceptions?
58. Your favourite team will play to win the championship in the last game, which is a derby. You’re in charge of the supporter’s choreography. Where to start?
59. The Russian President bought a villa in Maui (Hawaii Islands) for his retirement years. Concept and visual for the interior architecture.
60. Grand hotel in Macao must be made new. Overall restyling. What theme? What are the possible references?
61. Vatican City: competition for a new line of religious vestments for Eucharistic celebrations in tropical countries…
62. Personal transcendental meditation app. Dedicated to cats. What conceptions?
63. Ibiza Cosplay Festival. Language for digital communication.
64. Coordinated image of a new craft brewery in St. Petersburg.
65. International tournament of tennis Legends: “Champions of Champions”. Merchandising and digital communication.
66. Great bullfghting without bulls in Tarragona. Concept and visuals.
67. Dressing code for new national-populist leader. What style to use to win the election?
68. New uniforms for the Swiss Guards.
69. After Brexit, complete redesigning of UK coins. Materials, shapes, iconography. Ideas?
70. Great crowdfunding campaign for the rafe for the frst trip to space.
71. New perfume with the provocative name “Eau de Mer(de) Cannes”. Packaging and coordinated image.
72. Anthropomorphic robots for home cleaning. What visual language?
73. Chiringuito bar on the beach in Goa. How to decline visual communication?
74. New transnational political party for plant and mineral rights. Visual identity.
75. New logo for major tobacco brand that reinvents itself as an organic food producer.
76. Visual identity for the candidacy of Easter Island for the next World Expo.
77. Performance by great conceptual artist, driving on the Los Angeles freeways. Visual language of digital materials and invitations
78. Travel agency “Laika” for space exploration. What corporate image?
79. New fastfood chain from Mumbai. Name, and visual language.
80. Energy drink “Boomm Boomm”. Logo and visual.
81. How to convince the last diehards to vaccinate against a virus hitherto unknown. Social campaign promoted by the Ministry of Health.
82. Showroom of new emerging brand of afro-fashion. Visual concepts.
83. Big themed foat at the Rio carnival. What conception? How to imagine the visual language?
84. A new app to “meet” people. Poster campaign for all European cities: visual and concept.
85. Transylvania, new theme park about Dracula. Visual for website and social media.
86. Weekend home of the famous trendy actress with very young boyfriend. We are in Antibes: how to conceive the interior architecture?
87. TV commercial for big junk food brand we are all fond of. Which direction to go?
88. Showroom of small cult brand invented by world famous American actress. What visual style ?
89. Virtual travel agency. What visuals? What conceptions?
90. A theme park on the Divine Comedy, on the motorway in Tuscany. In visual terms, what can you see from the motorway?
91. Chinese Dragon, restaurant opening in Moscow. It will be the most important in the whole city: coordinated image.
92. The Orient Express is back, from London to Istanbul. How to imagine digital and social communication?
93. New edition of Don Quixote. Any ideas for the cover?
94. Launch of a new collection of futuristic shoes, in recycled cardboard, not waterproof. How to communicate?
95. The head of Icelandic cyclists’ party is calling for a new image for the next election. They will start with the big autumn festival of boiling geysers. How would you imagine this festival?
96. Television, popular TV channel calls for idea to announce ‘breaking news’. How to do it?
97. New line of food for domestic reptiles. How would you imagine the communication campaign?
98. Launch of new national airline, which is to replace the previously bankrupt one, but without being perceived as a “national airline”. How to convince travellers visually that this time they will not fail?
99. Creative ideas to revive the use of toothpicks among the younger generation… Social campaign promoted by the Ministry of Forestry.
MOODBOARD is designed to be an “open” game. Open because you have eight cards to customize according to your interests, tastes, inclinations. And open also because we’re already working on the next expansion decks of the game. The game grows thanks to the contributions of the community, thanks to new rules and inventions to share with everyone, thanks to the next releases that will follow in the coming months. Also in this case, follow us (and get active) on social channels to be always updated about the next releases and news!