Inspiration for inspiration boards

I was wondering how everyone does their inspiration or trend boards? I do a lot of these for all my projects and normally they are just a collage of plain images. I spice them up when I am showing to a client. I thought it would be interesting for people to post their walls of inspiration of trend boards. Ill get some pictures of mine up soon.

Hi mrtwills - I usually use a collage of plain images, but also since I design environments will use either images or real samples of materials and finishes as well, these are usually pretty basic with callouts, but something I find really useful in doing image research is using the Cooliris plugin for Firefox. Any site with Cooliris capability will present you with a 3D scrolling wall of images. So if you do a Google image search and mouse over an image an icon appears and you can turn it into a quick moving image viewer.

Here’s a link:

I’m always gathering images and dumping them into folders for later. Here are a few boards I did for the Icon CJ3b: ICON4x4 • AVAILABLE PROJECTS

Sometimes they are more for the client, but often they are for me to figure something out, or create a bit of a world for something to fit into. Here is an example of one where I was trying to figure something out:

I have actually gone back and created trend boards AFTER all the design work was completed just to show to the client. That’s not to say I was not looking at trends or inspiration from the beginning but I don’t need my images to be neatly placed on a board for my own use. I always tell the account execs at my work that we end up creating the trends anyway. Were selling to every major retailer, what we sell to them will be the trend. If you find something in a magazine, you’re already too late. It’s one of the hardest parts of the job to essentially predict what people will like 9-12 months in advance.

Trend is my favourite part of my job. I have a knack (gift?) of figuring out what will come next.

This was from a couple of years ago. Linked as it’s big

More here:

As being a freelancer in the fashion trade means very limited access to super expensive trend forecasting services, I think it’s worth learning how to do them well. In fact, I think, now we are provided with lots of information online, it is far easier to develop ones own trends than it used to be and I suspect many forecasters mighht be struggling, so much free info out there.

Of course you do have to use magazines, the pictures got to come from somewhere afterall, but in order to forecast, you gotta absorb everything - movies, politics, streetfashion, couture, vintage, furniture, the lot!

As far as mags are concerned, I really rate Textile View. I wish View on Colour still existed, that was an excellent magazine.

This may be a bit off topic, but would you mind sharing a little bit about what you see going on right now. I don’t want you to give away the store, just a little snippet of your perspective.
I’m by no means a fashion maven but what I have noticed has been subdued and restrained. Can you tell me if I’m off base? The reason this caught my eye is I do pay attention to packaging and there seems to be an emerging trend with a swirly, art nouveau-type revival, which would be a complete divergence from the earthy fashions. Maybe they’re both caught up in a retro phase, just different subtexts pulling from different eras?

Retro is a funny thing, dunno if it is to do with designers age, but it seems to work in 20 year cycles. I don’t think you could say ‘there is a minimalist trend’ because at the same time there will be an embellishment trend.
I think the green eco trend has gone off the boil a little bit, it’s not as obvious as it used to be, yes I can see the swirly typeface thing as being key right now, fashion is looking very romantic at the moment.

I guess I didn’t mean spare or sparse with no adornment. More like subdued colors & textures. And when you say romantic, it’s not the unbridled, maudlin variety, but the white lights in the back of a private car version. Or the midnight on a beach, black sky & bonfire edition. I think I could probably use a mood board to represent this better, but you get what I’m saying - classic, distilled, & time-honored?

Here’s one of mine. This was one of five theme boards resulting from affinity mapping actual user research. Some of these images were actually chosen by users themselves to describe their ideal healthcare experience. Julia Roberts for instance was frequently picked out of a group of celebrity photos we provided. I like celebrities because everyone knows them, and they all evoke different personalities. We added “girl next door” because that’s how Julia’s frequently described and therefore presumed that was the attribute our subjects were tapping into.

I always give names to the boards after they’re created.
I always include adjectives because it’s a whole-brained approach that helps the theme grow.
I also almost always create a Positioning Map of some sort, showing where the themes belong in some continuum that’s relevant to the project, such as Thinking/Feeling, Linear/Organic, etc…