Most fashion students will be familiar with the term presentation boards as they are frequently used when working on projects and preparing a portfolio. The term is also used in the fashion industry to refer to a variety of boards that communicate and sell ideas or designs for commercial objectives. Presentation boards are primarily concerned with presenting ideas and designs to a defined audience with an appropriate level of clarity, visual flair and professionalism.
They serve different complementary functions and, when considered within a project or specific presentation, they should be visually linked. This might include, for example, working across a template and colour code style and using the same board dimensions within a presentation. Strong compositional skills, and the ability to clearly communicate information, are a distinct advantage when preparing a presentation board. Presentation boards that are executed with clarity also convey a student or designer’s organisational skills (and this is important for working in fashion).
Presentation boards should not blur into each other or repeat the same information as the viewer or audience will quickly lose interest or become confused. One of the most frequently used boards, and one that most fashion students are introduced to first, is a mood board. As its name suggests, the purpose of this board is to set the mood or tone for the design boards or project work that follows. The process of preparing a mood board also enables a designer to collect visual information from a variety of sources and to organise their inspirations and ideas into a composed visual display.
These boards can vary considerably from intense photomontages or composite collages to rather spare visual compositions that convey an ethereal quality. Some mood boards are tactile, others may be digitally formatted. Depending on the guidance provided by tutors or professors, either type may be acceptable but it is still important that the board is planned, arranged and edited into a coherent visual composition.