From the Mood Board to the Finished Product is a series that features creatives who work with mood boards during their design process. When visiting the IMM Cologne fair back in January, I met and greeted Saskia Thomas, the creative soul and interior designer behind Sophisticated.Living®. You see, she designs wonderful mood boards, and the brand exhibits these on the stand together with the finished product, which is always a visual feast!
I have asked Saskia a few questions regarding her creative process:
‘COCO’ ARMCHAIR – MOOD BOARD
‘COCO’ ARMCHAIR- FINISHED PRODUCT
1// Whenever you design a new sofa or armchair, which is the starting point for your design? Is it a trend you have observed, the feedback you received from clients or within the company, or any other reason influencing a new design?
Hard question – in every case, it is different. Sophisticated.Living® develops 1-2 new products per year. Often, I get a certain task like “We need a bed, an armchair, a sofa” – or ‘This product is conceived as a solitaire piece’ (available in one size and a reduced fabric collection)’ or ‘It will be offered as a series (the product ranges from 3-, 2-, 1 seater, chaise lounge, daybed, corner element, etc.).
But in most cases, the very start is clients’ wish.
‘SUMMERSWELL’ SOFA – MOOD BOARD
‘SUMMERSWELL’ SOFA – FINISHED PRODUCT
2// What is your process of moodboarding? How do you start? Do you make the first analysis, or is it mainly gut feeling that drives you? Is there an initial and final mood board?
The very beginning is only to collect pictures in a few boxes. After some time, I put them all side by side on my desk. When I look at the bigger picture, I start to search for a slogan that describes what I see. With this slogan in my mind, I do my further investigation. Only then do I start with drawings, sketches, scribbles.
Yes. I have an initial and a final mood board. The final one is the essence of the first. Actually, I only reduced the material and added 2-3 drawings. The last step is to find keywords.
‘VIBE’ SOFA – MOOD BOARD
‘VIBE’ SOFA – FINISHED PRODUCT
3// What is your main purpose? Do you moodboard to gain clarity in your own creative process, or do you rather use them for internal communication?
In my mood boards, I mix and match all ideas for a certain theme or task. So indeed, it’s designed rather for communication objectives. Sometimes, it is my way to present the main ideas for a new product to the people in the production or my colleagues. When we show these to clients, it is also a way to communicate more personally.
‘HANAPEPE’ SOFA – MOOD BOARD
‘HANAPEPE’ SOFA – FINISHED PRODUCT
4// I really love your mood boards Sophisticated Living exhibits at a later stage on trade shows. Which impact do they generate on clients?
To make it short: they give a deep insight into my work as a designer. Clients get a much more personal view inside the label Sophisticated.Living®. They achieve a closer look at the product idea itself. Sometimes it seems as if the designer’s work is much more appreciated by showing how long the design process takes.
‘FRONT SIDE’ SOFA – MOOD BOARD
‘FRONT SIDE’ SOFA – FINISHED PRODUCT
Thank you, Saskia. It’s been a pleasure to see a brand work in such an effective way with Before-After storytelling. I hope to get to see much more of your fantastic mood boards. G, x