Your Moodboard Might be Making Your Work Average

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Alex Murrell: The Age of Average

“This kind of visual homogeneity is a common occurrence in the art direction world, where ubiquitous styles operate less like trends and more like memes; remixed and diluted until they become a single visual mass. In today’s extremely-online world, the vast availability of reference imagery has, perhaps counterintuitively, led to narrower thinking and shallower visual ideation. It’s a product of what I like to call the “moodboard effect.”

I was listening to a podcast recently (The Besties) where the hosts were talking about video game director, Hideo Kojima. For those who don't know, Kojima is the mind behind the Metal Gear franchise, as well as the excellent Death Stranding game from 2019. They were talking about how Kojima's games are always "imperfect" in a few ways, and while I understood the intent, a part of me was also like, "if you take that away, then Kojima games are the same as everyone else's."

There is truly unique stuff out there today if you look for it, but I definitely resonate with the idea of creatives seeing so much out there, and then averaging everything that inspires them into whatever they're working on.

Here's to people finding a way to make it weird 🍻