There are several types of inspiration boards that fashion designers make use of when creating new collections.
These boards serve various purposes, such as fashion mood boards that capture the vibe for a collection, or color boards that showcase a garment assortment’s color palette.
And for fashion brands that are sensitive to ever-evolving trends, creating fashion trend boards is a must.
In this article, we’ll explore all about what trend boards are in the fashion industry – from finding resources and inspiration, what software to use, and a step-by-step guide to help you create your next project.
So, if you’re a newbie fashion designer, a freelance fashion designer, or a fashion brand owner embarking on creating a new collection, this trend board guide is perfect for you!
Why am I qualified to write about this stuff? In my 15 years of experience in the fashion industry, I’ve journeyed from being an in-house designer, starting my own brand (yep!), to growing my freelance career to $100,000+. Now, with all the knowledge I’ve learned along the way, I want to help fashion designers (and PDs, TDs, etc.) like you make it in the industry.
A fashion design trend board is a visual presentation that showcases a curated selection of images such as colors, patterns, textures, and other visual elements that collectively represent a specific fashion trend or concept.
These boards serve as tools for designers, brand managers, and fashion professionals to capture the essence of a trend and use it as a source of inspiration in their creative fashion design process.
Trend boards typically include photographs, sketches, magazine clippings, fabric swatches, and sometimes even written descriptions to relay the key elements and mood of the trend.
They enable designers to explore and experiment with various design elements that align with the chosen trend, helping them conceptualize cohesive and on-trend collections fit for their target customer and fashion market.
Mood boards and trend boards are often confused, but they each serve distinct purposes. To clarify the difference, here’s a quick comparison:
A mood board‘s main purpose, like this one by Stacked Studio, is to capture and convey the overall mood, feeling, and aesthetic of a collection. It typically contains a mix of photos, colors, textures, and patterns to inspire and guide the creative process, allowing room for interpretation and creative freedom.
On the other hand, a trend board, like this from Jacqueline Diane, focuses on showcasing a specific fashion trend or concept in a more detailed way. It can include hand-picked visuals, materials swatches, sketches, and descriptions that represent the trend’s key elements, such as colors, fabrics, silhouettes, and design features.
Compared to mood boards, trend boards are highly specific and actionable and serve as direct references for fashion designers looking to align their collections with current and upcoming trends.
The truth is, creating fashion trend boards requires solid research chops. Finding the right sources of inspiration is key to crafting trend boards that resonate with your target customer and accurately reflect the up-and-coming trends in the fashion industry.
Here are some great resources of fashion trends:
You don’t have to be a graphic design wiz to create trend boards. If you have basic knowledge on any of the following applications below, you can surely get started easily.
Consider using the following applications:
Adobe‘s design software suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, is the go-to choice for many fashion designers. Photoshop is excellent for editing and manipulating images, while Illustrator is great for creating vector graphics and illustrations. InDesign, on the other hand, is ideal for assembling all the elements of a trend board into a polished layout.
Depending on the style of trend board you want to create, you can make use of these applications to arrange images, add text, and experiment with various visual elements.
And I know, it takes some time (and $$$ on subscription fee) to get used to the Adobe Suite, so a more practical option to creating inspiration boards is using presentation apps like PowerPoint, Keynote, and Canva.
Designers can arrange images, add text, and experiment with visual elements within the user-friendly interface of these software applications, catering to those with limited graphic design experience.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of fashion trend boards, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make them:
Remember, creating an effective fashion trend board isn’t just slapping together some nice pictures – it requires thoughtful organization and selection of representative images that truly embody your design vision.
And if you’re in need of a dash of inspiration…
Here is a Gorpcore trend board by Pip Cooper that shows different instances of this trend to give well-rounded inspiration for the Gorpcore style.
This trend board is from Anna Keo Design and is another great example of a trend board!
Here is a trend board by Lucrecia De Los Santos Adon who showcases this harness trend.
The final example, by Jacqueline Diane, was shown earlier in the article as a comparison but it’s another good example of a trend board!
I hope these examples can serve as inspiration for your next trend boarding project!
Remember, the best part about creating trend boards – or any inspiration boards for that matter is that there are NO RULES.
So, go ahead and let your creativity shine through, shaping the trends of tomorrow with your unique design vision.