Presentation Boards

Vivid Images that Communicate

Modern Mod presentation board

Presentation boards are used to identify the theme, mood, or spirit of an idea. The best presentation boards fuse visual and verbal elements into a vivid image.

Clouds of Luxury and Botchy presentation board examples
  • A presentation board should combine an evocative theme, a visual development of the theme, and a verbal flourish in order to engage the viewer's imagination and awareness.
  • Presentation boards most often focus on a fashion trend or theme that is likely to move into the mainstream.
    • Style, look, fabric, color, detail
  • This trend or theme has already been tested in the market and is predicted to sell well to consumers.
  • A board often is labeled in a way that describes the appeal of the trend or theme.
    • Retro, Minimalist, Youthful, Working Women, Career Casual
    • Lifestyle, pop culture influence, historical, ethnic, mood, spirit
  • Design teams can translate trend boards into concept boards that are used to guide designers in line development.
  • Having a visual concept of an idea assists the design team in keeping focused on a desired direction.
  • Concept boards also are used to sell products to a manufacturer’s sales force and to retail buyers.
  • Finally, concept boards are used to educate a retail sales force.
3 presentation board examples


Developing a theme or concept can be difficult.

A theme should capture the essence of a trend, but can be a creative challenge.

Once identified, the theme becomes the unifying force for everything on the board.

  • Typeface for lettering
  • Fabric swatches


Graphic balance is essential; shapes and elements must be in proportion to the board.

Images, Photos and Sketches

Images should interpret the mood of the theme.

Color palette presentation board example

Color Palette

Color interplay must make sense and augment the theme.

Give consideration to hue, value, and intensity.


The layout of the board determines how the viewer sees and comprehends the content and idea of the theme.

  • The eye should continue to move within the borders of the board.
  • The best boards have a focal point with all of the items contained on the board arranged to move the eye on a path around the board.


The first step is to decide on orientation, either portrait or landscape.

Landscape and portrait layouts
Left: Landscape layout. Right: Portrait layout.

The second step is to divide the space into an uneven number of units.

  • Dividing the space into thirds in both directions provides flexibility to choose one of any four focal points.
  • Focusing on one of four possible focal points makes the final layout of the board more dynamic and interesting.
Layouts divided into thirds.


Arrangement of the images and the text on the board usually follows a classic pattern.

  • Band, for a linear row of images balanced by text or white space.
  • Axial, for a branching composition.
  • Group
  • Grid, like the columns in a newspaper.
  • Path, which emphasizes the visual movement between images.
Clockwise from top left: Band, axial, group, path and grid arrangements.
Clockwise from top left: Band, axial, group, path and grid arrangements.

Weak trend boards:

  • Do not utilize a strong focal point.
  • Do not organize images so that the eye is enticed by the visuals.
  • Do not look clean and professional with neat lettering, straight cuts, and unseen adhesives.
  • Direct the eye away from images.
  • Have too much white space that detracts from the interest in the images.
  • Have haphazard and/or random arrangements that are confusing and unintelligible.
  • Have too many elements and appear to be overloaded.

Strong presentation boards:

  • Utilize small platforms to mount photos, images, or fabrics in order to give the layout dimension, depth, and interest.
  • Are made from a foam core board, usually 20” X 30”.
  • Are durable to withstand movement and use.
  • Are portable for shipping and transport to numerous locations.
  • Have no elements permanently mounted until all elements are identified and placed on the board.
  • Are made with thought and care and not at the last minute.

Examples of strong presentation boards:

Strong presentation board example 1
Strong presentation board example 2
Strong presentation board example 3
Strong presentation board example 4

Page last updated 2:14 PM, May 24, 2017