If you don’t know what a mood board is, you’re not alone! While creatives have been using mood boards to map out their thoughts for quite some time, the actual topic using mood boards hasn’t come up in the common sphere until more recently. Mood boards are a bit of a twist on your typical collage, made up of different images, textures, text, and all forms of inspiration. Whether you’re a visualist, planner, designer, or just like pretty things, a mood board is a great way to see your thoughts on paper (or in some cases, a computer screen).
Think of it like an abstract and cohesive bulletin board. A mini-Pinterest for your many visions. They come in many shapes and sizes, digital and physical, and are easy to customize based on what you like.
So, why create a mood board? We'll give you 5 reasons:
It keeps you focused on a certain aesthetic (super helpful for keeping your Instagram on point)
It helps to maintain cohesiveness in projects (especially when you need to stay on the same page with clients)
It tells a design story
It serves as a reference point in maintaining consistency throughout a project
It’s helpful in identifying your company’s brand
While these visually pleasing boards are a great tool for any professional, who says they can’t be used for little tasks and projects too? Plan your next office redesign, get some inspiration for a home renovation, or arrange your next outfit! These pieces have endless practical applications, not to mention they make fun wall art!
Now that we’ve got you excited about mood boards, here’s how to make one:
Go Photo Crazy!
If Pinterest wasn’t your best friend before, it is now. Make a board (yes, a board for your board) with images that inspire you. Include plenty of texture, patterns, photos, color, anything! The more the merrier, we’ll whittle it down later. Just be sure to credit the owners of the photos if you post your board anywhere! If your own Instagram game is on fleek, save some photos of yours to use–personal touches are always encouraged! Our lovely stock photos make wonderful additions to any board!
Find Commonalities and Identify the Mood
Now that you’ve got an absurd photo collection (don’t worry, ours is just as embarrassingly large), it’s time to see what story these images tell. Look for a theme among your findings, whether it be something pretty concrete, like a color or setting, or something more abstract, like a photo angle or activity. As tedious as it may seem, writing down any key words that come to mind is a great way to keep track of your thought processes creating the board, which helps with consistency! The best part about these boards is the cohesiveness that they create in organizing your thoughts, so this step is critical in creating a fabulous and functional mood board!
Choose Your Medium
Do you live for PhotoShop and InDesign, or are you an old-fashioned paper and scissors type? Mood boards are only effective if they make sense to you, so use what you’re comfortable with! If you’re using your board to plan a rebranding, a digital board might be handy for sharing with business partners! However, if you’re doing a design project (like a home renovation for example), the use of a physical board allows you to get more creative with fabric samples and texture. For you hands-on creators, you might consider looking for an assortment of magazine clippings, paint chips, fabric samples, or using watercolor to add your own splash of color! If digital is more your speed, Pinterest, Google, and Instagram (even your personal one) make great starting points for content and templates.
Lay Your Thoughts Out
Now comes the fun part. You’ve done all the mental planning, now let’s put it together! Variety is key. Utilize different scales, textures, shapes, and patterns to get the most out of your mood board, and ensure all your thought possibilities are out on paper (or computer screen).
Spacing can get kind of tricky when you’re working with such a large assortment of items. Keep a small amount of space between your various pieces to keep your board looking neat and pleasing to look at. Consider playing around with different shapes and layouts to see what looks best for the aesthetic of your board. If an image looks a little funny or out of place, try removing it and reevaluate!
Admire Your Work, and Put it to Use!
You did it! Doesn’t it look good? Whether you plan to hang it on your wall, share it with a client, or rebrand your company based off of it, it’s time to put your plan into action! The great thing about mood boards is while they’re beautifully made, they also make great reference points. Don’t hesitate to look back at your work if you’re unsure of what direction to head in for a certain decision, consistency is the name of the game!