We all need a way to stay inspired and fuel our creativity when we are working on projects. Mood boards are a great way to do that. Graphic designers use mood boards. So do interior designers, bloggers, illustrators, photographers, and many more creatives.
A mood board is a tool for visual inspiration to get your creativity flowing for a variety of projects. It is a collage that can include pictures, logos, colors, typography, and design elements. It can be used for everything from planning the design of a room to planning a brand.
Mood boards help you visualize how elements will look together so you can refine your ideas and design. They are also a great tool to pass off to a team so everyone involved in a project knows the look and feel that the project is going for.
A physical mood board is one you create by printing out the images and design elements or cutting them from books and magazines. This is a hands-on mood board and can be a lot of fun if you love to get out your glue and scissors and want something to hang on the wall.
There are now however many options to create a digital mood board. This is a mood board that lives on your computer or smart device. It can be easier to share and edit because you can just drag and drop images and swap out elements as needed.
Physical or digital mood boards can be uniform in pattern or elements can be placed randomly in a more free-form look. The design is up to you.
Whether you choose physical or digital you will want to collect all your pictures and elements and have your supplies ready. If you are going the digital route, you will need an appropriate computer program, app, or online software like Canva, Picmonkey, or BeFunky to create your mood board.
Think about the theme you want to create with your board. Starting with a theme is a great way to brainstorm color palettes and design elements to include. If you are creating a mood board for a client project get as much information from them as you can on the look and feel they desire.
You can use design elements that will be in the actual project. For instance in interior design, you could grab images of products you will purchase for the space to see how everything looks together. Or you could just create your board around the overall tone and feel that you want to inspire the project. A more abstract approach.
Once you have decided on your layout and theme then you can simply start adding all your designs elements. Move them around, swap out one for another, have fun with the process. Try different looks and placements to see what hits the mood best.
Some elements to consider for your mood board:
If you are struggling to get the look you want after a while or the board just does not feel quite right, step away and do something else. Then come back and see if you have a sense of what needs to be added or taken away.
Once you are happy with the look, share it. See what others think. They may have suggestions to add additional layers of creativity. You may even inspire someone to create their own board. Collaboration on boards can be a fun project for teams too.
Moodboards are fun but do not take them lightly. They are a powerful creativity tool whether you make a mood board online or off.
Will you try one to inspire your next project?