Mood boards! I love them so much – they are incredibly helpful and fun to create.
Assembling a mood board is an essential step in my design process. When a new project kicks off, I typically have about a million and one ideas and sources of inspiration to pull from – and these ideas can start off scattered and disjointed. Creating a mood board keeps me focused, organized, and helps me avoid inspiration overload. It also ensures that my client and I agree on a style direction before the design process begins.
Sooo what is it, exactly?
A mood board is an arrangement of images, color, and type used to project a cohesive style or theme. It gives you the ability to organize your best ideas and present them on a single page.
Mood boards are great for:
- Branding and logo design (or re-design)
- Web design projects
- Interior design + home renovation projects
- Photography shoot inspiration
- Personal style + fashion trends
Here’s how you can create one…
1 | Collect images.
The quickest and easiest way to begin collecting images is through Pinterest. Just create a private board and start pinning like crazy. Keep your style direction in mind while pinning. Are you going for modern? Whimsical? Professional? Is there a specific color you want to highlight? You don’t have to be too picky during this step (that comes later), but your pins should begin to display a general theme here.
2 | Narrow it down.
Now you can start the elimination process. Try to cut your pins you have down by at least half. I know that may sound scary (and annoying since you just spent so much time filling up your board), but it will help with having a final, cohesive mood board.
To help with this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there any images that stray from the style I’m trying to achieve?
- Are there any images that have a significantly different color scheme than the rest?
3 | Add the best images to your mood board template.
Once you’ve cleaned up your Pinterest board, you can start adding your favorites to your mood board template. If you have specific sections blocked out for a color palette, you can keep them blank for now.
4 | Revise, revise, revise!
At this point, your mood board should be full of images. Take a step back – go for a walk, grab some coffee, or just leave it alone for the rest of the day. Then come back to it with fresh eyes.
Now take another good, long look at your template…and if needed – revise again. Does it display a consistent tone? Does it “feel” right? Is it in sync with the style you want to achieve? If not, keep revising!
5 | Create your color palette.
Once you’ve finalized your images, you can begin pulling color from your images to create a color palette. I use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop for this task. You can then adjust the colors as necessary.
There you have it! If you need a template to get started, I’ve provided 3 free Photoshop (CS4+) templates below…