How to Make a Mood Board


What is a mood board?  A mood board is a little collage (digital or paper) that is a helpful visual reference for you to create a look for your brand or product.  You board will help you (or your designer) get a sense of your brand's story.  It is quite simple and very helpful in creating inspiration for your brand or next product collection.  It can also be a useful tool if you are collaborating on a project to be sure everyone is on the same page. 

Step One: Gather Images

The first thing you need to do is to gather images from your favorite inspiration pool. I love Pinterest and Instagram and I am always in the habit of collecting screen captures on my phone for inspiration.  I also love magazines and love using paper and glue in my sketchbook.  Use what you feel the most comfortable with.  When you are searching, be on the lookout for color combinations that appeal to you, fonts, patterns, and photography styles that appeal to your aesthetic sensibility. 

Step Two: Edit Images

Edit your pool of images down to about 8-10 images that produce a "feeling" or tell a story when you see them together. You will want them to feel natural together and complement one another.  Take your time editing down to your strongest 8 images.  The more time you spend pairing images and getting it just right, the easier your next design step will be.  Sometimes once you have started your board, you will need to go search for just the right image! 

Step Three:  Put them together 

If you are using screen shots, you can easily put them together in a digital collage using an app like Layout or Pic Frame.  If you are working on your desktop, you can find some free layouts on Pinterest.  If you are using paper, glue those babies in your journal and lets get to work! 

Step Four: Use It

Use your mood board to be sure you are moving in the right direction. Is it the story you want to tell?  Are the fonts communicating what you intended?  This is your springboard to give your brand a feeling and direction.  It will help guide you onto your next step of creating your own graphics.  Sometimes it is helpful to make 2 or 3 before you settle on the one that you feel best describes your products or services.  Think of your mood board as visual brainstorming.  Totally lost?  Checkout some of these moods to get your ideas moving;  

Vintage, Modern, Sleek. Lux, Whimsical, Trendy, Girly, Bold, Confident, Futuristic, Minimal, Clean, Tropical, Masculine, Rustic, Geeky, Industrial, Deco, Retro, Trustworthy, Professional

Have fun!