Lauren Schroer
Graphic Designer

An archive of my blog.

How (and Why) To Create A Mood Board

It seems I'm on a bit of a mood board kick this week! After sharing my first Mood Board Monday post yesterday (a new series where I'll post a mood board I make every Monday!), I thought I'd share with you how and why I like to create mood boards.

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Mood boards are fantastic for so many different reasons. If you're a designer or in a creative field, they can be especially helpful to you. A few of the many reasons you should make a mood board are:

  • If you're designing a logo or a brand
  • To plan a redesign of your blog or business
  • To gather home decor inspiration
  • To gather makeup/hair/nail art/etc. inspiration
  • To plan to redecorate a room in your house
  • To gather inspiration for a piece of art you're creating
  • To plan a website design

Those ideas above are just a handful of situations a mood board will come in handy. As a graphic designer I'm a very visual person. I love having a mood board to accompany projects I'm working on because it gives me a visual point of reference throughout my process to make sure I'm staying on target for the look I'm going for.

If you're a designer working with a client, a mood board can also be helpful so you know you're both on  the same page regarding the overall look and style you'll be creating for them. If your client likes the mood board, then they will likely be happy with the designs you come up with, and the design process will be smoother and require fewer revisions. You can also have your client create a mood board or send you images they like or want you to draw inspiration from for you to include on your mood board!

Whether you're designing for yourself or a client, or using it for any other kind of personal project, a mood board will just make the process easier. Your mood board will always be there for you to look back on and make sure your final result is what you had envisioned from the start. Plus, they're just fun to make and to let yourself be creative!

GATHER IMAGES

The first step to creating a mood board is to gather images for inspiration and to use. My favourite way of gathering images for a mood board is through using Pinterest. You can search for images featuring any colours, patterns, textures, font styles, photographs, or anything else you'd like in your mood board so easily! I'll usually create a Secret Board on my Pinterest account and just start pinning images to it.

Sometimes I don't have an exact idea in mind of what exactly I'm going for, but as I start pinning I can start to see similarities between the things I'm pinning and elements I want to emphasize in my mood board! After pinning anywhere from 15-30 images, I'll go through them and select around 10 that I want to use in my mood board and save the images into a folder on my computer.

PLACE IMAGES INTO INDESIGN

I make all of my mood boards in Adobe InDesign. You can use other programs like Photoshop or even Illustrator to make them, but I find InDesign perfect for it since the program is intended for layout design. I'll start by placing the images into InDesign one by one, and then create the mood board's layout by moving and scaling the images around until I find something I'm happy with. This can take some trial and error, but I usually try and keep the images in a grid of sorts to make sure the final product is neat and organized looking. You can also get layout inspiration for mood boards on Pinterest, or even download templates!

SELECT YOUR COLOUR PALETTE

In my mood board's I'll usually include some colour swatches as well. Through the process of making your mood board, there will probably be some sort of colour scheme happening. I'll create my colour swatches by using the Eyedropper Tool in InDesign and picking out colours that stand out to me from the images I've selected. I'll usually choose anywhere from 3 to 6 colours per mood board to create my colour palette.

SAVE & SHARE!

Now that your mood board is complete, you can export it from InDesign and share it! When sharing in a blog post or on your website, be sure to link to the sources of the images you used. You can usually find the source for your images linked on the Pins you used! Or, if you're saving images from the internet, just bookmark the links for the pages your images are from!

Have you ever made a mood board? Where do you get inspiration from?