Mood Boards: Essential Visual Aids for Creative Projects

A mood board (or inspiration board) is a physical or digital collage of ideas. It is used in all creative fields including interior design, product design, fashion, and graphic design. A mood board, such as Pinterest, is a tool that presents a quick visual representation and first-round benchmark of any visual and creative project.

Why Use Mood Boards?

Mood boards give a quick snapshot of the feeling of a brand or project. They are low involvement, so designers don’t waste a significant amount of time creating a pixel perfect design, and they provide a starting point for the design process. Therefore, clients can provide valuable feedback in the early design stages, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Words fail miserably when trying to translate design concepts. We have all been there: a client or designer tries to explain something verbally when a picture would be faster and clearer. Words can have double meanings and be misinterpreted, but a mood board can convey the information in a more direct manner.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and mood boards are a great tool to create that picture for your clients. Adding to the second point, mood boards are extremely visual and pictures speak louder than words. A mood board is also a great conversation starter because it gives clients and designers alike items to talk about and discuss. It could bring out topics that might not have been spoken about.

What Content Do You Put on a Mood Board?

• Pictures
• Textures/patterns
• Fonts/typefaces
• Descriptive words
• Colour palettes
• Icons
• Project examples

Mood Board Examples

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Mood Board Creation Tools

Offline templates
The first option for creating an artboard is to create a custom one using InDesign, or Photoshop. Although very customizable, they can be rigid, static and aren’t optimized for clients to provide feedback.

Pinterest
Pinterest was formed on the concept of social mood boards. Users can create boards by searching and pinning photos to create the feel of a project. However, although the platform is more flexible, Pinterest is not ideal for one-on-one sharing and commenting on mood boards.

Niice
Sponsored by Squarespace, Niice allows you to create, edit, share, comment, and collaborate with teams and clients to create dynamic mood boards that can really get a project moving. Users can search an image database, pin images to their boards, add board skins, and comment right on images. Niice plans start at $9/month.

GoMoodboard
GoMoodboard is simple, clean, and best of all, free! It is a simple platform that allows you to upload pictures to create a mood board. The platform arranges the photos in a collage, which is then sharable, fully editable, and allows anyone to comment and edit the mood board. It is a great tool for any creative team.

For your next project, don’t let words get in the way of your vision. Compiling mood boards is a simple and effective way to bring all your design ideas under one roof and to ensure a smooth and cohesive creative effort.

 

Geoff Krawiec

Author Geoff Krawiec

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