Mood boards are collages used to collect and share inspiration for creative projects.

They’re tactile, visual and aspirational – a digital-age spin on scrapbooks. Use this guide to get inspired by other work and build your own mood board.

What is a mood board? Art directors use mood boards when they commission new artwork or design work. They’re a way to explore creative ideas and style. Mood boards also help you make decisions about your own projects, whether it’s an illustration assignment or a colour scheme for your living room.

Your mood board can be a physical collage or a digital file on your computer.

 The only thing that matters is that it matches the work you’re trying to create. That means it should be visually appealing and include images that relate to your topic, but not so directly that the mood board becomes a project in itself.

If you’re creating a mood board for yourself, you can include anything you like: magazine clippings, photos, drawings and sketches – if it helps set the mood or direction for a project, it’s a good idea to include it.

If you’re creating a mood board for a client or creative director, be sure to check what style they’re looking for first. There are three key types of mood boards: inspirational, aspirational and cohesive.

Inspirational mood board: This kind of mood board is used to explore ideas and set the tone for a project. It’s not meant to be an exact representation of the end result, but it can serve as inspiration while you create your final artwork. An inspirational mood board might include items like:

* children’s drawings of their favourite toys

* images of woodland animals or insects

Aspirational mood board: This kind of mood board is often used when designing a logo or characters for a product or company. It captures the essence of your client’s brand, but it isn’t meant to be an exact copy. The aspirational mood board might include items like:

* simple-line drawings of people smiling

* crisp copies of their existing branding

Cohesive mood board: This kind of mood board is used to unite a series of images or designs. It’s often part of a presentation that explains the look and feel of an art exhibition, book cover or film project. The cohesive mood board might include items like:

* sketches from storyboarding sessions

* character concept art

* digital copies of final art

If you’re creating an inspirational mood board for a client, use your imagination and get creative with the style. Show them how the mood board would look applied to their product or company, but don’t make it too literal because they might not be able to use it in this form.

Mood boards are a quick and easy way to create a mood board. 

Using online tools, such as Pinterest or Evernote, makes it easy for you to add images from sources such as Google Images or your Flickr account. Here’s how to create mood boards :

  1. Make sure you add tags to each image so you can easily find them when creating your final design.
  2. You should also add tags for the criterion you are using. For example, if you use colors as a criterion then you can tag your images with #Colors.
  3. You should try not to have too many images on each mood board otherwise it will be difficult to see how it all comes together.
  4. When creating a mood board, you will need to consider what type of mood board will be most appropriate for your design.
  5. You can create a mood board based on the main color scheme, combinations between colors, textures or an individual item that you would like to use in your final piece of work.
  6. As well as Pinterest and Evernote there are many sites that allow you to create free mood boards.
  7. You could also create a mood board on paper and scan it in if you want to keep your sketches together.

Mood boards are not only used in the fashion and film industry to describe a certain style or collection, but can also be very crucial pictorials for interior design. Mood boards lay down the foundation for what we will be looking at when we think about how to design an interior space. Mood boards bring together all of your ideas and inspirations into one encyclopedic resource that you can refer back to time and time again. The trick with these mood boards is to have them well thought out so they are not only aesthetically pleasing but also visually clear.

Nothing is more frustrating than having a design idea in your head and just not being able to pin down how it should be executed. A mood board will help you get this process started and give you the direction needed to express yourself aesthetically with confidence. You can use our mood boards as a starting point for your own ideas and write notes on them, but remember to use your imagination and not copy.

Mood boards can be used for numerous reasons such as: planning a wedding, decorating a house/apartment or even career changing; they all serve the purpose of giving you direction. We want this article to give you an idea on how to actually design mood boards and the best types of materials to use. We will also be showing you how we did our how to create mood boards for this article and the outcome that we would like it to produce.

Mood boards can be so effective because they gather together all of your inspirations and allows you to look at them in one place, rather than on separate pieces of paper or Pinterest boards.

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