Follow these simple guidelines to create inspiring mood boards for your next design project!
For all you daydreaming Labelers out there who spend hours on Pinterest looking for design inspiration for your next product or brand launch, get your mood board game on and start putting it all together!
From handmade poster boards to digital artboards, mood boards are an excellent way to start your design process. They are a form of visual brainstorming where you lay out all the ideas you have for a design. These include colors, imagery, fonts, styles, patterns, shapes, symbols, and so much more!
Whether you are a designer or a client, anyone can make a mood board to help express their ideas for a project.
Mood boards are a source of inspiration, especially for those visual thinkers out there! They are a useful tool to communicate the vibe you are going for and to then pitch your work to teammates or clients.
To begin working on your mood board, make sure to follow these key steps:
1. Determine keywords
Creating a list of 5–7 keywords covering specific brand elements will keep you focused and on track. You don’t want to have too many ideas and different directions.
Some of the best places to look for these words are:
–Brand Guidelines– Ask to see the brand’s guidelines if they already have them in place. These typically list all of the brand values and mission, which will inspire you to start your list.
–Emotions– Think about what emotions you want to invoke from your users when using your product. Calming? Empowering?
Some keyword examples are the following: Energetic, honest, lively, adventurous, bold, clean, modern, minimalistic, strong, elegant, playful, sophisticated, warm, etc.
2. Select your elements
Next, you gather all your elements!
Color – Play with different color palette options inspired by your keywords. If you chose “boss babe,” strong pink or red shades might be some colors to explore! You can also dig a little deeper and research the meanings behind colors, especially as it pertains to branding and marketing strategies. Coca Cola’s branding is a good example.
Shapes – Look for shapes that bear some meaning to your design. These can be abstract, geometric, symbols, icons; you name it!
Typography – Do some research into current trends surrounding fonts and typography styles. The type of font you use speaks for itself; a font like Georgia conveys a much different message than Arial Bold, don’t you think?
Illustrations and Photographs– Many people like to compartmentalize designs as either illustration-based or image-based (in some cases, a mix of both). A mood board can include both even if you end up picking one of the styles. Photographs are a great way to convey feelings and emotions associated with the brand.
3. Use a template!
Do not fear if you are not a designer (or even if you are, we won’t judge). There are templates out there! The goal of using a template is to save you time. A mood board should be about the content you are assembling, not how you assemble it.
Lastly, we’ll leave you with some quick tips on things to look out for when wrapping up your mood-board:
Hierarchy – think about what features you want to highlight and their order of importance.
Spark an emotional response – Real-world objects are good for this, a shell from the beach, an item of clothing, etc. Bring in objects that gave you your eureka moment so they can feel it too!
Cohesiveness – the elements on your board should work well together and create a design that flows. Make the theme obvious!!