Mood boards are so crucial to everything I do that’s visual. Starting a logo project? MOOD BOARD! Re-decorating my living room? MOOD BOARD! Planning my wedding visuals? MOOD BOARD!
Mood boards help align the aesthetic, color palette, and tone of a project. They get me on the same page with my clients. They can also help get the ideas out of my brain (or off of Pinterest, if I’m wedding planning) and into a clearly organized visual hierarchy.
Mood boards force you to select the crucial images that best represent the style of whatever you’re getting ready to create. I go a step further and make sure to pick images that include the following:
- design elements / inspiration
- lifestyle images
- color palette swatches
Below is a breakdown of how I organize a sample mood board which each of these elements.
In addition to the elements listed above, you can see that I also have a space for a “feature image” right in the middle. This should be the core mood / style / feeling of the project. It should be whatever resonates with you the most.
I also have a space for whatever else makes sense for the brand or project. I called this “Etc.” This can be any image or detail that you find is inspirational but may not fit the other elements.
A good mood board should help keep you visually focused as you move into the next phases of the project.
If you’d like to try your hand at creating your own mood board, I’ve got three free mood board templates you can download here! These are in PDF format, which means you can open them in most design programs.