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Planning a new creative project? If your project involves color layouts and themes, you can make your work a little more easier and methodical with a mood board.
What is a mood board you ask? Mood boards are nifty tools that allow you to visually present and share information. They are perfect for sharing project details as a designer with clients, friends, and fellow designers.
Traditionally, a mood board has been made with sticking materials and colors on a physical board, but that is no longer necessary with the variety of easy to use online tools available.
If you’re interested, read on to find out the advantages of using a mood board and some tool recommendations to make the task of making a mood board super easy.
Why create a mood board?
1. Get a clear picture of your project
It can be tempting to keep all project ideas in your head. Doing this means you might miss on a few nuances or skip some bits all together when bringing those ideas to life.
A mood board helps you store these ideas in a tangible format, and arrange them in a way that is easy to understand and use.
Wedding planning benefits greatly from a mood board, and Shalan Trotz Premo did exactly that when planning her wedding, allowing her to take control of everything, from the decor to the color of napkins on her special day.
After much thought and brainstorming, here’s the mood board she used:
Pretty and classy, isn’t it?
2. Involve your clients
When working with others on a design project, it’s a good idea to be on the same page as your client or designers involved.
A mood board is exactly what you need to fill that information gap, and it saves you from botching up the project due to a lack of communication or misunderstandings.
Whether you’re an interior designer, a wedding planner, or a graphic designer, spending time on your mood board is time well spent.
That’s what interior designers from Laura U Interior Design understood well. They were hired to design a house to reflect a family’s Irish heritage, while providing a space for the family to play sports. Instead of surprising their clients, they kept communications open with mood boards. Find below the mood board for the house’s pub room:
3. Meaningfully discuss the project with clients
Everyone has a unique perspective to share. Ask a group of people to write an essay on an identical prompt and you’ll know what I mean. With that in mind, simply sharing project details, especially visual details with words is a recipe for disaster.
Having a mood board in place helps facilitate discussions, iron out problems and cater to the client’s wishes without making things feel obtuse.
Freelance web designer, Renessa takes the time to understand what her clients really want with the help of visuals.
For example, a client might say that they want something “fun.” However, as Renessa’s idea of “fun” might be different from what her client has in mind, she would ask: “What does ‘fun’ look like to you?”
The client would describe concepts that represent “fun” to them, which Renessa collects into a mood board. She then refers to this mood board when creating designs for the client.
4. Ensure consistency in design style and aesthetics
Consistency is the ingredient that makes any design worthwhile. Even the most minute of misplaced details can ruin the whole thing if it doesn’t work with the rest of the design.
By using a mood board, you have a solid outline in place for your design, allowing you to work with precision, without leaving anything to chance. And in case you get confused, you can always refer back to it as a ship to a guiding beacon.
The crafting blog Dusty Attic releases a new mood board challenge at the start of each month, then proceeds to share creations based on that theme for the rest of the month.
Every month, crafting blog Dusty Attic releases a new mood board challenge and posts its own craft interpretations of that month’s theme. Here’s their entry for April, 2021.
2 tools for creating mood boards
1. Mood board maker: PosterMyWall
While you could make a physical mood board by sticking materials, photos and images onto a board, consider using a digital mood board maker instead.
Doing it digitally makes it easier to arrange and use various items for your mood board, without the need to shop for them prior to sitting down to work. You can also use a much wider range of colors and find inspiration online as you work your way through.
PosterMyWall is one such online mood board maker, you should consider trying. The drag and drop editor allows you to easily pick and arrange elements to your liking, and they offer templates designed by professional designers to give you a headstart.
You can also add shapes and upload your own pictures to the mood board.
Once done, you can choose to download a watermarked copy for free, but if you’re looking for a high resolution file, there’s a small fee involved.
2. Color picker: Adobe Color
Manually picking colors for your project can be tedious, and downright impossible if you don’t have a background in graphic design. Fortunately, a color picker tool can solve these problems for you.
We recommend trying Adobe Color for all your color picking needs. It’s a free interactive tool that allows you to pick colors using a color wheel, and a row of five colors:
Start off by picking a base color. Notice how the other four colors change based on your base color. Use this and the color harmony options on the left to pick various combinations for the color you pick.
You can also use the tool to pick out color palettes that are popular among other users. Once you’ve found a color palette that fits with your project, copy the HTML or RGB codes to use in your digital mood board.
Ready to make a mood board?
A mood board comes with many benefits, such as allowing you to visualize the project better, facilitate communication with your clients and keep things organized and consistent.
If you like a more hands-on approach to making a mood board, you’ll like cutting and pasting different materials, and watch it come together on your physical board.
Otherwise, there’s plenty of easy to use online tools to help you make a mood board in no time.