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How to create a Mood Board

Updated: May 1, 2020

You have a vision. In your mind’s eye, you see glimmers of what you want to create — but the color palette, typography, and overall ethos aren’t crystal clear. To bring them into focus, you may need a little help.

Have you tried a mood board?

For as long as creatives can remember, mood boards have held a place of honor in branding, advertising, and various branches of design. Whether they’re used to define a brand identity, to provide clients and collaborators with a preview of a final product, to inspire a marketing project, or simply to help a designer stay on track, mood boards are an integral part of the design process and an invaluable creative tool.

There a number of ways to go about creating a mood board, and no two outcomes are ever alike. Here’s what you need to know, and how to develop a mood board that works for you.

What is a Mood Board?

In essence, a mood board is a collection of images or objects that inspire a design. That design can take the form of a brand’s corporate identity, website, product packaging, a clothing collection, an interior design, an ad campaign, and more. It can include anything from photographs to swatches of fabric and colored beads — whatever you feel you need to use to illustrate your optimal aesthetic.

Remember, you’re trying to capture a “mood.” When it comes to communicating that elusive feeling, anything goes.

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