Harness Your Inspiration: A Guide to Mood Boards (2023)

Finding inspiration for design projects is one thing. Organizing it and turning that inspiration into a more cohesive foundation for creating a design that will delight clients and users is a whole other task.

The solution?mood plates.

Moodboards are physical or digital collages that arrange images, materials, text, and other design elements in a format representative of the final design style. Mood boards can be used to createbrand designs, product designs, website designs, and virtually any other type of design project.

Purpose of a moodboard

Inspiration boards can serve many purposes, starting with organizing inspiration around a project. They can be a valuable resource throughout the design project, helping to keep the style and aesthetic consistent and aligned with the client's goals and expectations.

Inspiration boards are also a great way to refine the style of a project before diving into the actual design process. They are a much smaller investment than mockups and prototypes in terms of resources and time, and can convey a lot about what the final design will look like.

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Inspiration boards are also a great way to convey design ideas to clients. When aWeb designersays "minimalist" or "grotesque fonts" or "realism", many customers will have no idea what that means. But show them a mood board that includes these things and they'll understand and express whether they love or hate the ideas.

Finally, moodboards can also ensure that design teams are on the same page when working together on a project. A designer's idea of ​​minimalism can be much more maximalist than his colleague's.

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How to create a mood board

There is no one way to create a moodboard. They come in different formats, shapes and styles. Some designers create them digitally, while others create physical collages. For those creating mood boards digitally, there are a number of options available, from Photoshop templates to dedicated apps.

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What belongs on a moodboard?

Every moodboard is different, and what a designer includes depends on the project. A brand moodboard can contain many more elements than one for a packaging or website design. The important thing is to include as many elements as necessary to convey the look and feel of the design being created.

Here are some ideas of things to include in a moodboard:

Photos:This can include brand images, stock photos, product images, photos on Instagram or other photo sharing sites, illustrations, and even things like logos.

Colors:Incorporating the design's color palette is an important part of most inspiration boards and can be used as a pattern or incorporated into images and other design elements.

Visual metaphors: visual metaphorsthey are an important part of modern advertising and branding and can be included if necessary.

Words:Words that relate to the brand or the message you are trying to convey can be an important part of any inspiration board.

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Fuentes:Designers should include specific fonts (or at least generic fonts) on their inspiration boards for any design where text stands out.

textures:Any texture or pattern that you want a design to contain should be included in the inspiration panel.

Explanations:When necessary, explanations of the elements included in the moodboard can add context and make it easier to see how all the different parts will work together to achieve the final design.

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Setting a theme can add consistency to both the moodboard and the final design based on it. The theme should be closely related to the goals of the design or brand, although it can be abstract. For example, a children's clothing website might have a jungle or carnival theme, but that doesn't mean it has to feature tigers or clowns. Instead, a mood board based on these themes might include things like natural textures or primary colors.

Gather inspiration for mood boards

Inspiration for an inspiration board can come from almost anywhere. Designers often keep inspiration files, which is a good place to start. If not, look for sites like stock photo sites, design galleries, or color palette sites.enfriador.coodesigner seeds, the physical environment and physical objects,Typographygalleries likewolf type, and even social networks (InstagramyPinterestcan be a particularly good reason for design inspiration).

When gathering inspiration for an inspiration board, designers should keep the goals of the finished project in mind. You also need to consider things like brand values ​​and target audience. All of this has a significant impact on the type of inspiration collected.

For example, a corporate law firm website design will likely have a significantly different tone and style than a street fashion website geared towards teens. If designers don't take these differences into account when they start working on a moodboard, it's unlikely that the finished board will make it to their client.

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Not all items on the inspiration panel need to be directly or literally related to the finished design. Finding images that evoke a general feeling or style is just as important as specific fonts, colors, and design elements.


Moodboards can be created in physical or digital format. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Physical moodboards can helpdigital designerThink outside the limits of a screen. These can be great for projects that are heavily based in the physical world. But it can also require a lot of pressure and a bit more chaos. Physical moodboards can also be more difficult to archive or share with clients or other team members (taking photos of them is often the best sharing option).

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Digital moodboards, on the other hand, can sometimes limit a designer's creativity in the sense of using the same tools they use every day, which can mean using the same mindset they always use. In some cases, that's not a bad thing, but if you're trying to create a truly unique design, it can get in the way. However, digital moodboards are really easy to share as they can be easily exported as an image file and shared (and some programs allow direct sharing).

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mood board software

There are a number of software options for creating inspiration boards. You can use almost any design program you already use (templates are also available for most). Other options are:

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  • Pinterest. Creating a board for each project is a great way to organize ideas found online. Boards can be made public or private (and shared with specific people).
  • mood board. Create free mood boards, no account required. There are templates that can help you get started or create a template from a blank design.
  • mood booster. Moodzer is new on the scene (currently a beta app), but it seems to have all the features needed to create amazing mood boards that are easy to share.
  • adobe express. Adobe Express makes it easy to create inspiration boards in formats that integrate well with other Adobe products. They offer a lot of flexibility to create inspiration boards of different shapes and sizes, with a library of photos, fonts, and design elements.
  • canvas. Canva offers mood board templates and a variety of built-in fonts, design elements, and stock photos.

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The software used to create inspiration boards is not important. Importantly, it is done in a format that stimulates creativity and is easy to share with clients or other decision makers.

One of the biggest benefits of creating a moodboard before diving into mockups and prototypes is that it's a valuable tool for communicating with clients and other team members. When designers create mockups and prototypes first and the client is not satisfied with the design, it can not only result in wasted time and resources, but also a loss of trust if the client feels that it is completely different from what they want. .

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Creating a mood board can also prevent the dreaded "I'll know it when I see it" syndrome in clients. Showing them a mood board gives them something to look at that is still relatively low-key and easy to create. Designers can even create multiple inspiration boards if they aren't sure what the client wants.

Showing clients an idea board early in the process can also mean fewer revisions to finished designs, since you can get the designer and client on the same page from the very beginning of the design process. And when designers meet client expectations from the start (even if those expectations aren't well articulated), the client has more confidence in the designer's abilities.


Whether designers create digital or physical moodboards, they are an important step in creating a cohesive design style for any project. spentenough timein the moodboard phase it can lead to a smoother project flow.

One of the best things about creating inspiration boards is that there are really no "rules" that dictate what an inspiration board should contain or how it should look. This gives designers a lot of creative freedom at this stage, which can lessen in later stages of the design (depending on the project, of course).

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Given the benefits of inspiration boards and the lack of drawbacks (other than the time spent), it makes sense for designers to incorporate inspiration boards into any design project they're working on, whether it's a simple website update or a full website.brand concept.

• • •

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How do you get inspiration on a mood board? ›

When collecting inspiration for a mood board, designers should keep the goals of the finished project in mind. They should also keep in mind things like brand values and who the target user will be. These all have a significant impact on the types of inspiration collected.

What is mood board and inspiration? ›

A mood board is used for a team or an individual's work process and benefits both. Also known as an inspiration board, they are the first step between an idea and the first rendition of work. They help to get minds collectively, visually organized and inspired for what's to come.

What are the 4 components of a mood board? ›

These are the key mood board elements you must include in your design presentation:
  • Develop a Creative Concept Beyond Aesthetics. ...
  • Select a Consistent Color Palette That Represents Your Project. ...
  • Choose a Typography Series for Every Written Piece. ...
  • Create Textures and Prints According to Your Color Palette.
25 Jan 2022

What is a mood board in simple words? ›

A mood board is a collage or composition of images, visuals and other objects, often created for the purposes of design or presentation. Mood boards can help designers to figure out how to create unified styles or themes for a design project.

What makes a successful moodboard? ›

A great moodboard has a good balance of unity and variety. Make sure each moodboard is highly curated and assembled into a composition that focuses on what matters. Creating moodboards is a creative exercise in it's own right, so be bold and inventive.

What is the difference between moodboard and inspiration board? ›

Here's a handy way to think about the difference between mood boards and inspiration boards: Mood Boards = feeling, conceptualized, psychological. Inspiration Boards = details, colors, textures, specifics.

What is the meaning of inspiration board? ›

Inspiration boards are tools that creatives, artists, and communication experts use to start building a visual universe. They will begin by ruling out ideas, proposing new ones, and coming up with criteria that will define the look of a brand or project.

What are inspiration boards called? ›

A mood board can be used to convey a general idea or feeling about a particular topic. They may be physical or digital, and can be effective presentation tools.

What is one of the advantages of using a mood board? ›

A mood-board can do so many things... It can tell someone how you feel, explain your ideas without words, divide opinion, influence and inspire... or even just be something beautiful to look at. We can make mood-boards work harder for us, we just need to make sure we use them to our advantage.

What are the three steps in creating a moodboard? ›

There are three steps to making a moodboard:
  1. Brainstorm your theme. You probably have some ideas in mind from the get-go. ...
  2. Collect your elements. Take your early sources of inspiration, then challenge yourself to think outside of the box to find more. ...
  3. Review, curate and present your board.
30 Aug 2021

What does a good moodboard contain? ›

It can include just about anything — photography, designs or illustrations, color palettes, textures, descriptive words — anything that helps you define the direction of your project.

What are the two types of mood board? ›

For a website or app UI, both physical and digital mood boards work.

Why do mood boards matter? ›

Mood board is critical in the design process because it allows the design team to share their vision with the client and get feedback before wasting the client's time and budget in the wrong direction. On this step, the main attention focused on a “big idea” and «feel» and not to the nitty-gritty details.

What is mood board activity? ›

Mood Board is a collaborative and creative activity that will enable a team to visually represent the feel of an idea (or challenge or trend or solution) with colours, photos, collage and drawings.

How do I manifest my mood board? ›

How To Manifest Using Vision Boards
  1. Step One: Understand the steps to manifesting. There are three key steps in manifesting: ...
  2. Step Two: Visualize The Ask. Here's where your vision board comes in. ...
  3. Step Three: Prepare To Receive with Goal Setting. ...
  4. Step Four: Be Present In Your Life. ...
  5. Step Five: Appreciate This Moment.
18 Jun 2019

What are the weaknesses of a mood board? ›

Cons: Unlike other more robust processes, mood boards don't show the detailed timeline of an end project. If your boss or client is looking for more research or data, the visual approach might not be the most effective process for detailed-oriented projects.

How could you use a mood board in your life? ›

What is the purpose of a moodboard? With a moodboard, you can organize your ideas and note down the desired outcomes. These can be your work goals, financial targets, and your study goals. Or you can use it to document your emotions and feelings for the company you work for, your friends, or anyone.

What is mood board in design thinking? ›

What is a moodboard? Moodboard is a collection of images/real objects/textures setting a tone or mood of a product. It gives a sense of how the product will look like and feel like, what kind of emotions the product could arouse.

What is a mood board called? ›

Also known as an inspiration board, a mood board consists of a digital or physical collage of ideas, a whole world of colors and shapes normally used in the fields of interior design, fashion and graphic design.

How do you make a mood board aesthetic? ›

There are no formal rules to creating a mood board. You can add any sort of element that sparks inspiration. Some ideas include photography, font samples, color palettes, fabrics, nature, short videos, music, etc. Make sure you add a variety of colors, textures, and patterns to keep things interesting!

How do I manifest everything on my vision board? ›

How to make a vision board for manifestation
  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Take some time to clarify your vision.
  3. Find images and objects that represent your vision.
  4. Arrange your materials.
  5. Place your vision board where you'll see it often.
8 Mar 2022

How many images should a mood board have? ›

When agencies send photographers mood boards, they usually contain 5-15 images. Try to stick to this range for the number of photos in your mood board. When it comes to mood boards, less tends to be more. Too many images can dilute the essence of the feeling and atmosphere you are trying to get across.


1. Abraham Hicks 2022 ~ Step By Step Guide To Gain Control Of How You Feel In Every Situation 💜
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2. Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind | Dr. Joe Dispenza
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3. Harnessing Personal Experience To Guide Teen Activism | Liam Haskill | TEDxYouth@Davenport
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4. Shining through your True Colours by Jules Standish
5. HOW TO WORLD-BUILD YOUR NOVEL🌿⚔️ ultimate novel guide! TIPS + great world-building IDEAS! 📖
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6. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1963) by Joseph Murphy
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