Mood boards are used for inspiration in the design process, in which many materials such as pictures or writing are placed, to understand better the concept and to create a visual language. It can function either to express the design to the customer or can be used as your direction during the design process. It is important to use visual tools that reflect the colors, atmosphere and material in the design for various visuals and texts. Mood boards can be made by hand as well as digital. Designing a mood board serves to build a design integrity, create inspiration and communicate with others and also helps you to create your own design language and style.

1. Finding Inspiration is Important | Designing a Mood Board

It’s okay to feel stuck in finding inspiration while designing a mood board. You can always find a new way to reflect yourself and your opinion. Therefore, it is important to examine various images, do research, and always be open to new ideas. Try to keep your eyes and emotions open, knowing that you can always find inspiration anywhere. Feel free to make word mappings, visual collages, and color diagrams. 

Examining the existing mood boards on the web can light the way. You can find the ones that inspire you and then create an original and unique work for you and your idea. You can think of different examples to use in reflecting your own concept while analyzing their work, how others present their ideas, and what are the materials they are using.

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2. Emotions As a Guideline 

Your emotions and feelings are actually your guides, that’s why at the beginning creating various samples that reflect your emotions will build a roadmap. Try to find the best way to convey your emotions to others, remember how your idea and project makes you feel, without fear of being over creative and exaggerate. 

Whether you are designing your mood board digitally or by hand, doing small hand sketches at the early stage can guide you. Do you imagine a wriggly, vivid atmosphere or do you prefer people to be in a peaceful and calm mood when they first saw your concept? 

It’s okay doing little visual games to find out how you want to reflect emotions. By trying to capture these emotions and moods in your own life, and then choosing colors, visuals, textures, and texts that express the emotions well.

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3. Be Experimental and Produce More 

It is necessary not to be afraid of being experimental while designing boards to reflect your ideas and concepts. Being creative and constantly trying is important. Mix and match different images, you always have the chance to change visuals when you don’t like them. 

Before putting and combining everything on a single board it is important to do multiple boards and be experimental to see how ideas will integrate harmoniously. In this way, you will observe which expresses your idea better, and then create a simple outline to produce better. It is also important to create different works, in terms of improving the work and reflecting the idea to others, and creating a good foundation. 

Depending on your creativity, you can also show different points of your design by designing different mood boards. If trying to reflect your idea by providing integrity with a single mood board limits you, it can be very useful to create more than one mood board to show what kind of atmosphere your idea has from different angles and views.

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4. Collecting Photos

While doing research, collecting images that you think will reflect you and your style best can create a good base for you. You can do research on certain web pages and in various magazines to avoid feeling lost in too many ideas and images on the web when starting from scratch. You can collect images from web pages such as Pinterest, Pexels, Behance, and iStockPhoto. 

Do not worry about the images that look messy and disorderly, at this stage, there is no harm in taking slow and careful steps at one time. If you are not sure that one image reflects your idea very well at first, you can later edit it and make it suitable for your mood board by changing the color settings.

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5. Create a Theme | Designing a Mood Board

After collecting the visuals and before combining them directly on a page, you should think about what you want to emphasize and what you want to highlight more. It is helpful to set a theme to reflect your idea without restricting yourself but without overly distracting and distorting the idea. Are you working on a minimal and basic idea or do you have a lively and vibrant concept? 

First of all, do not forget to determine the best theme to reflect your concept and to use the colors and selected visuals when determining it. Once you have determined this, it may be helpful to create a grid system by deciding on the hierarchy and scale of the selected images. What kind of grid you will be working on, whether you use frames or not, and how you place your visuals are as important as the chosen images. Designing and choosing the theme that shows the idea and concept best will also reflect your creativity and originality.

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6. Be Selective

Although all the collected images are suitable for the theme and concept, it is necessary not to stack them all on a single page. Selecting which images to use may help you to tell more by using fewer images. The use of too much material is not preferred because of the possibility of breaking the integrity and creating confusion. The idea of ​​being brief helps to reflect the idea and style better. 

Depending on which visual you want to make stand out, you can adjust the page hierarchy to suit the theme and atmosphere you want to emphasize. Sometimes, the visuals you choose can cause problems in terms of matching with some of them. At this stage, you can edit and play with your images and color tones by using visual editing programs such as Photoshop.

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7. Typologies are Important

Likewise, it is useful to have some text in the content as well as the images. Keywords that describe the concept can be used to explain a lot with fewer expressions. These texts may be explanations of the idea or small notes about why the selected visuals were chosen. Also, using various quotes such as book and movie quotes may be creative. Of course, the colors and fonts of these texts are also very important. 

The typography, colors, and sizes of the text in order to improve further the atmosphere and concept that the images will reflect are also complementary to the mood board concept, it should never be taken lightly. Simple and minimal fonts like Helvetica, Montserrat may seem more risk-free and descriptive. For more romantic and soft reflections, using more wavy, italic, and thin fonts can be effective. You can also make your mood board more creative and unique by combining bold and regular fonts with different fonts and typologies. 

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8. Color Palette 

The color palette is actually about what will be the first impression of your mood board. The color palette itself can also be added to the mood board. However, for the visuals and texts to work in harmony, the use of a color palette and editing your visuals according to these colors are also important to create harmony by the color palette. 

From some websites such as,, and, you can find color palettes that will inspire you, and also you can create your own color palette by choosing your own colors. You can combine colors with complementary colors in different scales to create more vivid and remarkable visuals, or you can use different undertones of one color to express a harmonious concept.

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9. Be Sure to Give the Most Descriptive and Simple Explanation of The Idea

When creating a mood board, sometimes the desire to describe too many things on a single page can cause the disorder. You may be doing this mood board to build the foundation for your own initial idea, or you may be using it as a way to promote the idea to your boss or clients. 

When explaining the idea for both situations, be sure the mood board is created more descriptively and clearly. Otherwise, there will be a possibility that the thoughts you want to convey to the other person will not reach very well and bring a question mark into the minds.

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10. Don’t Hesitate to Get Help and Review | Designing a Mood Board

It never hurts to seek advice from others when your work is about to finish. Sometimes while working, we stick to the details and forget to see the whole. The support of a third eye can help us to avoid minor mistakes. You can ask about the color harmony, whether the theme is effective, or the selected visuals are sufficient enough. 

Besides, before making the final delivery presentation, you can find out whether your idea and concept are understandable, and then you can prepare your final work better by revising yourself. Also, if you are having trouble doing it yourself, do not forget that you can use various apps. Applications such as GoMoodboard, Miro, Canva, Moodboard (IOS App) can make it easier for you to design your mood board.

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Eylul Evyapan, studies architecture that was her childhood dream. She is passionate about illustration, resilient design, future solutions and new challenges in architecture. Writing has been her favorite hobby and she wants to combine her passion for architecture and writing to make people think about various subjects.