Moodboard is an organized board of inspiring images, quotes or phrases, patterns, textures and colors that serve as a guide in setting the mood and overall look of your brand, an event or a project. It comes super handy when trying to communicate your design and when you want to set the tone of a project.
Moodboard helps put your vision into action. By organizing images that speak of your vision, you are able to see if that is indeed what you want to portray. Moodboard is the best starting point for every design project.
Initial visualization of the design process starts at this point. It not only captures images but also the feeling you would like to portray. Be it fun using bright and colorful images, quirkiness using eccentric shapes and images, nostalgic using retro and subdued tones, femininity with pink or pastel colors. Moodboard shows it all.
I covered how to create your own moodboard in this post. Starting from gathering your inspiration until you come up with your own moodboard. I’m with you my friend.
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How to Create a Moodboard?
Gather inspiration for your Moodboard
When you work on your branding, you identify what resonates your brand. What do you want people to feel and think when they see your project or website. Think of the image that you are portraying to them. However, it should still represent you as a person. Your personality should still be evident in your branding.
So first think of five words that resonate your brand. Your words can be your description or your personality or the kind of service you provide. Even things you are interested in like design type or decor style. Like mine can be feminine, modern and rustic, florals, reliable, practical.
Sources for Moodboard Inspiration
Pinterest is a visual search engine which highlights great articles or posts and all things pretty. I can spend all day browsing through and clicking posts in Pinterest. Saving images or articles is done simply by clicking the Pin button.
2 Stock Photography
There are tons of stock photography sources online. Both free and paid sources. So I have round up below 10 sites with free stock photos which you can use for your moodboard inspiration. Moreover, some images may require attribution so be sure to read the license requirement prior downloading or saving.
- Negative Space
- Death to Stock Photos
- New Old Stock
- IM Free
3 Own images or photos
Don’t limit yourself with just the internet provided photos. Another source is by taking photos of things representing you or your brand. Further, this is the most efficient way of capturing your inspiration. Loving the color and texture of your sofa? Click. Found the dress that as they say it, it-is-so-you or matches your personality? Click. Inspired by the pattern of your bag? Click.
As long as they represent you and your brand, go for it. However, make sure though that the final output is still cohesive, clean and not so busy or cluttered. The overall look should make you inspired and not depressed or overwhelmed with all the conflicting colors and varying patterns.
Organize your Images
Search for Images in Pinterest
In this post, I will be using Pinterest as my source. So if you will use the other sources, you can go directly to how to insert the images to the moodboard template.
Now using those 5 keywords, type in each word in the search button. Afterwards, images representing the keyword you searched in will be shown. Browse through and save or Pin anything that represents your brand.
You can either create a board first before you start searching or create board as you save.
To save or pin, click the save button then save it to your chosen board. I like naming my boards according to their function or type. Like Branding Inspiration.
Save 25 to 30 images for each word. Once you are done with your 5 keywords, start filtering your collected images. Browse those images and choose 5-10 images which speak to you the most or which give the overall feel of your brand.
Feel free to delete those you don’t choose or save your chosen images to a secret board. A secret board cannot be viewed by other pinners. Only you have access to your secret boards. It’s totally up to you whether you show your final board or keep it secret. If you think you need the other images for inspiration for other things then you can move the chosen images to a secret board. Finally, save the images to your desktop.
These images are only for inspiration and should not be used in any other form without the explicit permission from the owners.
Insert Images to your Moodboard template
With your final images, place them on your moodboard template. I have created three free moodboard templates which you can download here.
Create moodboard using Canva or any editing tool like Photoshop. I use both Canva and Photoshop. Canva has free and paid versions. Saving default color palette and fonts and add folders for images are allowed with the paid version of Canva. So far, that’s what I know about the paid version.
Photoshop has free trial and charges $10 monthly when purchased. It’s totally worth it. Hard to navigate at first but once you understand how it works, you’ll love it.
Ok. So how do you insert your images?
For this tutorial, I will be showing how to do it using Photoshop.
Creating moodboard template using Photoshop
1. After downloading the free moodboard templates, unzip the folder. Open the moodboard template in Photoshop.
This is a screenshot of Photoshop edit screen. The Layer tab is normally at the bottom right corner, Color and Swatch tab at upper right corner. I just dragged Layer tab to show how the layers appear.
The moodboard templates come with Smart Objects where the images can be pasted into. Looking at the screenshot below, the layer “Double click to paste your image.” is just a plain paper icon.
2. Place the pictures or images.
“Smart Objects are layers that contain image data from raster or vector images, such as Photoshop or Illustrator files. Smart Objects preserve an image’s source content with all its original characteristics, enabling you to perform nondestructive editing to the layer.” – from Abobe Help web page.
These can be edited without the image getting too pixelized.
Double click the smart object layer where you want to place the image. Then a new tab will open. Notice that the layer is just the smart object layer. Continue by clicking File, Place then navigate where the image is. Choose the image then click place.
3. Using clipping mask in Photoshop
Images might overlap or cover other layers or shapes after the images have been place. To solve this, use clipping mask to fit the image onto the shape. Put or move the image on top of the layer or shape where your image will be inserted. Next, click the layer of the image, right click then choose Create clipping mask. The image will fit perfectly onto the layer or shape.
The templates are pre-edited with Clipping mask on. This is shown by the downward arrow beside the Smart Object layer.
If in case you want to move the image to other shapes, just drag the layer of the image on top of that shape and do the clipping mask again. Note that the clipping mask will be removed when you move the image.
4. Repeat the steps until you are done with all the images and happy with how the moodboard is organized.
5. Finally, fill in the color palette layers with the colors of the images.
Click the layer of the color palette then click eyedropper tool on the left side of your Photoshop screen. Using the eyedropper tool, click on the color representing your brand. To get the HEX code, simply click on the Color tab on the right side, click the square. Hex code begins with # sign. See my detailed tutorial on how to choose a good color palette and how to get the right hex code.
Try to use two primary colors which can be dark and 2-3 neutral colors when choosing a good color palette. It is also good to have an accent color.
Here is an example of the moodboard I have created.