Creating a beautiful mood board is an essential step in the creative process. It allows designers to experiment with different design elements and bring everything together into a cohesive artistic direction that can be used across a variety of mediums. The easiest way to create a mood board is digitally because making adjustments to your design is a breeze, and there is an endless abundance of imagery accessible on the internet. One of the best websites to browse for inspiration is Pinterest. I use Pinterest frequently for planning the art direction of photo shoots and I think it is a great tool to use when creating mood boards for any design project. I will explain why I love using Pinterest to create mood boards and the steps I take to create them.
WHY PINTEREST IS A GREAT RESOURCE FOR CREATIVES
- Pinterest is full of high quality photographs. When I am searching for images on Pinterest I find many more relative results compared to when I search on a regular search engine. Finding imagery that inspires you is key to the start of a design project and determining the direction to go in.
- You have the ability to store and organize imagery. After you gather a variety of images you love you have the ability to organize them into categories, referred to as boards on Pinterest. I find this especially convenient because I do not have to save photos directly to my computer which clutters my hard drive.
- You can bookmark your favourite content from websites. I follow a few blogs and if I like a bloggers outfit or find a great design tutorial I pin an image from the webpage to my related Pinterest boards such as She's Got Style or Design Love. Then I can easily find those images without having to go through my browsing history.
Now that you know why Pinterest is such a great tool for creatives, you can learn...
HOW TO CREATE A STUNNING MOOD BOARD
- Curate your favourite imagery. Browse through the boards of pin-fluencers, or companies that are active on Pinterest and have established an aesthetically pleasing collection of imagery. A few of my favourite Pinterest accounts to follow are Ave Styles and The Glitter Guide. Pin work from your favourite photographers, style bloggers, web designers, etc. Install the Pin It button (instructions here) on your browser and you can pin their images directly from their website to your boards.
- Refine your vision. At first I pin everything that inspires me to my various boards. Colours, textures, editorials, florals, interiors, the list goes on! From there I narrow down which images really reflect my vision and I will sometimes group my final selection on a separate board. If it is a project I do not want to show to anyone yet I will create a Secret Board on Pinterest. (This option is only available when you initially create a board, you can't make an existing board secret to the public).
- Layer into a collage. The next step is to save your curated images and import into a design program such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. I usually like to vary the size, layer the images, experiment with shapes and clean up the design with borders.
- Select a colour palette. From the final images used in my design I will use the colour picker tool on Photoshop and select between 4-6 colours from the layout to determine the colour palette of the design project (if applicable). My mood board is then complete and I export it as a jpeg file like the example below.
You are done! And I bet the process was a lot easier than you anticipated.
I hope you see how curating a variety of imagery really illustrates the entire aesthetic, tone and lifestyle you hope to achieve for your design project. The mood board above is a simple one I designed to outline different elements of a photo shoot I had planned. The different pieces I tried to highlight were the old architecture, simple styling of the tailored wool coats and effortless beauty. Mood boards are great for you, and the team you are working with, to visualize your end goal. I will be sharing the final photographs from this photo shoot soon! Until then follow my creative journey on Pinterest here, and share your accounts with me.