When I first started designing, I was struggling with creating the perfect aesthetic for my blog/portfolio. Every time I created something I thought I liked, I found myself backtracking and finally erasing. One concept I found extremely important before starting any type of design project was to make sure my idea was consistent. That includes typography, visuals, colors, content, and imagery. I'll quickly explain how a mood board can help.
WHAT IS A MOOD BOARD?
Essentially your mood board IS your vision. It sets the "mood" for your design project. It is similar to a summary of a book. As artists, we typically like to free hand our sketches and ideas and see where it eventually ends up. But as you create your brand, you also need to create a strategy for brand consistency.
Your mood board can include multiple variables depending on what you are using it for. For example, if you are creating a website, your most important variables will be typography, color, content, layout, and patterns.
HOW DO I START?
Instead of creating one from scratch, try searching for a few PSD mood board templates in Google. There are plenty of various styles out there. After you get comfortable playing around with a few, you can create your own template to save to your computer for future projects. Pinterest also has plenty of mockups to use. Here is one that I used from Rekita Nicole:
WHAT CAN I ADD TO IT?
Popular variables to include in your mood boards:
- Typography | Important for book templates or website designs. You don't want 40 different fonts on your website. Have one for detail text, title text, and accent texts. 2-4 types of fonts are usually enough.
- Color scheme | Easy to use for reference and consistency of color. The eye drop tool in Illustrator is great for grabbing color schemes from images. This will help when you start to create marketing kits in the future.
- Inspirational pictures | They can be used to grab color palettes for your brand or design ideas for interior decorating.
- Patterns or textures | Can be used for your background images on your website or fabric print for your dress that you're sewing.
Even if the mood board isn't for you - it is an amazing tool to use for your clients when you want to show them the vision you created for their product or plan before designing it.