Mood Boarding 101

Everyone gets in a creative slump from time to time – and when it comes to more artistic projects, it’s hard to know where to start. One thing that I find extremely helpful in the creative process are mood boards! Creating a visual representation is super fun way to get the creative juices flowing.

What can you use a mood board for?

Honestly just about anything. They can be used for a new brand, a movie, interior design, wedding planning and photography! A mood board is basically a representation of the general style direction you want your project to go in. The combinations of images, fonts, colors and textures will define the mood of the project and help you keep your thoughts cohesive!


These are the things you should consider when making a mood board:

  • Layout
  • Color
  • Typography
  • Texture


Less is more when it comes to the layout of your mood board, I would say a good rule to follow is always limiting yourself to one page. This way you aren’t diluting your style, it makes your really decide on the BEST and most relevant images, colors etc. Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about layout is the way you arrange the images. Do you want a clean and fresh look?

You might want to keep a consistent boarder around all of your images and keep everything at straight angles. This structured and gridded look gives off a “finished” feel and mood.

If you are going for a more chaotic and free-spirited feel you can arrange your photos more spontaneously. You may know this style as “collage” or freeform. I suggest if you take this approach to have no method at all. Sometimes when you have some order mixed with some not it just becomes a mess. If your mood is wild – commit to it. Have some things at an angle and others overlapping. Another good tip is to not have any white space in a mood board like this!


Color is super important for your mood board. The color palette is what will define your mood the most. Do you want a warm and light feel, or a cold and darker feel? You will want your colors to be seen throughout the entire piece. It is something you should remain heavily conscious of when picking out pictures etc. I personally like to start with an actual color card or palette to show exactly what the colors are and grow my pictures and style off of that.


Texture can also be important to setting the mood. Do you want to include watercolor strokes? Plaid? Animal fur? Who knows – What is relevant? Keep asking yourself this question throughout the process and make all your decisions for a reason, not just because you think it is “pretty.”


Typography isn’t always included in a mood board but can be extremely helpful, especially if you are using it for design purposes. Fonts can say a lot. Is your message bold, loud and powerful? Is it dainty and graceful? Don’t just choose fonts you like make sure it aligns well with your project purpose.

Overall, I think a mood board is a great way to start the creative process. I also suggest if you don’t want to take the time to lay it all out on a pdf file to create a Pinterest board just for your creative project. The catch is - don’t get carried away, treat it as a mood board and remember…less is more!!