There are times when we want to create clarity with our learning or get creative with our projects. Moodboards are one of the best ways to pull all of your inspiration into one place. They can keep you on track when you start to lose motivation, and you can build and modify them as you go. Here are some tips to help you build a moodboard for your upcoming projects and courses.
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What is a Moodboard?
A moodboard or inspiration board is a single space that helps you visualize your ideas at the start of any project. There will likely be videos, images, quotes, material samples, colour options and notes about the project.
Let’s say you are studying women’s sufferage. The board could include images of famous sufferagists, sticky notes with fun facts, picket signs, etc. All of these items can help inspire and focus learning, as well as provide a place for all the items that get collected during a unit study.
Why Should You Do It?
A moodboard is useful for a few reasons:
You can share it. While sharing a large physical moodboard might be an issue, most can be built online. There are a few great software options, Canva is one of them. If you work from home, then building a moodboard that you can send to your clients is going to help convey what a report or a pitch might not. And, if you have a few ideas, you can create more than one moodboard and pull the best bits from each one.
Refining your ideas over time will be par for the course of any project. From redecorating your bathroom to the interior design on a new hospital. A moodboard is great at giving clarity.
This will make a big difference. There is no reason you can use both though. When you are considering if you should have a physical moodboard or a digital one only here are a couple of considerations:
Touch. If textures are going to be important for you, then physical is going to be the best option. Sometimes the fabric is going to be what makes the difference.
Locations. If you are working with people all over the world, it is obviously going to be better to build a moodboard online. It is easy to share, and people can all add things they have sourced online.
Preference. If you aren’t working with clients, but rather just creating a new project for yourself. Think about if you spend most of your time online, or out in the world – and which you really want.
Before you start cutting out images and getting your Pinterest pinboard on the go. Think about what the goals are that you are trying to achieve. You can make notes about the colour scheme that you like, the style of images you want and even the mood that you want to project.
Once you have made a note of all of your goals, you can start thinking about the keywords that you want to have associated with the moodboard. Think about textures, colours, feelings, and big words that mean something to you. This will help you when you start searching for images online too.
Unsplash is a great place to start your search for images. You can also pick up industry magazines that fit what you are looking for. Make a note of everything that makes an impact on your and incorporate that into your moodboard.
Try to hold on to the original source of inspiration. Where you drinking a coffee and the idea popped into your mind? What were you doing when you had the initial epiphany? Now start pushing the boundaries a bit. Search streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon to consume series or documentaries about the topics. Search for blogs that hold a lot of information about it. Instagram for images, and youtube for opinion pieces too.
If you can, borrow library books (or buy second-hand books if you want to) on the subject. Then, once you have explored the topic, start going outside the lines. An element that can change the whole feel of a moodboard is the font. So choose a few that you like and strip it back over time.
For videos, it can be worth finding the right video player, https://setapp.com/lifestyle/the-best-video-player-for-mac can help with this.
One of the hardest things that you will have to do is take things away. You will likely collect enough material to make 2 or 3 moodboards. If you can see a similar theme in some of the elements you have, then you might like to put more than one together. But, try to group everything in a way that makes sense.
One of the key things to remember is that the colour palette should really be harmonious. So, if there are a few things that don’t seem to fit, try to find the same items in the colours that match.
This is more important if you are building something for clients or work purposes. If you are heavily inspired by a style or person, then make sure that you include their name and some of the inspiration for your designs and themes.
When you are building the elements, and working with a few different areas of inspiration, don’t be afraid to experiment with the style and layout. It has to be something that feels good when you build it and look at it. As well as getting all of the information across that you require.
Don’t be afraid to go in-depth. Although the images, videos and colours will do much of the talking, it is important that you have enough explanations on there to get across the points. Short descriptions or a few words that give more meaning to some of the more visual aspects will help you when it comes to referring back to the moodboard. And, if it is for clients, the extra context can help guide them to the final point.
When you are building the moodboard, as well as adding inspiration from other sources, create your own images too. Even if you aren’t the best at art and design. You can create some original logos, colour palette and add your own photos in too.
It is easy to get carried away by a big idea. And that can be overwhelming. So if the project is something big like the next 5 years of your life or a huge client project, then it might be worth considering smaller moodboards to tackle each aspect. Then when you are ready to bring it all together, see how it looks as a whole.
If you like to use tools to help you create things on your computer, then here are some tools that will help you bring your ideas to life.
- Niice – a simple drag and drop interface. Focused heavily on the simplicity of a noise-free creating space. You can look at sample boards, and then find other visuals ‘like this’. You can have 5 boards for free, and after that, it has a monthly charge.
- Canva – has a range of free to use moodboard templates. They tend to come with a colour palette and are one of the quickest ways to build a board.
- Moodboard – Quick and lightweight. You can choose a blank board or work with a template. Boards are all private, but you’ll get a URL so you can share it if you want to.
- Style Tiles – This one is slightly more structured, and is more aimed towards pitching to clients. There are some free templates, but this one works best with established brands.
And the main thing when you are getting creative is that you have fun. If you find yourself struggling to source the right things, then take a break and go back to your inspirational Netflix series, or magazines and relax.