Why You Should Make Mood Boards

How to create beautiful mood boards that improve your design work!

Mood boards are everywhere; a quick search on Pinterest will yield thousands of mood boards and hundreds of mood board templates. While I love pretty pictures as much as the next person, I know that a beautiful mood board alone will not help me to create better designs for my clients. That’s because a successful mood board is about intention, not just looks. It represents a visual summary of your design intent and can be a very powerful tool when used correctly. 

This post will teach you how to create a stunning mood board (with some free illustrator templates 🙌🏻) and how it fits into the overall design process. 

How to Make a Mood Board

One of my favorite things about being a designer is collaborating with my clients. This collaboration is especially strong when finding design inspiration. At the beginning of every project, I create a shared, secret Pinterest board where my client can pin images that represent their brand. From here I will start to see common themes, colors, and images emerge. When they are done pinning, I will use some images from their board to create a mood board that summarizes the style my client wants for their brand. 

Think of the Pinterest board as a wide net, and the final mood board is a distilled and cohesive look.

How to Use A Mood Board

While my client is pinning images to their Pinterest board, I also have them fill out a detailed branding questionnaire. The purpose of the questionnaire is to get an idea of the design problems that they need solved. The purpose of the mood board is to set a direction for the design solutions that I create.

For example, say I have an artist client who is struggling to sell their work for what it is worth. One solution could be to appeal to a higher-end customer. Thus all of my design work should appeal to that market. This could look like a clean and modern site with lots of black and white to make their artwork stand out. In this example I would also pull relevant images from their mood board to illustrate what this design would look like.

By taking the time to understand your clients goals and gather images that reflect their vision for their brand, you can create better designs for them with fewer revisions. 

Mood Board Templates

Get started creating beautiful, powerful mood boards with these 3 Adobe Illustrator templates!