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How to Make a Moodboard: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make a Moodboard: Step-by-Step Guide

Design Process
7 min read

Need to organize your ideas and make smart decisions? It doesn’t matter whether you create a website, a hub space, a bachata party, or a SaaS environment. Mood boards, physical or digital collages of your thoughts, can help you refine your ideas and demonstrate them to others. 

You may start from a single thought or an instant impression and grow into something unique when you combine images, color palettes, textiles, typography, and other style attributes. On the other hand, your vision may remain a faint allusion or be lost in a picture pile on your desktop if you are unfamiliar with the mood board instrument.

When the Arounda team works on the brand identity for startups or SME clients, we begin with mood boards. Although this process is relatively intuitive, it has some stages and consistency that we share in this article. 

1. Set the main direction of your project

If you are wondering how to make a moodboard for a brand the first tip would be to define the type of mood board before collecting images.  

Explorative or practical board

An explorative mood board is a free investigation of the topic. You can pick up all possible ideas not worrying about how you will actually get those objects into your project. Furthermore, if you get early feedback from your friend, boss, or client, this draft can save you time and effort in later design stages. 

On the contrary, a practical mood board is exact. In case you already have a clear picture in mind, it’s time to pick up color schemes, font types, professional photos, logos, and mottoes that you are actually going to use in the final project. 

Physical or digital

Traditional physical mood boards have an underlay made of foam or cork where you place paper illustrations cut out from magazines or printed out for the purpose. For example, pin the materials in layers to cover each other or create a neat layout with margins. The physical mood board activates all your senses and binds your vision to reality.   

Digital mood boards are the solution for modern remote collaboration. They allow you to combine images and objects from the internet with your own stubs. Several online platforms like Pinterest or Milanote help you organize and share your collections with followers or clients.

2. Collect all the ideas

If you don’t yet have a clue about how your project should look and feel, try these keys to set your imagination free. 

  • Think of an anchor for your concept. It might be a color (emerald green, coffee, canary yellow), style (Irish, romantic, Brazilian), or epoche (modern, renaissance).     
  • Google the keywords on your theme and indicate what resonates. Go to Getty, Instagram, and Unsplash. You will soon find inspiration. 
  • Search for masterpieces in designer exchanges like Dribbble and Behance or professional communities like Designspiration and Artstation.
  • Keep watching things around you when you walk or shop at the supermarket. Note and don’t let go of connotations and ideas.  

A mood board is all about exploration. Try these hints and find out which one works for you. This will be the best way to make a mood board.

3. Add graphic content

At first, you collect the most representative images from your sources of inspiration on one sheet. Then, expand your search and try vintage illustrations, works of art, architectural objects, movie characters, mems, graffiti, anime, and other cultural phenomena. 

Don’t be afraid to put something bizarre into your collection. It’s more about quantity than quality when you explore. You can remove the odd ones later when you finalize the inspiration board.  

Canva and Milanote platforms provide an environment where you can scale, move, browse, and drag and drop images as you wish. Both online tools propose customizable mood board templates. It might be easier to use a preset frame if you are not confident enough to start from a blank screen.    

4. Add color, fonts & files

Colors greatly influence the mood of the whole product. Banks often use blue or green palettes associated with calmness and tranquility. Pink taxi signals safety and dark colors often remind us about influence and power.   

You will require three or four colors for the color scheme. There should be a primary color, a secondary color, and an accent. Color tools like Paletton or Adobe Color suggest complementing colors automatically and allow you to export color hex codes. 

You shouldn’t underestimate the power of the written text on your mood board. Add five or six truly meaningful words on the screen. They will define the direction of thoughts and help focus. Play with fonts and see how a fancy Brush Script or a good old Sans Serif font will change the perception of the whole mood board.    

TickTock videos, GIFs, and soundtracks can also contribute to your mood board. Moving objects tend to catch attention. So if you need an ultimate hook to hold your audience turn to animations.   

5. Organize your mood board

As a rule, you collect more material than fits one mood board. To create a harmonious composition, you need to curate the content. Here is a step-by-step method to organize your collage

  • Start by selecting one or two images that match your inner vision the most. 
  • Put these key elements into the center of your mood board. 
  • Position and scale other items according to their importance for an idea. 
  • Choose the background from complementing colors of the color scheme. 
  • Check if your mood board items build a cohesive picture when you collide them together. 
  • Discard the odds if they clash with the color palette of the style.

There is no fit-all-size recipe on how to create a moodboard for brand identity. You can mix these stages and add items to your layout spontaneously. Explore what works best for you. 

6. Explain your vision

As a creative professional, you can have a clear and detailed project vision. But unfortunately, your clients, boss, or partner can’t see into your mind. And this is where mood boards help present your ideas to others.

When you prepare for the meeting, do not rely only on the visual impression from the mood board. Prepare to explain the key ideas in words. Use storytelling techniques and humor to back up the image context.     

Mood boards usually trigger a tide of feedback and propositions. You can discuss the general concept, persuasiveness, and suitability of separate elements. There might be a need for the second and the third mood board iteration. But it’s all worth the effort because you and your team will land on the same page at the very beginning of the digital product creation.    


Imagine how pitiful it would be to invest your time and money into detailed design and to find out in the end that the core concept doesn’t correspond to your client's expectations. Mood board imagery has both an informational and emotional impact on the people you work with and helps to set the direction of the product in the early stage. 

Later on, the mood board serves as a frame for other items you add to the project and guarantees that it looks harmonious. 

Communication of your ideas to others is a crucial skill in designers' work. The Arounda team has practiced it in more than 130 projects in web and mobile app design, SaaS development, UI/UX audit and redesign, and brand identity creation. Mood boards are our common and true helpers in this task, and we hope you will find them useful too.  

If you need a hand with product design and strategy, just drop us a line!


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7 min read
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FAQ on UI/UX design services

What is a mood board?

A mood board is a collage of images, color palettes, fonts, and textiles that defines the visual concept of the project.

What are the four components of a mood board?

The main types of content for your mood board are color palettes, typography, textures and patterns, imagery (logos, illustrations, photos, animations)

What online tools help create a mood board?

We recommend Canva and Milanote online platforms that allow you to browse, drag and drop, position, and scale the mood board elements.

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