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A mood board or “inspiration board” is a tool used by designers to establish the aesthetic feel of a project. It is a collection or collage of images, patterns, fonts, color palettes that communicate the overall direction of the project – It puts your ideas into context.

When do we use them?

Mood boards are beneficial to use in the early stages of the design process. They can save tremendous amounts of time in the creative process by solving problems you may encounter later during development. It creates a picture in the clients’ minds and makes sure the layouts or designs you develop will not shock them, as they have already understood the research and inspiration behind the decisions.

Why do we use them?

They are used as a visual guide to communicate the context of the design with the client. Words can be misleading when translating into design concepts. What one person refers to as “modern” another might view as “minimalist”.

Mood boards are helpful to clearly define your target audience. For example, are we talking to the “modern” shoppers who frequent IKEA or the “modern” shoppers who frequent Ethan Allen? Each store could be thought of as “modern” but absolutely have different feelings when entering the facility, and have very different customer demographics.

Mood boards can also help the client feel like they are part of the design process by making it clear that you are listening to them and considering their input. It is also helpful that they gain insight into the thinking behind your decisions.

How do you create a mood board?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to creating a mood board. They can be created digitally or physically by collecting and organizing visual elements ranging from a loose collage to a template approach.


  • Pinterest
  • Stock Image Galleries
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr