Mood boards are a great tool for developing a theme or concept. They are effective for narrowing down ideas and images, helping to identify the most appropriate combinations. When creating a mood board it is important to pay attention to the overall combination of images and their relative correlation. One of the main advantages is that you can create them practically anywhere: on a panel, online or even on a wall!
Method 1 of 2: Create a Physical Bulletin Board
Step 1. Write down some keywords
To start, think of 5 terms that can describe your idea or concept. For example, if you want to organize a vintage-inspired wedding, you could write down the following words: lace, blue, ivory, wood, silver.
Step 2. Set up a filing system by considering the source (s) of the images
If you plan to download them from the internet, create a Pinterest board (or similar page), a bookmark folder in your browser, or a folder on your desktop. If you are going to cut out images from books, catalogs or magazines, get a multi-pocket folder. This way you will have everything at your fingertips.
Step 3. Search for images based on keywords
You can find numerous pictures on the internet, books, catalogs or magazines. Make a point of looking for about 10 or 20; this way you will have enough work material available, but not so much that you lose control.
- If you search for images on the internet, you can save them as you proceed with the search using the selected filing system.
- If you are looking for images in a book, catalog or magazine, you can mark the pages with post-its or bits of paper.
Step 4. Archive the images
As for the digital ones, you have to save them during the search. Haven't you done it yet? Get it right now. If you've been looking for inspiration in a book, catalog or magazine, tear off the pages and slip them into the multipocket folder.
If you don't want to ruin a book, catalog or magazine, scan the images on your computer or photocopy them
Step 5. Organize the images
Screen them for any similarities, patterns, or differences. Focus on the theme, color, shape, material, texture, etc. Break them down according to the similarities you found.
If you find a recurring theme that isn't on the keyword list, you could add it to that list and use it to do another search
Step 6. Select the images
Examine them once more. Set aside those that don't fit the theme or are of a lower quality than others. Keep the images that allow you to get a cohesive and homogeneous final result. Only the crème de la crème must end on the mood board, so don't worry and be demanding!
Don't throw away the other images. As you organize your board, you may find that they might come in handy after all
Step 7. Cut the images
To get started, print them using good quality paper. If necessary, trim them with a pair of scissors. For example, if you have a photo of a dress, you can only cut the dress and discard the background. If the image has a text box, you can crop it to exclude it.
Step 8. Organize the images on the board
You can use a large canvas, cork or polystyrene board. If, on the other hand, you want to create the mood board on a wall, distribute the images on a table. Put the larger and more prominent ones towards the center and the smaller, less prominent ones on the edges.
- To get a more interesting visual effect, try overlapping them. Make sure the smaller images are put on top of the larger ones.
- If an image doesn't convince you, try examining the pile of the ones you discarded.
Step 9. Pin the images to the bulletin board
You can glue them with stick glue or rubber-based adhesive. You can also attach them with double-sided tape. If you are going to create the mood board on the wall, attach the images using tacks or mounting tape. Alternatively, lay a ball or string on the wall, then hang the pictures with decorative clothespins.
Method 2 of 2: Create a Digital Bulletin Board
Step 1. Write a few words
To get started, write down five terms that describe your idea or concept. For example, if you want to organize an enchanted forest themed party, you could choose words like green, brown, deer, mushrooms, fairies.
Step 2. Decide where to store the ideas
Create an online board, for example on Pinterest or using a Favorites folder in your browser. You can also use other programs, such as Evernote and Dropbox.
Step 3. Search for images based on keywords
Some search engines or websites, such as Google or Pinterest, allow you to view related images. By clicking on a photo you like, links of similar images will appear in the area below or next to it, which will in turn open images suited to the theme or style. This will make your search even easier.
Try to save about 10 or 20 images. You will then have enough material to work with, but not so much that you lose control
Step 4. Archive the saved images
The storage mode depends on the system you have chosen. If you use Pinterest, save them to your wall. If you are using a browser, save the links in your browser's favorites folder. Images can also be saved using a service such as Dropbox.
Step 5. System and analyze the images
Once saved, examine them and see if they have any factors in common. Go in search of the most noticeable elements, such as color, and the less obvious ones, such as particular angles or lights. If you notice a repeating pattern, try adding a relevant keyword to the list.
Step 6. Shrink the images
Examine them once again with an extremely critical eye. Eliminate those that are not perfectly in line with the theme, of bad quality or that do not contribute to creating a cohesive effect. Keep the images beautiful, of high quality and that offer a well-structured final result. How to remove it depends on the storage system used, for example sites like Pinterest, Favorites folders in the browser, folders on the desktop, etc.
Do not permanently delete the images. As you organize your board, they may come in handy
Step 7. Organize images on a digital canvas
If you have saved them on a board like Pinterest or Polyvore, the work can be considered finished. Alternatively, create a mood board page using Google Sites, Blogger, Tumblr, and so on. You can also open an image editing program to copy and paste them onto a blank canvas.
- If you work using Photoshop (or a similar program), paste the images in different layers to be able to move and organize them.
- If you have saved the images on your computer, first experiment by cutting and editing them.
- If one image doesn't fit the others, delete it.
- Do you need more images? Review the pile of those you discarded - maybe you'll find a few to save.
- Look at the mood boards published online for inspiration.
- Sometimes it is helpful to start with simple themes or ideas.
- Try looking at message boards inspired by the same theme.
- Don't be afraid to change keywords, especially if related images don't create a cohesive final effect.
- Digital bulletin boards can also be printed.