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A Step by Step Guide to Create a Moodboard

A Step by Step Guide to Create a Moodboard

Moodboards are essential to help designers communicate with clients, but they’re great for individual use as well. Whether you’re planning a renovation or your next year, compiling inspiration into one place will help you get a better grasp on your project and stay inspired

The Goal

First, decide what you want to achieve. Are you putting paint colors you plan to use with existing furniture you have to see how it would look, or are you just trying to get your thoughts and ideas out on paper? From here, you decide on a theme. Making a flow chart of ideas that remind you of the theme will help you brainstorm keywords and images.

Next, use the site Coolors to select your color palette. This software allows you to flip through thousands of color combinations that look great together so you don’t have to worry about any clashing. Alternatively, if you have an image that really inspires you, you can use a color selecting tool to sample from it. 


Now start collecting images from sites like Pinterest or from magazines and books. You can choose literal images that represent your theme (like a sun to represent summer), or you can choose to represent it in an abstract manner by focusing more on the feeling the theme gives you.

Make sure you pick a font that goes along with the theme of your board. You shouldn’t use a highly elegant cursive font for a moodboard focused around grunge–if you need help finding the right combination, you can search for “font pairings” to find ideas. 

En Route workshop

Putting it Together

Use Adobe Illustrator (or an equivalent alternative) to start laying out your images. A good rule of thumb is to make your moodboard 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 17 for printing purposes. Lay out your images and move them around in an aesthetically pleasing way. Make sure your most important images are the focus. Play with opacities and clipping masks to make things fit together nicely. 

See Also

Youtube: Emma Rose

If you would rather collage your moodboard together, print out all of your images and use an exacto knife to cut them out. If you want to mimic partial opacity like you can with Illustrator, you can feed tracing paper into your printer and you’ll get transparent images. 


Lastly, add write in any notes or ideas you have that you don’t want to forget. This board will help you stay on track as your project progresses.

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