How to Create a Mood Board
One of the best parts involved in building a website is the creative aspect. Websites are strategic workhorses, but they’re also beautiful show ponies. I couldn’t help myself there, lol! Truly though, a website can be functional and jaw-dropping gorgeous at the same time.
To get your head-turning stunner, it starts with this activity: creating a mood board. So if you’re looking to build a Squarespace website that supports your business with some style, you’re in the right place!
In a previous post I wrote all about how and why you should create a mood board. In this post, I will walk you through, step-by-step on how to actually make a mood board for yourself. If you missed that post, head on over and give it a read. This post will be waiting for you.
There are many moving parts to building a Squarespace website, and the great thing is, the process does not have to be an overwhelming, stressful one. This is just one of the benefits and reasons why you should create a mood board: They help clarify your vision.
Instead of staring at a blank canvas, you’ll be invigorated with all of the inspiration you’ve found and placed in one, central, handy dandy location. In this post, I will show you how to create a mood board, so it will always be available to serve you as a reference tool right in your website.
Building a website is a creative process. There are a few steps in that process and I’m sharing them all with you. The mood board is just one step involved in creating a clean, modern website that supports both you and your business. To add more clarify to this process, I’ve created a cheat sheet and checklist to guide you. Details below on how to get yours!
Build & Design A Squarespace Website
This article is part of my series, Build & Design a Squarespace website. This series takes you through the same process I use to create dreamy websites for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners just like you. Chaos and overwhelm have been shown the door! In their place, you’ll find a calm, supportive approach to creating the beautiful, strategic website you deserve. Enjoy!
Want a step by step guide to clarify the squarespace web design process?
Let’s make this process easy, and dare I say, fun! Get your FREE cheat sheet and checklist to create your dream website.
How to create a mood board
Step 01: Start with an intention
Since mood boards can serve a variety of purposes, it’s good to get clear on your intentions at the beginning. For the purpose of this post, the focus will be on creating a mood board for a website, be it a redesign or a new design.
The steps outlined in this post will suit for other purposes, too, so it’s worth mentioning that having a clear purpose will help guide you in this activity.
Step 02: Draft a list of words
When you think of your business, what words come to mind?
Is there a way you’d like someone to feel about your brand?
Write the words that come to mind.
Step 03: Start gathering inspiration
There are a few ways to do this, and perhaps one of the easiest, as well as popular ways is with Pinterest. Pinterest is keeper of inspiration on the internet. The visual search tool features seemingly endless source of images that delight and inspire.
In Pinterest create a new board, and make it private. If you’re adding snippets of inspiration from around the web, it’s a good idea to make it private. Name your new board Mood Board.
Another option is to collect your inspiration in a folder on the desktop of your computer. When it comes to the final step, arranging and finalizing, you can upload your files, as long as they’re .jpg or .png files, to Canva.
Note: Most image files will be one or the other, so no need to worry about what kind of files you have. If a file is made on something like Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design, or Acrobat, it would need to be converted before uploading to it.
Canva is another great way to create a mood board. There are several different mood board layout options available as well as sizes to make your board in, so consider trying this tool out. If you’re going the Pinterest route, take the list of words you jotted down. If you came up with phrases, that’s fine, too. Type your word or phrase into the search.
One by one, enter in words from your list and see what comes up. If you already have an idea of what you’re looking for, see what results come up or where they lead you. You can do the same on Google. Once your results come up, just click images near the search bar.
Step 04: Check out brands that inspire
Since many brands have their own Pinterest account, check them out. Anything pinworthy there? Snag it for your own board.
Ask yourself what you like or dislike along the way.
Step 05: Collect images
Using your list, or whatever has sparked you, start adding images to your board.
Of course Pinterest isn’t your only option for images. Anything you find around the web can and will work. Stock photography sites, for example are another option for images.
The site Unsplash offers free images for use. Using the search bar on their site, you could take your word list and start searching there. Images downloaded here can be uploaded to Canva. If your board on Pinterest is private, consider uploading your image to your board, too!
Step 06: Add words
As visual as a mood board is, words evoke emotion and express feeling, too. If you come across a word or a phrase that speaks to you, add it! You may have even seen other mood boards with words popping out in a variety of fonts. You can borrow this same approach.
Words have a place on a mood board.
Step 07: Fonts, Type, and Typography
Speaking of words: What style do you want the words to have?
This is where font comes in. Your choice of font holds great importance as to how a brand is visually communicated. The fonts you choose will express your brand’s style as well as it’s tone.
Add some font choices that feel like a good fit for your brand and the industry it fits in.
Step 08: Color
Like font, color communicates moods and feelings.
Starting gathering whole palettes. A search on Pinterest will bring up a whole bunch of choices. Use the colored boxes below the search bar to refine further.
Step 09: Edit
After you’ve collected images to your heart’s content, it’s time to edit it down.
Here’s a trick for you: You may notice that there are several themes or moods happening on one board. If this is happening on your one board, separate them out. Create an additional mood board or two and move images that share similarities to a new board.
It’s totally okay to have more than one.
Once you’ve separated your board, or if you still have your one board, edit down to no more than 20 images. As hard as this may be, it helps to be a little more specific in this process.
Step 10: Arrange and finalize
Now that you’ve edit your mood board, or boards down, it’s time to arrange all of your pieces. If you’re using a tool like Canva to create your mood board, then start playing with size and scale. Keep the logo in mind, if you have one. Changing the size of your visual elements can help you determine the aspects that will play a stronger role.
This process does not have to be rushed. You may need to sit with it for a while before it is time to finalize.
Once you’ve decided on how things should look, and you feel inspired, then you have yourself a mood board. You can now go forth and create, reference, or share your board to communicate your vision with others.
When you create a mood board for your website, it changes things. Suddenly, designing a website that looks and feels like you, your brand, no longer feels daunting. You’ve gathered up all of your inspiration and can communicate your unique style with ease.
Creating a mood board brings clarity to your vision. The spark the imagination and get things started. No more staring at a blank screen wondering what to put on your site.
There are a variety of ways to create a mood board: with Pinterest or Canva. If you know your way around Photoshop or Illustrator, that will work, too! Either method will suit, and really, it is just a matter of what works for you. The most important part is that you find your inspiration.