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What is a Mood Board?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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A mood board is a tool used by designers to help them get a good idea of what their clients are looking for. Mood boards are basically collages of items such as photographs, sketches, clippings, fabric swatches and color samples. These boards can be actual or virtual. A mood board is used by many different types of designers such as those in fashion and interior design.

A decorating board often contains magazine clippings of furnishings that inspire the design concept. Sketches and a floor plan are also usually included on the board. Paint chips and other color swatches are also featured on a decorating board. The client can view the mood board and decide whether he or she likes the main design concepts the board represents.

A fashion mood board usually has sketches of garments as the main focus of the board. Fashion boards may also have magazine clippings or other sketches of what inspired the designer such as pictures of ocean waves for the design of a dark blue silk gown. Trimming details and ribbon could also be on a fashion board.

Mood boards are a great way for designers to present their take on a theme to clients. For example, if a client tells a designer that he or she wants something cozy or airy those feelings could be created in many different ways. By putting the ideas on a mood board first, the designer can make sure the client likes the ideas. You don't have to be a professional designer to create a board. It's possible to make your own board and get in touch with your own moods and tastes in the process.

You could start your personal mood board with a stack of magazines. Just tear and cut out anything that touches you in some way. Don't rationalize your choices, but pick colors, shapes, words and pictures that you feel drawn to. You can do theme boards such as "What I want my life to be like" or "Career ideas for me" or "How I want to decorate the baby's room." Anything goes and creating your own board can help your learn more about your self and your style.

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Discussion Comments
By anon311406 — On Jan 01, 2013

Could you make a mood board all about yourself?

By anon304841 — On Nov 22, 2012

What is the difference between a mood board and a lifestyle board?

By anon249586 — On Feb 21, 2012

So basically a mood board is like a collage?

By anon230962 — On Nov 22, 2011

I want to know how to make a mood board. Please, can you help me?

By claire68 — On Jul 20, 2011

Can you help me please? I need to create a mood board using color relationships in regards to a color wheel. It's for a floristry course.

By anon186409 — On Jun 15, 2011

I want to create a mood board and an inspiration board on different themes. Can you please help me out.

By anon132289 — On Dec 06, 2010

how do you create a mood board on someone, e.g james dyson? Please help me.

By anon114311 — On Sep 28, 2010

i am sravani and in my college they asked me to think of a theme to do a mood board and i am struggling hard for ideas. I couldn't get a good one. Can you please give me some themes by tomorrow morning?

By anon101648 — On Aug 04, 2010

how big are these mood boards?

i must make one and scan it so i can send it digitally.

anyone know if Kinkos or someplace similar has a giant scanner?

By anon98453 — On Jul 23, 2010

thank you so much.

By anon78334 — On Apr 18, 2010

i think that this information was a great help. it helped me to understand what a mood board was and what it was used for, so thank you so much for this help for my project.

By anon78201 — On Apr 17, 2010

yes it necessary to do a mood board in fashion designing, to project your idea of making a collection in a particular process before they get manufactured.

By anon76433 — On Apr 10, 2010

Thank you very much for giving us the useful information. if possible please tell me about what is a color board and difference between a color board and a mood board.

By anon69819 — On Mar 10, 2010

can you give me some ideas on the mood board topics of child labor?

By anon67855 — On Feb 27, 2010

Please give me a idea on how to do a mood board in fashion designing.

By anon63720 — On Feb 03, 2010

can you give me some ideas on the mood board topics of home?

By anon62623 — On Jan 27, 2010

please help me to make a mood board for multimedia design to target are designer, public, administration, developer etc.

By anon61456 — On Jan 20, 2010

Please give me an idea on how to make a guns and roses fashion mood board. Thanks.

By anon60850 — On Jan 16, 2010

Please give me an idea, how to make a gothic fashion mood board. Thanks.

By anon60521 — On Jan 14, 2010

Please help me to define the mood board for textile design. what is mood board, and its need and its importance?

By anon56211 — On Dec 13, 2009

yes, it's like that. it's so easy to put everything that could inspire you on the mood board and also you could put the colors, fabrics and the materials that you will use.

By anon52195 — On Nov 12, 2009

Please help me out to make a mood board of fashion designing. The topic is new silhouette with old chikankari.

By anon47265 — On Oct 03, 2009

Please help me because i do not get how to do a mood board. it's for cooking. i need pictures of cakes and that has it about putting information and a collage around it or what?

By anon39199 — On Jul 30, 2009

is it necessary to do a mood board in fashion designing? please help

By anon30097 — On Apr 14, 2009

How is a mood board made? I'm still not sure about the purpose of a mood board. Plz help me with this confusion.

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