An Inspiration Board vs a Mood Board — Finding Visual Inspiration and Improving Your Creative Process

by | May 26, 2022 | Creative

Whether you’re working on your next project or simply want to motivate yourself to accomplish something great, starting and navigating the creative process can feel difficult — and oftentimes taxing. That’s where an inspiration board or mood board comes in handy! These tools are an effective way to collect your thoughts and explore your favorite visual inspiration to help you bring your ideas to life. While both of these options are beneficial to your creative process, it’s important to recognize when each of these is best suited for the project you’re working on. 

Read on to learn more about inspiration boards and mood boards, what makes them different and how they can help you streamline the creative process of your next project.

Creating an Inspiration Board

What Is an Inspiration Board?

An inspiration board is a tool that creatives like artists, fashion designers, and even communication experts use to explore their inventive ideas and build a unique visual world. Also commonly referred to as a vision board or concept board, they’re a great approach for anyone trying to motivate themselves to achieve their aspirations.

How Can an Inspiration Board Be of Use?

An inspiration board is typically a useful jumping-off point for a design project. You can use this to showcase your upcoming journey and inspire yourself and your team to create exactly what you envisioned from the beginning. This helps everyone stay on the same page, as well as strategically focus their efforts on what is needed to achieve the end goal: making your vision a reality.

You’re essentially creating something that can communicate a message, along with the reasoning behind its importance and the desired outcome. This may feel like a lot to get across with something seemingly simple, but with the right inspiration and elements in place, you can guarantee your vision or concept is clearly expressed. You might want to include images, quotes, words, or any other design element that will be useful to communicate your outlook. If you’re working in any creative industry like fashion design, or interior design, or are simply creating something to inspire yourself, this tool is an effective way to discover your most visionary ideas and get the most out of a project. 

Designing a Mood Board

photography moodboard- color palette

What is a Mood Board? 

A mood board, on the other hand, refers to physical or digital collages that arrange images, materials, text, and other design elements into a representation for a final project. These boards, specifically digital mood boards, are valuable when creating brand designs, product designs, website designs, and almost any other design venture you can imagine.

Why Create a Mood Board? 

If you’re a creative professional, you can convey design ideas to clients to help them understand your vision. Or, if you’re working with a team, a mood board can be a helpful tool to ensure you’re all on the same page in terms of style and direction. 

You’ll be glad to know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to mood boards, so you can make it practically any way you want. While every mood board is different, it’s always beneficial to include elements that communicate exactly what you’re going for. These aspects are typically similar to what you might include in an inspiration board, which consists of images, colors, words, fonts, or textures — but the options don’t end there. What’s most important is to incorporate what you find inspiring and what will support your idea throughout the process.

Is an Inspiration Board or Mood Board Right for You?

inspiration board vs. moodboard

An inspiration board and mood board can feel similar in nature, but they have distinct characteristics that can help you determine which option is fitting for the project you’re going to design or work toward. First, let’s take a closer look at what makes these two similar.

Similarities

Both of these options are optimal tools for a creative professional. They can be used to convey style ideas and are often used in similar fields including fashion design, interior design and architecture. Moreover, mood and inspiration boards can exist in both physical and digital forms to present a collage of images, texts, and objects.

If you’re ready to start your next project and you’re not sure which one to use, understanding what makes them different is the best way to find what fits.

Main Differences to Consider

The most significant difference to keep in mind before starting your design process is the objective of the board or project. Typically, a mood board is created to convey a feeling about a certain idea. They organize inspiration around a project and serve as a valuable resource along the way. You can gain a deeper understanding of the undertaking and refine a specific style before getting started. This presentation style balances creative freedom and coordination to set up the direction for the rest of the project.

Inspiration boards are generally less widely used. This is because inspiration boards are more specific. They have a greater focus on elements like details, colors, and texture to serve as a valuable building block for the project, as opposed to a mood board that concentrates on conveying a feeling. However, it can be incredibly useful when employed for the right project. These projects can also be design or architecture-based, but because they tend to have more definitive objectives, an inspiration board can act as a valuable guide.

They’re a beneficial tool that acts as stimulus material for a certain creative process or project. This means it’s essentially a starting point for a creative venture and aims to be more of a specific idea that can keep your direction on the right track.

Finding Visual Inspiration

Although these idea boards are used differently, they both need sufficient visual inspiration to truly flesh out a creative idea. 

According to a report from Harvard Business Review, psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot determined three core aspects of inspiration — evocation, transcendence and approach motivation. While these aspects will certainly be a part of your process, the best way to become personally inspired is to set up the optimal circumstances for a creative awakening. When composing an inspiration board or mood board, finding visual inspiration is a great way to get you there. But where can you find this inspiration when you need it most? 

While creating digital design boards, there is an abundance of online resources you can utilize as support. Some of our favorite websites to help you discover inspiration for your next project includes:

  • Pinterest: A Pinterest board can help you store a variety of images that might be perfect for your visual direction. With a broad range of images, topics, and ideas to explore, you can browse through a seemingly endless page of inspiration.
  • Awwwards: If you’re looking for a new design concept or image of inspiration, look no further than Awwwards. This resource features some of the best design, creativity, and innovation you can find on the internet, and it’ll surely spark your imagination.
  • Abduzeedo: This website is a great option to trigger your next great design idea. FIlter through topics such as branding, graphic design, editorial design, illustration, and more to discover the image or concept you’re looking for. 

Keep in mind, that the list doesn’t end there. Find the online resources that work best for you and when in doubt, get offline for inspiration. You can always come back to these online assets when you have a clear idea in mind. When you’re looking for inspiration around you, you never know what you might find that will spark your next extraordinary idea.

Considering Color, Text, and Other Design Elements 

Finding visual inspiration is typically a great starting point for both an inspiration board and mood board, but considering how a host of other design elements will come into play is equally important to the process.

Your color scheme is one of the most important aspects of any project. With the right color palette, you can quickly steer the design proposal in a specific direction while setting the tone for any future decisions. Consider how elements of color can make your idea expressly unique — whether it’s for a mood board, design board, vision board, or any other option that supports your design concept. 

It’s important you don’t underestimate the power of text and work to display it the right way. If you’re including text in your design board, it’s most likely there for a reason, whether to emphasize a thought or draw attention to something specific. Ensure this text is pleasing to the eye while remaining readable for anyone who might see it. This can be extremely beneficial to guarantee your concept is coming across the way you intended. 

After acknowledging the importance of color and text, there are a profuse number of other elements you can consider to make your idea or board come to life. Recognize how you can play with different patterns or textures to ensure you have a solid starting point or something to refer to as the project continues. 

The culmination of these elements will become the foundation of your creative process and will be an invaluable asset along the way. Luckily, finding and collecting your inspiration, as well as creating your inspiration or mood board can be simple with solutions from Kdan Mobile.

Navigate the Creative Process With Ease

The creative and design process can quickly start to feel overwhelming if you’re not exactly sure what direction to take. Keep in mind that the hardest part is always getting started, and an inspiration board or mood board is a great place to kick off your process. Once you begin exploring options and looking into visual inspiration, you’re likely to hone in on the idea, concept, or vision you’re going for. 

According to Creativity at Work, only one in four people believe they are living up to their creative potential, but with the right tools, the process can be simple and you can feel like you’re producing your best work. Whether an inspiration board or mood board is the right move for you, NoteLedge provides you with the help you need for creative success. 

With Noteledge, not only can you express visual ideas with mood boards but you can also make quick sketches and collages, take better notes and capture valuable inspiration along the way. This digital notebook for designers, content creators, or anyone who wants to get their creative juices flowing is an effective tool to find the visual inspiration you need and quickly bring your ideas to life. 


Read more about Kdan Mobile’s digital solutions to boost productivity and unleash creativity, and once you’re ready to upgrade and streamline your creative process, download Noteledge today.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This