Whether you work in digital media, logo design or even brochure design, if you're trying to get a big design idea across, a good mood board can be invaluable. With a mood board you can instantly convey a whole assortment of concepts and feelings that are central to your pitch but difficult to get across verbally.
So what's the best way to put a digital mood board together? There are a ton of tools to make things easy for you. We've gathered together the best of the bunch.
Pinterest offers a surprisingly diverse collection of images to draw mood board references from. The big plus of using it is that a whole load of human users have done a lot of the curating for you, which is the time-consuming bit. And the collections are often themed better than any traditional image library – you can even follow Creative Bloq.
For more on Pinterest, check out our article Things designers and illustrators should be doing with Pinterest.
A handy app for the iPad that will help you with putting together mood boards is Moodboard. You can add photos from your Photo Library or the web, send your moodboards to Twitter and Facebook, or share via email. You can also share editable boards using iTunes File Sharing, and there's support for Retina.
Although it's a useful tool, it does have a bit of a scrapbook feel to it. You may want to judge whether you use a board, a PDF or an app, based on the client and which medium suits them best.
If the $9.99/£6.99 cost of Moodboard puts you off, then you could give the free version, Moodboard Lite, a try. It includes all the features of the main app, but you're limited to just a single board.
Olioboard is the perfect online app for creating mood boards for interior design. The tool's main purpose is to design a room in 2D or 3D and try it before you buy. But you can also use its preview of colour schemes and furniture choices to create an impressive mood board that you can save and share with friends and clients alike.
04. Gimme Bar
The developers of app Gimme Bar describe it as 'The fifth greatest invention of all time'. We're not sure about that but it's certainly an extremely useful tool for organising everything you find and want to save on the web. Gimme Bar allows you to create collections of bookmarks, including the facility to take entire screenshots, which is perfect if you want to show your team or clients examples of similar styles or colours. This is a great app for keeping everything that inspires you in one place.
MURAL describes offers easy and user-friendly way for creative teams to think, imagine and discuss their design ideas. It'll cost you $12/month, but there's a free trial available if you don't want to commit just yet.
06. The Matboard
Image sharing site The Matboard is specifically targeting creatives as an alternative to the more mainstream Pinterest. Check out our in-depth review of what it has to offer.
Ever considered using the Evernote notetaking app to create mood boards? Us neither, but it can be done. This blog post by Julie Gomoll explains exactly how.
PatternTap is a one-stop shop for user interface inspiration. It was created by the good people at ZURB to help web designers collaborate and feed off each others' ideas – as they point out on their website, designers don't design in a vacuum. This tool aims to help designers understand what UI patterns work well and why.
This free tool for creating fashion collages enables you to create mood boards from text and graphics you find on the web. There's a good video tutorial explaining how to use it here.
Upload your images to this digital mood board creation tool and organise them into project files, then use the web editor to easily pull together design trends and colour schemes. The mood boards you create can be shared on various social media sites and easily imported into documents and presentations. A range of mood board themes are available to get you started.
What do you use for your mood boards? Share your tips with the design community in our comments section below.