Mable Tan

DESIGNS

Create mood boards for your collection

What is a mood board?

A mood board or inspiration board is a compilation of photos, typography and illustrations, that serves as a guide when you work on a collection. As a surface designer, mood boards are indispensable to ensure that your collection has a cohesive colour palette and flow to the theme.

The best resources to gather images and ideas is from Pinterest. You can create a board on that platform, or alternatively, you can use a template. I’ve created free download for you, which you can use either on Photoshop or Illustrator.

Step 1: Browse Pinterest for inspiration

This is a fun process! Go online and look for images, typography, and illustrations that you feel is the right fit for your collection.

For example, the theme I’ve chosen for this mood board is ‘Life’s A Party’. This collection will party-oriented. I’m thinking patterns with cakes, balloons, party hats etc.

Save the images as JPEGs (preferably into a folder) onto your computer.

Step 2: Download the template

<< Click here to download the free template. >>

  1. Open the template and all the images you are using in Photoshop.
  2. On your template, find the layer that you want to place the image in, for example Box #5. Each layer is numbered for your convenience.
  3. Drag an image onto your template. Every image will create a new layer for each image.
  4. Place the image directly over Box #5. 
  5. Then, in the layers panel, drag your image layer so that it’s the layer above Layer #5.
  6. Right mouse click on the image layer, and click ‘Create Clipping Mask‘.
  7. The image will now appear only on Box #5. You can now move, edit, and resize the image within that area using the Transform Tool (CMD+T/ Ctrl+T).
  8. Repeat with the remaining boxes.
  9. To customise your Color Palette, select a circle with the Move Tool (V).
  10. Open an image, and use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to pick a color you’d like to use in your collection. It will appear on the Foreground/ Background Color Tool.
  11. Select the Paint Bucket Tool (G) and click on the circle. Select the next circle with the Move Tool (V) and color it like before. Rinse and repeat.
  12. Finally, to hide the numbers, click on the eye next to the Numbers folder.
  1. Open the template in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Go to File > Place and select the images you’d like to use in your mood board.
  3. Select an image and drag it onto a box, for example, Box #1.
  4. Send it all the way to the back, so that the grey box is in front of the image.
  5. Select Box #1 (without the text) and the image, then use your right mouse click and select ‘Make Clipping Mask‘. The image will now appear only on Box #1.
  6. Repeat with the remaining boxes.
  7. To customise your Color Palette, place an image on your document. Select a circle with the Selection Tool (V) and then, use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to pick a color you’d like to use in your collection.
  8. Select the next circle and continue to color it with the Eyedropper Tool.
  9. Finally, select and delete the numbers text.

Image Credit: Rainbow Cake // Pastel Balloons // Pinata Fringe // Pastel Donuts // Rock Candy // Party Hats // Tassels // Hey Sunday // Party Animals

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@mabletandesigns

Hi, I'm Mable! I'm a surface pattern designer and mentor. I'm passionate about sharing my love for designing.

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