Making a Mood Board for your Site or Brand

Making a Digital Mood Board

Ok folks, today I’m going to change your life – especially if you are like me and find making mood boards on Pinterest less than satisfying and difficult to turn into a productive branding tool. We’re still going to use Pinterest, but we’re going to turn it into a visual branding magic wand and it’s so, so easy.

Why Make a Mood Board?

A mood board allows you to explore aesthetic elements of your site such as color, texture, patterns, photography style, typography, and overall vibe and look of your site without going through the exhausting iterative process of making a few (or more..) changes, seeing how you like it, lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum. By making my own personal mood board I was able to see immediately that there was a common theme in terms of textures, colors, and style that I totally wasn’t hitting with my original design when I first started this site (and because of that I’m still going back through to make everything cohesive). Doing this early on in any original or redesign process is going to make the final product much easier to reach and also more satisfying in the long run.

Using Pinterest for Mood Boards

A lot of people will recommend you use Pinterest to make a mood board, and it’s not terrible advice but it’s also not super helpful to people who aren’t gifted with inborn design talent (like myself). I have a hard time taking a bunch of things I liked that I pinned on this massive scrolling page and figuring out what the common denominators are. That is, I did have this problem, until now…

PinCo Collage Maker Makes Mood Boards Easy

While I was thinking about mood boards and how to best explain to my friends how to create their own for the sites they were building, I had a thought, “Why hasn’t someone made a web app that would turn Pinterest boards into actual collages instead of my lazy butt having to download all these pictures and make one in another program?”. I realized it was a good idea, which probably meant someone else had already done it because I’m rarely the first person to think of something, and sure enough there it was! PinCo is a Google Chrome extension that is available for FREE in the Chrome Web Store, so I’ll wait while you pop on over to download it.

Ok, glad you’re back! So here’s how it works in 3-ish easy steps:

  1. build your Pinterest board chockablock full of pictures you like for your brand – look for colors, photography styles, textures, patterns, etc that you like. Don’t think about it too much, this is really a first pass run. Don’t forget to check out those suggested pins below the things you pin for more options!
  2. Once your board is “done” and you’re on the board’s page, click the “PC” (that’s PinCo) button that is now living on your chrome dashboard. You’ll be rewarded with a page similar to this (though with different pictures obviously): PinCo Collage Maker
  3. Editing the collage from here is a simple matter of drag and drop! Every single image from the board will be available in the slider at the top of the page, and it randomly populates images into the original collage. You can also change the size of the collage, the size of the tiles, add a custom color border between images, and apply an overall filter to all of your images from a list of presets. When you’re happy with it click download!

Word of Warning: changing any of the size options or reloading the page (or clicking the “random” button) will change the photos so don’t wait to download till it is “perfect” – I’d recommend downloading a couple of versions until you’re satisfied. You also can’t change the dimensions of the individual tiles either so don’t get too twisted about it.

The free version downloads with the PinCo logo in the top left, but a little post-download editing took care of that for me ;). Of course, you can always go pro (it’s $5.99) and get it watermark free and higher quality downloads. Here’s the one I created for myself just so you can see what it looks like.

AdrianneElayne redesign moodboard

After I made my mood board I used a color-picker tool to pull out some common colors and create a custom color palette, but that’s a story for another day.