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When making mood boards, you might consider making two or three for each project. To help you explore different design options, make a list of adjectives that are not necessarily opposites, but are markedly different from each other. Here's an example. For list number one: modern, man-made, machine, sharp, hard. Number two: organic, soft, natural, elegant, muted. And a third: bright, colorful, playful, illustration, friendly.
But you can have these lists be whatever you want, whatever comes to mind. And when you have those lists, you have something in mind when looking for images. And speaking of images, Google Images is a great resource when making a mood board. Using Advanced Search, you can limit your search results to a specific color and or, type of image. Stock photo libraries are another very useful resource. They allow you to search for images by words, but also by color, type and orientation.
For the purpose of a mood board, a comping image, a free low-resolution watermarked preview is good enough. You can purchase the real image later, if and when the concept is approved. Pinterest is a particularly useful tool when making mood boards. In large part, because someone else has already done the work for you. You can view Pinterest boards created by anyone, and re-pin their items to your own boards.
I'll say more about Pinterest when we look at online mood board tools. But we also want to look beyond the digital realm. For inspiration, look to newspapers, magazines, television, book covers, street art and of course, nature. And it's important that we be taking pictures ourselves. If you see something interesting, snap it. You don't need a high-end camera, and they don't need to be great photos in the traditional sense.
We're just concerned with capturing ideas before they get away from us.
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