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Here's a quick, and I hope impartial, overview of some tools that you might find useful in creating your mood boards. Each has its pros and cons and each uses a slightly different approach with different terminology. Let's begin with one that I'm sure you've already heard of, Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual bookmarking tool. It allows you to capture, or pin, anything you find interesting, adding captions as you do so. Content will most likely come from other Pinterest boards, or from web pages.
But you can also upload your own images. On the plus side, you may already be a Pinterest user, so there's no learning curve. Pinterest is free, easy, and fun to use. There's a Pinterest app for tablets and smartphones, so you can view and update your boards while on the move. To making pinning easier, you can install free bookmarklets for popular browsers. You can choose who can pin to the boards you create, making Pinterest a useful collaborative tool.
If you don't want others to see your board, you can make it secret. A downside of Pinterest for making mood boards, is that you cannot rearrange or scale the items on a board. Similar to Pinterest, but with more of a design focus, is The Matboard. You can create Matboards to which you mat items you like. Either from existing Matboard collections, and these collections are organized around themes like typography or infographics, or from other user's Matboards, or from any web page.
As with Pinterest, it's a free service. You just need to register. There's a bookmarklet that you can add to the bookmarks bar of your browser, making it easier to mat items. Currently, it's not possible to rarrange the order of items on your board. Nor, to change the size of those items. Musepeak is a design collaberation tool. That, among other things, allows you to create mood boards. Once you create the project, you can invite your client or your design team to collaborate.
Musepeak does allow you to rearrange the items in your project. Musepeak is a paid service, but there is a free 30 day trial. Mural.ly calls its mood boards murals. And to these murals, you can add your images. Which you can then position and scale as you see fit. You also have the option of including video. You can invite others to collaborate on your mural. There is a pro account, but the basic service is free.
And there's a very handy tutorial video. There's also the more old school approach of creating mood boards in InDesign, or any page layout program. Having downloaded images from Google images and other sources, you can use bridge to sort the images and then place them into inDesign where they can be arranged and scaled at will. You can set up a template with image frames that have predetermined fitting options to speed up this process. There's no right or wrong way to assemble your mood board.
And, the best tool for the job, is the one that you feel most comfortable with. So, take an hour or so to review these services and find out which one is going to work best for you.
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