Join Sue Jenkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Traditional paper and glue moodboard, part of Moodboards for Web Designers.
- A Traditional Paper and Glue Moodboard is essentially a loose collage that you create with paper, images, and glue to help you capture the mood of a particular project. You can glue any kind of Paper, including Magazine cut-outs, paper Fabric swatches, Ribbon, Washi tapes, stickers, stickers, Stamps, Photos, Printouts of your own pictures, screenshots, and scans, and anything else that you can get your hands on that's flat and glueable.
What makes a traditional paper and glue moodboard special are two things in particular. First, you can create a Freeform layout organically as you go along without any planning or of anything in advance. And this gives the end result of a cool, artsy, one of a kind vibe, that can often capture a mood better than something that's too planned out. And second, because you're using physical materials that can Buildup layers when images overlap your moodboard will take on a tactile feel that you just can't get with a digital moodboard.
By involving another sense that is sight and now touch a paper and glue moodboard can often help a client understand more tangibly the goals of the project. To get started with this type of moodboard you'll need two things: a Surface to glue on and some kind of Adhesive. The Surface can be Bristol board, Drawing paper, Card stock, Foam board, Poster board, Cardboard, Canvas, Canvas paper, Canvas board, Masonite board, or any other portable, reasonably sized surface that you can glue on.
For your adhesive what you choose depends on the thickness of the item you're gluing down and whether or not you'll be bothered by rippling once the adhesive dries. White craft glue, Glue sticks, and Gel medium like Elmer's Glue, Avery Glue Stic, and Golden Gel Medium which is available in matte or glossy are all affordable and super easy to use but they might ripple your glued down objects after drying. Some people like the rippled effect and use it deliberately.
Of course you can avoid rippling all together by using other materials. For ripple-free temporary sticking you can get Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner or use Scotch Removable double-sided tape. For permanent sticking try Scotch acid-free Advanced Tape Glider or ATG if you'll be gluing down lightweight, dimensional embellishments like fabric, lace, ribbon, and die cut tags. You may need a stronger glue like Aleene's Tacky Glue which is a popular crafting adhesive that dries clear.
Another really cool way to create your moodboard is to use Double-sided foam tape and foam dots or squares this can help you create dimensionality with your collage layers which also looks really great when photographed. If you're interested in creating a grungier vibe with your moodboard you can use Masking tape. Or if you like other adhesive materials you can incorporate things into your design like fabric tape, washi tape, Stamps and stickers. All of these items can be purchased at most arts and crafts stores.
The best way to start this kind of moodboard is to write out your goals for the project and create a short list of guiding keywords to keep in mind when selecting the images that will go into your moodboard. For example, if you were going to create a moodboard for a website project for a new high end children's clothing boutique you might create a list of keywords something like this: posh, kids, quirky, unique, special, handmade, urban, intelligent, and creative.
This in turn can better guide you to choose the right elements that meet the projects goals which will likely be to attract new customers and sell more stuff. Once you have your list, start to compile images. Cut them out and begin arranging them in a pleasing manner. When you have your general layout figured out you can start gluing. Or if you're feeling more open to the mood of the moment glue as you go to build a truly unique, one of a kind collage. This type of moodboard requires more time than other hands-on and digital methods because you need to find, cut out, arrange, glue, and dry the board before it's presentable.
And depending on the size you can expect to put in somewhere between one to six hours to complete it. One of the biggest benefits of creating a paper and glue moodboard is that you have a physical, finished piece of work when you're done that you can easily refer to during the work process. If you choose to use foam tape, or foam dots instead of glue your design will have a really nice sense of dimensionality that could photograph more beautifully than a flat, glued design. Also, while perhaps more labor intensive than other moodboard techniques, the paper and glue moodboard may provide a deeper appreciation of your projects goals due in large part to the time and care that you put into selecting the materials that you chose to create it.
In addition to being 100% unique and a reflection of your personal aesthetic, creating traditional paper and glue moodboards is a fun and pleasant analog way to spend an afternoon being creative away from your computer.