Creating a Mood Board with Canva & Coolors

Some time ago I wrote an article called “Creating a Mood Board with Milanote“. I really liked Milanote, but if you use it to make a mood board you do need to find some images to start with.

In this article I want to try some different free online tools so, just for fun, I’m going to create a mood board for a fictional tea room. When doing this, I need to think not about my own personal tastes, but about my target audience. This is particularly important when considering colour schemes. I have some information, and links, in my blog post “Colour Scheme Suggestions“.

The first step is to brainstorm to come up with some words that I can use to search for images:

  • tea
  • tea room
  • teacup
  • teapot
  • china
  • vintage
  • antique
  • lace
  • lace tablecloth
  • delicate
  • pretty
  • cake
  • cupcakes

If I did want to create my mood board in Milanote, or an image editing program on my computer, I could use these words to search for stock photos at somewhere such as Pixabay or RawPixel. But, for this exercise, I’m going to use tools that make it easy to both find and display images.

Brand Keywords

The words above were simply designed to help me search for images, but it might also be an idea to come up with just three or four words or phrases that sum up what your brand stands for. You can keep these in mind when constructing your mood board, and could even add them to the board.

For my teashop example I might choose:

  • elegant
  • refined
  • attention to detail

Pinterest

Pinterest can be a useful way to get inspiration and I already have a Pinterest board that might be relevant. One of the good things about Pinterest is that it suggests new pins which makes it very easy to build up a collection quickly.

Canva Mood Board Templates

As I’m after something a bit more structured, I’m going to use my free account at Canva to create a mood board.

The obvious thing to do is to load one of the pre-built templates.

I chose one of the templates, clicked on the background and changed the colour to white, then chose “Photos” from the sidebar at the left hand side of the screen. I input the search words I’d come up with earlier and scrolled through looking for photos that seemed to work for my concept.

Once I found a likely looking photo, I could drag it into place on the template. Once there, double clicking on a photo allowed me to move into a better position.

I was looking for photos that seemed to work well together, but I tried not to spend too long deciding on each one. I could always keep refining the collection and replacing photos until I had a cohesive looking display.

Next, I clicked on the text to change the font, and edited the wording to remind me of the fonts used. Alternatively, I could have added my brand keywords here.

My mood board still had the colour swatches from the template that I’d used, so I clicked on each coloured square to change the colour.

I have a tool on my PC called “Instant Eyedropper” which enables me to copy the hex code of any colour on my screen.

An alternative would be ColorZilla.

I changed the colours of all the squares, and the text, then downloaded my final result.

Finding Colours from a Photo – Canva

If you don’t have a handy eyedropper tool, then it might be much easier to create a photo collage and then automatically extract some of its colours, and Canva has a tool that will do this.

You could either use a mood board template as before, and delete the colour swatches, or just use one of Canva’s photo collage templates, or grids.

I created a photo collage, using this grid and downloaded it. Then I went to Canva’s Color Palette Generator and uploaded my collage image. This automatically created a colour scheme for me.

Finding Colours from a Photo – Coolors

Since the Canva generator hadn’t given me any control over the colours it picked, I decided to try the same thing with Coolors’ version.

Moving the coloured spots across the photo allowed me to decide which colours to pick, rather than having the decision made for me, as with Canva, and I could also create and export a collage.

Once I have created a mood board, I can use it to make sure that anything else I produce, e.g. a website, poster or business card, fits with the overall feel of my brand.


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