A mood board is a collection or collage of images, illustrations, text, and other visual elements brought together on a single canvas to give an overall look to a project. They also help to brainstorm any idea.
Some prefer to make a moodboard with a free-form style, which works more like mind-mapping or brainstorming. Others have a more defined style, where your visuals are laid out in a neat collage. No matter what you prefer, these free mood board sites and apps will make it easy to create one, even if it’s your first time.
1. Go Moodboard (Web): Fast Free Collage Style Mood Board Maker
Go Moodboard is the fastest way to create a professional looking mood board collage and share it with others. The website does not require you to register to use it. Choose a blank mood board to start with or select one of the templates to inspire you when creating your mood board.
Then upload all the images you want to add to your mood board. Go Moodboard will automatically arrange them into a beautiful collage, regardless of size or orientation. You can also add comments to any image.
When you’re done, share the URL with someone else so they can view your mood board. Comments appear when the recipient hovers over an image. From the original computer, you can edit this mood board later.
2. Visualist (web): mood board without inscription with background removal
Visualist is an extremely simple mood board maker that is completely free and contains no ads. You can use it without creating an account and export your mood board in PNG, JPG or PDF format. Of course, if you decide to sign up, you can save moodboards to your account to access them later.
The web application gives you an unlimited canvas where you can upload images from your hard drive. You will need to install the Chrome extension if you want to add items while browsing. You can quickly save any image from a web page to your Visualist board (as long as you are logged in).
You can resize, crop and lock any image. Visualist also has smart AI to remove background from any image. As you can see in the screenshot above, it works pretty well.
Once you’ve uploaded your images to Visualist, you can choose to keep a free-form style or have the app automatically arrange the images in a grid. Depending on your choice, the “Tidy Up” tool will arrange them in clusters, rows or columns,
To download: Visualist for Chromium (Free)
3. Ledavio design (Web): Freeform Mood Board with Robust Image Search
Like Visualist, Ledavio Design is a free-form mood board creator on an unlimited canvas. Before jumping into the app, check out the team’s two blog posts at how to create mood boards and how to use them in graphic design projects. These are insightful articles for beginners to learn what makes a good mood board and how to implement it into your work scenarios.
Once you sign up for Ledavio Design, the mood board app is quite intuitive. You can add a new image by uploading it from your hard drive or by searching the best websites for royalty-free images. Images load within the Ledavio app itself, so you never have to leave the window. Similarly, you can also search for icons and clip art.
Besides photos and illustrations, you can also add stylized text headers, text boxes with larger text frames, and sticky notes with comments. You can add up to 10 items in the free account. Each element of the canvas has customization options and you can freely resize or move them. Ledavio can also automatically arrange items in a grid, where you choose the number of columns from two to seven.
You can share a Ledavio mood board with others, which is great for customers. The free account allows any registered user to add two “clients”, start two “projects” per client, and create two “mood boards” per project. So that’s a total of eight moodboards with the free account, which you can upgrade to remove all restrictions.
4. moodzer (Web): Free Collage-Style Mood Boards with Image Editing
If you want to quickly create a collage of images to use as a mood board, look no further than Moodzer. You can upload the images from your hard drive and the web app will arrange them in a nice grid.
You are free to adjust this grid as you wish. You can resize all images, replace them or change their order with simple mouse gestures. You can also edit each image individually. Rotate or flip the image, add one of five filters and adjust hue, brightness, contrast or saturation. You can also add text to the image, placing it anywhere with customizable fonts, colors and sizes.
You can keep the default white background or switch to another color in the main grid. You can also add a color swatch to your grid instead of an image if you’re trying to give visual options. Moodzer also lets you set the size of gutters between images.
Once you’re done, give the board a title and description, and you’re ready to upload it. The free account has some limitations. Moodzer allows a maximum of 20 images, up to 2MB each. The uploaded file will have the board title and you are limited to a single board, unlike the unlimited boards in the Pro version.
5. Milanote (Web, Chrome): Most Powerful Online Mood Board Creator
There’s no two ways about it, Milanote is the most powerful online mood board maker, and it’s frankly surprising that it’s free. But it may be better for advanced users and those who are used to creating mood boards regularly, rather than for beginners.
Milanote lets you create free-form mood boards on a blank canvas and automatically arrange them if you want them sorted into columns and rows. You can add images from your hard drive or search for Unsplash images directly from the Milanote app. Besides images, Milanote also supports videos, animated GIFs, color swatches, design files, and other custom uploads.
It also has some cool tricks for collaborations. For example, you can invite anyone to your Milanote mood board to contribute or share the board as a private, read-only link. You can also add tasks to a mood board with a custom to-do list widget, which also supports due dates, and you can assign tasks to collaborators.
Milanote offers a range of templates for different types of common mood boards. If you choose to use a template, you can keep the original images and replace them or keep their outlines while adding your content.
Milanote also doubles as a tool to overcome writer’s block and a way to visually organize bookmarks. This wide range of features makes us think that you might want to try the other, simpler mood board makers first, and if you find the ones limiting, then switch to Milanote.
To download: Milanote for Chromium (Free)
With Mood Boards, less is more
It’s tempting to turn your nose up at limitations like 10 images in a mood board and opt for premium plans or unlimited apps. But the secret to making a picture of good humor is not to add to it; it is to be selective and focused.
Most designers advise following the “less is more” principle, in which you should try to limit yourself to a few keyframes. Some of the best mood boards contain only five to six images, with a few color swatches alongside. Clarity is more important than variety.
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