How To Make A Mood Board In Canva (Step By Step)

Do you need to create a proposal for a creative project but don’t have time to learn complicated design software? Good news! You can easily make a mood board in Canva. 

A mood board will display your project’s style, theme, and emotion so everyone involved can be on the same page. Creating an effective mood board used to take a lot of work. You would need to learn color theory, how to correctly pair fonts, and have a ton of graphic design knowledge. 

With this guide, you won’t need any of that. I’ll show you what websites you can use to fast-track the process. Plus, you’ll learn to take a mood board template and make it your own. 

What Are The Key Elements Of An Effective Mood Board?

Mood boards are a great way to visually communicate ideas, allowing designers and creative professionals to represent your desired aesthetic visually. It’s also a great way to decide on an aesthetic for your home renovations or wedding photography.

An effective mood board should be organized and visually appealing, with carefully chosen elements that have been thoughtfully arranged and combined to create an overall look and feel.

Here are the four critical elements for creating an effective mood board: 

1. Consistent Color

Using similar colors in your mood board creates a cohesive look and feel. This will make it easier to observe how each distinct component collaborates in an overall design.

Understanding what makes some colors work with others can take years to comprehend. Thankfully, Canva has a separate page to make picking out your colors much easier. 

Go to Canva’s Color Wheel page to let Canva help you pick out your colors. 

The color wheel is the first thing to consider when using this site. Paste the hex code in the Pick A Color box or click anywhere on the color wheel to pick your starting color. 

The first thing you notice is the big circle on the color wheel. The big circle is the color you’ve chosen, which is your primary color

The smaller circle is a secondary color that matches your primary color. 

The most important setting on this page is the Choose A Color Combination setting. Click on the drop-down menu to see all of your color-matching options. 

By default, Complementary will be selected. You’ll want to choose Monochromatic, Analogous, or Tetradic for your mood board so that your hues are closer together. 

Experiment with these settings as much as you need to for your design. 

Also, if you click on one of the colors, you’ll find even more settings you can play around with. 

Once you have your colors picked out, click Export Palette. Then, choose the PDF option. 

You’ll be prompted to save this PDF to your computer. Click the Save button to do so. You can import this PDF into Canva later. 

2. A Specific Typography Style

Fonts play an integral role in any mood board. Not only do they assist in setting the correct tone and emotion, but they also make your boards look more professional or playful. 

If you’re not good at picking out fonts, don’t worry. You can go to the Fontpair website and let them pick your fonts. 

Once you open the website, click on Parings at the top of the page. 

You can now scroll down the long list of font pairings to see which fonts work the best for your design. Most of these fonts will be Google fonts, which are the same fonts you’ll find in Canva. 

There’s an even better way of using this site to pick out your fonts that I’ll fill you in on later in this article. 

3. Clearly Displays A Unified Creative Concept Or Feeling For A Project

An effective mood board should clearly display a unified message that reflects the desired feeling, look, or concept. It should include a blend of images, colors, fonts, textures, and patterns that evoke the desired emotion and style. 

An effective mood board should also include words and phrases to help define the message so there is no misunderstanding of the overall concept.

4. Uses Patterns & Textures Related To The Primary Color Palette

Adding patterns and textures is an essential element to consider as well. Texture can create a more natural and tactile atmosphere, making it more inviting and comfortable. 

Think about textures like wood, marble, fabric, and paper for your mood board. Sometimes you can find a background image that will provide enough texture to the design. 

How To Make A Mood Board In Canva

Now that you know the concepts of creating an effective mood board, you can start creating your own. This part of the guide will cover finding a good template, picking your colors and fonts, and exporting the design to your computer. 

Step 1: Search For A Mood Board Template

The easiest way to get started on a mood board is to use a template found in Canva. 

On the Canva home page, search for Mood Board in the search bar. 

You will find over ten thousand different templates to choose from. 

If you need even more options, you can search for Photo Collage. Photo Collage will bring up thousands more templates to choose from if you need them. You’ll find more square-shaped templates with this search.  

Once you’ve found a template you want to use, click on it, then select Customize This Template. Your template will open up in a new tab. 

Step 2: Replace All Of The Template Images 

Now that you have your template, it’s time to change all the imagery. 

You can source images from stock photo sites such as Unsplash or Pixabay or images from Canva itself. 

To source images from Canva, click Elements, then search for the theme of your mood board in the search bar. Select the Photos tab to see all the images available for your theme. 

When you find an image that works, drag the picture from the Side Panel onto one of the images on the template. The new photo will usually replace the old image perfectly.  If not, you can always double-click the picture, then adjust it.  

You can also add photos to Canva to use on the mood board.

Repeat this same process with each image on your template. 

Once the main photos are replaced, it’s time to replace the background image. 

To find a good background image, search for Background in the Side Panel. From here, you can browse through all the available backgrounds. 

You can also set a filter in the options menu to make things easier for you. To do this, click the Options button next to the search bar. 

With the options menu open, click on one of the colors at the top of the Side Panel. This will show you all the background images that will match the color scheme you’re going for with the mood board. 

If you can’t find the right color, click the Add A New Color button, then find the color you need with the Color Picker. Or, if you know the hex code you’re looking for, you can input it in the Hex Code box. Click Apply when ready. 

In the Side Panel, you’ll find all the background images available with the color you’ve chosen. 

Click on the background that works for you to add it to the canvas. 

Your background image will be added on top of everything else on your canvas. Right-click, then select Replace Background

Your background image will now fit perfectly behind all your other elements. Also, you won’t have to worry about accidentally selecting it, as the image is now automatically locked. 

Step 3: Add Your Color Palette Swatches 

Establishing a color palette is one of the most important aspects of a mood board. Once you’ve selected your color palette, you can represent those colors with easily assessable swatches. 

To create your swatches, click Elements, then scroll down to the Lines & Shapes section. Click on See All to browse all of your options. 

The most common shape for a swatch is a square. The second most common is a circle. You can use whatever shape fits your tastes. 

Click on the shape to add it to your Canvas. Don’t worry about the color of the shape yet. 

With the shape on your board, decide where it would best fit your overall design. Resize the shape to fit in that area. Make sure to leave plenty of room for more swatches.  

The easiest way to add more swatches is to click on your first swatch to select it, then in the mini options bar, click on the Duplicate button. This will create an exact copy of your first swatch. 

Make as many duplicates as needed, and line them up as neatly as possible. 

To change the colors of your swatches, go to Canva’s Color Wheel site and use the tips explained at the beginning of this article to find the perfect color scheme for your mood board.  Export your color scheme as a PDF to your hard drive

Next, drag your color scheme PDF into Canva. In the Side Panel, click Embed Design. This will send the PDF to your Canvas. 

With the color scheme PDF on your Canvas, you can now use those colors to change the swatches on the board. 

To do this, click on your first swatch to select it, then click the Color Picker button at the top of the screen. Then, click the Add A New Color button in the Side Panel. 

After clicking the Add A New Color button, you can access the Eyedropper Tool. Click on the Eyedropper Tool, then click the first color on the PDF. This will change the color of your first swatch to the first color on the PDF. 

Repeat this same process with the rest of the swatches in your design. 

Also, you won’t need the PDF anymore. Click on the PDF to select it, then press Delete to remove it. 

Step 4: Add Your Font Pairing 

The next most important aspect to add to your mood board is the fonts you want to use. 

Before picking out your fonts, put some text down on your canvas. To do this, select the Text button, then click Add A Text Box. Alternatively, you can also click on a specific size for your text block. 

Once you have a text block on the canvas, double-click it to add your own message. 

Make sure to add at least two different text blocks to showcase two different fonts. 

To find the best pairing of fonts, click on your first text block, then click on the Font drop-down menu. Choose the best font for your mood board from the Side Panel. 

Once you’ve picked a font for your first text block, go to the Fontpair website. Click on the Pairings tab at the top of the page, then search for the font you used. 

Once you find the font you’re looking for, you’ll see a secondary font paired with it.

Back in Canva, select the second text block, then click the Font drop-down menu. Scroll down until you find the secondary font you discovered on Fontpair. 

You now have two different fonts that pair together perfectly. 

Step 5: Export Your Mood Board To Your Computer 

Your mood board is complete, and the only thing left to do is to save it to your computer. 

First, click the Share button in the top right corner, then select Download

To save your mood board to your computer with the best resolution, select PNG under File Type. If you need to save space and don’t mind a lower resolution, choose JPEG

Under Select Pages, select the Current Page or All Pages if you have multiple mood boards. Then click Download

Your mood board will now be exported to your computer. 

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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