Mood Boards

Mood Boards are displays of visual reference that show multiple images together allowing for the elements to create a synthesis of aesthetics (a.k.a. “Mood”). These can be created in many different ways but usually contain  a variety of image types, from photography, typography, texture photos and colour inspiration. A mood board should help you establish a colour scheme, an image spectrum, and a layout plan. Think of it as a story and your images as narrative elements (characters, setting, dialogue, situations).

Remember, a mood board is not a recipe – it should only inspire the desire to synthesize the elements into something new yet familiar.

Where do you find this inspiring content? The links below are a good start.

Below are some samples of diverse mood boards. Try to imagine what the synthesis of the visual elements might produce for different applications (e.g. logo, brochure, web banner etc.)

GD 101 – Shape Transformation

The students of GD 101 were asked to create a series of compositions representing the concepts Calm, Energy, Fun and Tension. Read the brief here.

Classical Elements – GD 216 ’18 Abbotsford

The students in GD 216 Illustration I were asked to create an set of illustrations representing the classical elements, Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Read the brief here.

After Effects Kinetic Typography Tutorials

In this series of tutorials we’ll go through the entire process of creating a kinetic typography video in After Effects. We’ll start by creating a storyboard in Photoshop and then creating graphic assets in Illustrator. We’ll then look at the best way to import those assets into After Effects. From there we’ll complete the animation in AE, where we’ll discuss workflow and important concepts like syncing audio and nesting animations. Download the source files and follow along.

There a many tutorials online as well. Here is just one of the better ones.

Conceptual Portrait – IDES 237 ’18

Here are the wonderful portraits created by the students in IDES 237 Digital Illustration. Here is the project brief.

After Effects Online Tutorials

There are so many great After Effects tutorials online that its a real challenge to edit them down to just a short list. The following are just a few of my favourites.

School of Motion

One the best websites and youtube channels for learning motion design.

Video Copilot

The grand-daddy of motion graphics and visual effects tutorials, Video Copilot has written the book on how do things with After Effects.
Their beginner tutorial series is a great place to start.

Envato Tuts+

For the novice to intermediate After Effects user. These guys have been around for a long time. High quality video instruction makes these tutorials easy to follow.

Mt. Mograph

Mt. Mograph is a Youtube channel that covers some big concepts. It is also the source of one of the best AE plugins, Motion2. Here is a tutorial about how to use the Motion2.


This Youtube channel includes a 4 part series that shows how to use easing to create dynamic and expressive kinetic typography.


Skillshare has many After Effects tutorials series that go into some detail about how to achieve many different effects. This is a paid site, however I think it’s worth every penny.

Okay Samurai

This is Adobe’s Character Animator tutorial Youtube channel.

I will be adding to this list. As well please send me your suggestions for great tutorials.


Children’s Book Illustration – GD 216 ’18

The students in Illustration I were asked to adapt a classic story or fairytale to tell an original and contemporary visual story. Here is the brief for this project.