Why You Should Be Using Mockups (+ How to Start!)

Branding mockups elevate your design, help sell your concepts to your current clients and help you attract more clients. Here's how to use them correctly...

October 23, 2019

Let’s be real, presenting your design concept(s) to clients is nerve-racking. I used to get such anxiety waiting with anticipation to hear back and dreading feedback. Years of experience have taught me that the way I present my designs can totally change the way I receive feedback. Enter: Mockups!

Mockups are a great way to add an extra flair to your design presentations. Mockups elevate your design and helps your client visualize in context what their brand may look like. Unfortunatley most clients cannot imagine let’s say, a flat logo (as beautiful as it may be) on their website, or a menu or anywhere else. Presenting your work nowadays is all digital, and it’s your job to SELL IT. Mockups help set the tone and get a client excited for the possibilities of their brand — they are able to see what it will look like in the wild!

Mockups Elevate Your Design Projects

Mockups are simply magical! And they don’t have to be super intricate and fancy either (more on that later!). They will just help you set the tone and get a client excited! Think of it this way… people eat with their eyes first right? So chefs all around the world create not only food, but works of art on a plate. Food is still delicious, but it entices and connects with the customer first visually. The same goes for mockups! The impact your logo design will have on a client is higher on a mockup than on a flat white background. A well rounded presentation should always include both.

Mockups Help You Attract Your Ideal Client

I know firsthand the power that mockups hold. Whether you are creating a personal passion project, or updating your portfolio, using mockups will help set yourself apart. When you share your work with mockups on social media (like Instagram or Pinterest) you will stand out and attract clients that are looking for that aesthetic (yours!). These mockups are just another way that you can sell your work and yourself.

How to Use Mockups The Right Way

There are many ways to use mockups and like everything else, I believe the simpler the better. Minimalism is key. Because after all, they are mockups! Sometimes you can run the risk of them looking a little fake and this may turn people off. Other times I’ve seen flat lay mockups that are oversaturated with objects like coffee cups, florals, papers, tech, and all sorts of stuff where the actual design gets lost! You want to keep it simple and let your designs shine and be the star. Take the photo on this post! It’s clean and gets the point across while selling the design. There is only one small flower as an accent that makes sense with the brand.

The 2 Mockups You Should Always Have

I believe that having 3-6 mockups in your arsenal ready to go is being smart! There are plenty of mockups online, some are free and others have a fee. What I did was to scour the internet to find the mockups that fit my brand and that where versatile enough that I could use them time and time again without it looking similar. You also want to consider the type of work you do and what you need. For example, if you’re a website designer you may need some tech and laptop mockups, or if you’re a packaging designer, maybe some boxes, tags etc… But here are the essential 2 that you should always have:

1. Papers/Print mockups with various sizes so you can play around with it (this one is my favorite and the one I currently use).
2. A tech bundle with laptops, iphones and ipads (I use this one).

My Favorite Mockup Resources

No matter what your budget is, I really think that investing in mockup is a smart business move. It will help you get better feedback on projects as well as wow your clients. Here is a list of resources where you can find some of my favorite mockups to elevate your design. Remember to try and choose mockups that look simple and high-quality (if you go the free route).

Graphic Burger (free option!)
Creative Market (I like OctoberNovember but you can find so many other studios that sell here).
Moyo Studio
Pixeden (not my fav, but you can find some hidden gems!)

Have you used mockups before? Let me know in the comments!

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