If you’ve perused any Behance profile or graphic design blog, you’ve encountered the exciting tool called the “mockup.” They range from billboard signs to coffee cups to every iPhone generation. But even though they are easy to be seen, not all designers utilize them and are missing out on some amazing benefits of using mockups.
They are ideal to use down the homestretch of your creative process for these four reasons:
1. Allows you to troubleshoot.
This is before you present final files to your clients. It’s common to become so immersed in your design that you lose sight of its functionality in a real-world setting. Plugging your designs into mockups can help you troubleshoot issues with your designs. You might realize when using a billboard mockup that a line of text is proportionally off. Or the logo you designed doesn’t translate well to greyscale. I’ve seen many “logofolios” that are busting at the seams with logos on a plain white background, stretched across the width of my screen. But in actuality, very few of the logos are truly functional. The use of a mockup can help gain proper perspective on your designs.
2. Helps clients visualize designs.
I often forget that the people I work with aren’t always as visually-driven as I am. I can explain an idea for a design and perfectly see it form in my mind, but that doesn’t mean they’re seeing it the same way. Using a mockup is ideal for allowing the client to see your designs functioning without actually physically producing anything. And if you have a client that insists on pursuing a certain path that won’t work, a mockup is great to show them why it wouldn’t make sense or isn’t plausible.
3. Increases professionalism.
Like stated in the previous point, not everyone can look at a design and visualize it in action. Using mockups in your portfolio and your website allows your work to shine and show people what you’re truly capable of. Mockups let you expand projects without the expense, such as showcasing an entire ad campaign without ever paying a cent for prints and billboards and the works. Using mockups to flesh out your work increases your value and your quality.
4. Gives the opportunity to upsell.
Mockups are fantastic for showing clients where you can take a project. If you’ve designed a logo, spend a little extra time to create a business card design and mock it up. Then pitch an expanded project scope to a client. Seeing your designs in action is an easier sell than asking your clients to imagine what you can do. I suggest doing this for additional designs that would take minimal time, in case they opt not to expand the project.
Whether you do digital or print design, there are mockups available for whatever you need, and are a fantastic addition to your creative process. To find some, you can check out my store here, places like Creative Market, or a specific Google search for whatever your mockup needs are!