How to Make a Mockup (For Free & Without Photoshop)

How to Make a Mockup (For Free & Without Photoshop)
Heleana Tiburca

Written by:
Heleana Tiburca

Aug 23, 2021
An illustration showcasing a variety of different types of mockups.

An amazing idea has come to your mind that you want to make a product mockup for, but there’s a problem. You don’t have Adobe Photoshop, let alone do you know how to create a mockup with such an advanced program. 

Luckily, there’s a solution for non-designers with bright ideas: using an intuitive drag-and-drop mockup generator that’s easy to navigate — Visme.

In this mockup tutorial, you’ll learn:

  • The most popular types of mockups, including device mockups, packaging mockups, social media mockups, product mockups and more
  • How to create product mockups from scratch
  • How to use amazing mockup templates

By the end of it, you’ll be equipped with all the necessary skills to create a professional and realistic mockup quickly and easily.

So let’s jump right in!


Table of Contents


Because there are endless amounts of ideas from creatives, there can also be endless types of mockups. Anything you can imagine can also be created firstly as a realistic mockup. 

Why should you create a product mockup? 

Creating a realistic mockup is a great way to pitch an idea to potential investors or buyers and help them get an idea of what you want to create, without having the tangible product in hand.

By creating a product mockup, you will save lots of time and investment money before you’re ready to commit to the real thing.

Before we get into our mockup tutorial, let’s talk about the most popular mockup types and see which one will suit you and your idea best. 

Some of the most popular mockup types include:

  • Device Mockups
  • Branding Mockups
  • Packaging Mockups
  • Print Mockups
  • Product Mockups
  • Social Media Mockups

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into each mockup category and see what they’re good for.

Device mockups are great for visualizing your product, new design, UX or service on different tech devices, such as on a tablet, mobile device, Macbook, laptop, desktop or other devices created by Windows, Android and Apple. 

These are great for SaaS and tech companies, as well as businesses wanting to get a more realistic vision of their product on a tech device.

Branding mockups allow you to get a visual of what your logo and branding elements will look like when they’re placed on brochures, business cards, notebooks, etc.

They’re great for helping plan and readjust branding design and seeing how it will look on a physical object.

Packaging mockups bring your packaging design to life and showcase what it will look like when placed on a box, paper bag, bottle, container and more. 

Did you know that according to this survey conducted by IPSOS,  your packaging will directly affect the buying decision of 72% of American consumers?

Creating a packaging mockup will help you significantly in seeing the impact your design will have on your customers.

Print mockups are great for seeing what your design will look like on various flyers, postcards, book covers and any type of literature you can think of.

Before investing a large sum of money into printing out your flyers and other literature, you can see exactly what it will look like and prevent any small mistakes from being printed.

Product mockups are probably the most diverse category of mockups. Here, you can create anything from hoodie mockups, t-shirt mockups and apparel mockups, to tote bag mockups, toy mockups and any other design mockup that comes to your mind.

Product mockups are a fantastic way of seeing what your product will look like before investing in product creation.

Another bonus is that you can see what your product will look like in real life, instead of just imagining it in your head. You’ll then be able to readjust any design flaws you see on the mockup before creation.

Social media mockups can be used to create and visualize posts and pages for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as YouTube video thumbnails.

Social media mockups will help brand owners and designers visualize what their future feed will look like during content planning. 

Visme’s free mockup generator has mockup templates for all of the above-mentioned categories that are ready for you to use right now. 

Stick around to the end to see some of our favorite customizable mockup templates that you can get started with immediately!

Now that you know the most popular types of mockups and have picked out the one that will best suit your needs, let’s talk about how you can create your own mockup in minutes!


Step #1: Define Your Mockup’s Objective and Decide on a Mockup Type

Imagine you just came up with a stellar idea for an app. Before you invest time, money and effort into working with developers and designers, you could first create a wireframe for it — then mock up your wireframe to see it in action.

Because your idea is for an app, you might want to create an iPhone mockup or desktop mockup to show what it will look like across devices.

Creating a mockup is a quick and easy way to show investors what you’re wanting to create.

An app mockup template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Let’s take a look at another example.

Say you’re a small business with limited access to funds for new products and professional designers to create those designs.

Before you send off a concept to a merchandising company to print off onto thousands of hats, t-shirts and more, you could first create a product mockup. 

When you use a drag-and-drop mockup generator with product mockup templates, you can quickly drag your design onto a t-shirt mockup template, hoodie mockup templates, etc. 

You’ll then be able to see if your design is too big or too small, and if it meets your product expectation. This will help small business owners make smart investment decisions for future products, and ensure the printers know exactly where your logo needs to be placed on each product.

Another great use for mockups is for advertisers. Renting billboard spaces is not a cheap investment. By using billboard mockups, you can see your design and what it will look like in action.

The same thing goes for social media marketers. If you have a cohesive social media feed, you want to plan out your next posts to make sure they match your branding style. 

You can use social media mockups such as Twitter mockups, Instagram feed mockups and Facebook mockups to see what your feed will look like with your next posts so you don’t mess with the aesthetic you worked so hard to create. 

Your job now will be to define your objective for your mockup, whether that’s to impress investors with a device mockup, to get customers excited about future merch with product mockups or to pick out the right advertisement for your next campaign.

Once you define your mockup objective, you can then pick out an appropriate mockup type and begin the most exciting: creating your mockup. 

The first step to creating an awesome mockup is to use an equally awesome mockup creator. For obvious reasons, we recommend Visme.

A screenshot of the mockup elements you can use in Visme's editor.

Say goodbye to complex editing software — with Visme, you can create your own high-resolution custom mockup with professional results in minutes.

The design process and workflow is simple, but offers enough robust design elements and capabilities to suit both beginner and advanced designers. 

If you’re a beginner designer but still want to create a professional-looking mockup, we recommend starting with a mockup template. 

This is because our mockup templates are created by professional designers and can be fully customized with your design. So you still get the results of a professional designer, without having to invest the hours into learning graphic design and Photoshop. 

You can choose your mockup template according to your mockup objective, as we discussed earlier. 

So if you’re creating an online service or app, then you want to use a device mockup template or wireframe template. But if you want to see what your new design will look like on apparel, then you’ll want to use t-shirt mockup templates and hoodie mockup templates.

A screenshot of the different mockup types available to create with Visme.
Create your own mockup today!Try It For Free

On the other hand, if you’re a more advanced designer or simply like a challenge, you could try to create your mockup from scratch. 

To start your mockup from scratch, choose a stock photo for the background image to suit your situation. For example, if you want to create a coffee mug, maybe choose a stock image with a coffee table or coffee shop in it.

If you want a more minimal design, then you can add a colored background, or spice things up by adding a colored gradient to the background.

Then, you can add your mockup element to your workspace, which we’ll cover more in-depth in the next section.


Step #2: Add Your Mockup Type to Your Design

Once you have your mockup template picked out or have created your background design from scratch, it’s time to add the perfect mockup element to your workspace.

A mockup element is where you’re going to add your visual. This could be a physical product mockup, iPad mockup, mug mockup, billboard mockup, etc.  

You can see examples of mockup elements in a mockup generator in the image below.

A screenshot showing a mockup on a graphic in the Visme editor.

When you find the mockup design you like, simply drag and drop it onto your workspace. You can then adjust the size and placement of your mockup.  It’s truly as simple as that. 

Unlike Adobe Photoshop, you don’t need to convert your mockup images into smart object layers because Visme’s mockup elements take care of everything for you.  

All you have to do is drag and drop your mockup of choice onto your workspace. That’s it!

Now that you’ve got a good base for your mockup design, it’s time to upload your image or design.


Step #3: Upload Your Image or Design and Add it to Your Mockup

Now for the most exciting part of the mockup tutorial: adding your design concept to the mockup template. This is when you’ll see your ideas come to life!

When you use an online mockup maker, you typically can just upload your design into your workspace then drag it into your design.

For example, to upload your design or image in Visme, you just click on Photos, then Upload. You’ll then be prompted to upload files from your computer onto our online mockup generator.

Once you’ve selected and uploaded your file from your computer, you can find it under “My Files” on the left-hand side of the screen. Or to simplify things, you can drag your image on top of the canvas and drop it right into your project.

Now all that’s left to do is drag and drop the image onto the mockup template. In my case, I’ll be dragging two different images onto my iPhone mockup.

A screenshot of images uploaded onto the mockup screens in Visme.

You can then adjust the crop of your original images and readjust them to fit well into the mockup. 

We’re almost finished! Now it’s time for mockup customization and personalization. 

Create stunning mockup designs with Visme.

  • Choose from a variety of different mockup types
  • Upload your own designs to drag onto the mockup element
  • Customize your design to showcase what your website or product will look like in action

Sign up. It's free.


Step #4: Customize Your Mockup Design Until It’s Perfect

The best part about using an intuitive design tool is that not only can you create amazing product renderings, but you can also add so many design elements to your mockup to make it look professional. 

To get a sense of what your product mockup will look like in real-life, you need to customize your design to make it uniquely yours. 

Change out the background color or background image of your mockup, add stock images, add your logo and branding elements, high-quality vector icons and so much more, all through drag and drop functions.

To make your mockup design look professional, you need professional images to do so.

You might not have access to a professional camera or photographer, so your next best option would be having access to millions of stock images.

Visme gives you that option. If you want to access professional stock images for your mockup, click on Photos and type your keyword in the search bar.

A screenshot of a mockup customized with stock photos in Visme's editor.

Scroll through loads of beautiful, high-resolution stock photos until you find the perfect mockup image for your design.

The next design tip we can offer you is to use text to reinforce your ideas, kind of like in a pitch deck. Make sure you choose complementary and appropriate fonts for your mockup to make it look the best.  

To make sure you’re using complementary fonts, you can use a design tool that has font pair templates prepared for you beforehand by professional designers. This way, you can rest assured your mockup looks amazing and professional. Luckily for you, Visme has a variety of pre-selected font pairs that are sure to stand out to your audience.

You may also want to use a mockup generator with animation software so that you can animate anything on your design to truly impress buyers and investors.

By animating your design elements, you give your presentation that extra “oomph” it needs to make it look professional and like you put in a lot of effort. 

To animate any object on your mockup design, select it, click on Actions and then Animate

A timeline will then be opened and you can select your desired animation and duration for the object, as seen in the image above.

Visme also gives you the opportunity to work on the design of your mockup with fellow team members in real-time, which is a real game-changer for remote teams. 

Once you feel like the customization of your product image and mockup is complete, it’s time to download it.


Step #5: Download and Share Your Mockup With The World

Once you’re done with your graphic design masterpiece, it’s time to download it. To maintain the highest amount of pixels and quality, we recommend you download your mockup as a high resolution PNG file. 

Each tool will have its own downloading options, but when you use Visme’s mockup generator, you’ll be met with many different download options for your mockup graphic design.

To download your mockup, click on the download button on the top right of the screen, as seen in the screenshot below.

A screenshot of the ways to download your mockup in Visme.

From here, you’ll have the ability to download your new design as a JPG or PNG file. 

You can also download your mockup as a PDF document, PowerPoint, Keynote or HTML5.

If you used our animation software and added transitions, animations or video elements while creating your custom mockup, then download it as a video or GIF.

When you create product mockups and continually try out different variations, it’s nice to have access to unlimited downloads without a watermark to share with your team. 

Visme gives you that opportunity by offering you both free and premium account options. This way, there’s something just right for everyone.

And that’s it! You’re officially ready to share your mockup design with the world.

It’s really simple when you use an amazing, easy-to-use mockup tool, right?


Mockup Templates

Mockup templates are a great option for those who are new to graphic design. It makes the process of mockup creation go very smoothly and quickly. 

Every mockup template is fully customizable, which means you can add your logo to it, change the fonts and colors, use our millions of high-resolution stock photos, add videos, high-quality vector icons and more.

We have mockup templates for everything. 

So whether you need an iPad mockup, Macbook mockup, iOS device mockups, mobile device mockup,  logo mockup, T-shirt mockup, branding mockup or any other type of mockup template, we’ve got you covered.

Scroll through our templates below and click on the one that catches your eyes to have it automatically opened in the Visme design workspace. Then, create and have your mockup ready within minutes!

Template #1: AI Copywriter Mockup Template

A phone screen mockup template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Mockups are perfect for all kinds of marketing materials, even if you just use it as a supporting design in a social media graphic promoting your business, like we see here.

You can customize this template yourself to include a screenshot of your website or social media feed in the phone screen, or you can simply use a stock photo as we see above to decorate your promo graphic and grab attention.

Template #2: Dress Store Mockup Template

A dress store mockup template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Another way to decorate your mockup is to choose a stock photo as your background, then place your mockup element in an empty area. This makes the design really pop and catch the eyes of your target audience.

Make sure your stock photo fits the content you plan to add into the mockup, like we see in this template above.

Template #3: Interior Design Mockup Template

An interior design mockup template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Use your mockup design to showcase different products or services. This template showcases a photo with different home decor, with prices leading to each one.

Customize this template with a similar idea in mind, or use it to promote your services and their package prices. The possibilities are endless.

Template #4: Healthcare Mockup Template

A healthcare mockup template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

You don't have to limit the number of mockup elements in your design to one. This mockup template has five different screens to really drive the message home.

Use this same technique in your own mockup designs with your own photos or screens, or by searching through Visme's stock photo library to find the best images to bring your message to life.

Template #5: Online Course Mockup Template

A yoga mockup template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Trying to promote your new online course? A mockup is the perfect graphic to help. Like we see in this template, you can easily create a graphic or use the signup page for your course as the image you place within a computer, tablet or smartphone device mockup.

Be sure to add your logo and branding to the graphic, and make sure your design elements match your course topic. Download as a high resolution image and share on social media to get new students to sign up.


Now Over to You

Now that you know how to make a mockup for free, with no stress and without Adobe Photoshop, it’s time for you to wow the world with your big, creative ideas. 

Sign up for Visme’s mockup generator for free today, fall in love with the all-in-one design tool and see just how easy creating mockups can be.

That concludes our mockup creation tutorial. Now, go make your wildest mockup dreams come true.  We believe in you!

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    About the Author

    I’m Heleana and I’m a content creator here at Visme. My passion is to help people find the information they’re looking for in the most fun and enjoyable way possible. Let’s make information beautiful.

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