What Is a Mockup & Why Do You Need One

What Is a Mockup & Why Do You Need One
Caleb Bruski

Written by:
Caleb Bruski

Oct 12, 2021
An illustration of a mockup on multiple screens.

Creating professional-looking mockups is a crucial task for any marketer or business owner. This is because mockups help communicate your product design ideas with co-workers, investors or clients in a visual way. And they’re also incredible visual marketing tools.

But what is a mockup exactly and how can you create one if you’re not a professional designer? Well, we have the answers to all of that.

In this article, we’ll cover what a mockup is, different types of mockups, why mockups are important and more.

We have a lot of material to cover here, so let’s get right into it.

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.

 

What Is a Mockup?

A mockup is an artistic rendering of a design or product that showcases said product in action. A mockup can be a model, image or scene of a proposed design or product, and they’re often used for demonstration, education or promotion. 

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

The concept of mockups has been around forever and can be created in many forms, such as being hand-drawn or physically constructed. 

But nowadays — big thanks to technology — you don’t need to be a professional artist or spend countless hours drawing up your mockup. 

You can now create a mockup within minutes and save precious time, energy and money by creating your mockup quickly with an online tool.

By using mockups, you can avoid unspoken assumptions and confusion by solidifying with your coworkers and clients, in detail, what the finished product or design will or could look like before you even begin the actual creation process.

You can also use mockups to share product ideas or renderings with customers so they have a better idea of what they’re buying before they make a purchase.

If you’re interested in how you can make a professional mockup in just a few easy steps, we have an entire guide dedicated to the subject.

 

Types of Mockups 

Across all industries, mockups are useful and informative for product visualization before production. 

Because of the large variations in industry needs, there are many different types of mockups, such as print mockups, branding mockups, product mockups and more. 

We’re going to do a deep dive into some of the most common types of mockups so you can see which one will best suit your industry’s needs.

Print Mockups

An example of a print mockup of a magazine.

A print mockup is a photorealistic rendering of potential print material and can be used to visualize how it will look after being printed.

By creating a print mockup, you can visualize your design on flyers, banners, postcards and nearly any other printed material. 

Aside from verifying the overall design layout, print mockups can help verify the legibility of the font size prior to printing.

Print mockups can save you time, stress, money and even help save the environment by testing and sampling design ideas. 

Furthermore, print mockups are perfect for creating visuals of your lead magnets, ebooks and other printable marketing materials. Don’t use a boring screenshot of your cover page; instead, create an eye-catching mockup that increases downloads and lead generation.

Device Mockups

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

A device mockup is a photo rendering of an electronic device where the screen of the device, such as a phone, tablet, computer screen or smartwatch, can be replaced with your design. 

Device mockups are useful in marketing because you can show off your app or web pages in visually appealing designs, rather than sharing a boring screenshot.

This type of mockup is also great for tech companies in the development phase to assist in deciding what their app or webpage will look like.

For small startup tech companies, a device mockup can help them save money on development for a season and allow them to focus on other tasks such as research and marketing.

If you’re looking to develop your new app idea, we have free educational guides on how to design and develop your own apps that will help you get a jumpstart on your creative endeavor.

Branding Mockups 

An example of a branding mockup.

A branding mockup is an image rendered with a company’s logo, motto or other branding material on commodity products. 

You can create awareness and fidelity for your brand by branding things such as notepads, cups, pens and other various objects. 

Branding mockups can be useful for businesses that are considering starting a new marketing campaign. For example, consider a scenario where a local business has set aside a small amount of money for advertising.

Before a decision is made to spend the budget on a random assortment of branded objects, the business owners could be shown some branding mockups to help them decide on what particular items to brand.

Branded items do not have to be strictly related to the company's main products.

For instance, a small local restaurant sells food, but they may also sell/give away pens with their logos on them. 

Although the restaurant has little to do with writing, by placing their logos on pens they are able to make their brand known and remembered by customers. 

Branding mockups let you visualize these designs and see which ideas are suitable for your company’s needs.

Packaging Mockups

An example of a packaging mockup example.

A packaging mockup is a photo representation of your branding placed on various packaging items. This may include boxes, plastic bags, paper bags and other various packaging materials.

In marketing, the packaging of an item is much more than just a means of sending your product in a box or bag. 

Packaging an item sends a subliminal visual message to your clients regarding the quality of the item inside of the package.

A packaging mockup can help tremendously in producing quality packaging. 

Which font size, font color, background color and material to use are all questions that will naturally be answered by creating a packaging mockup. 

Creating a mockup will help you come up with a branded packaging that is consistent with your company's values and create an unboxing experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your customers. 

Product Mockups 

An example of a product mockup.

A product mockup is a realistic digital rendition of a product design. It’s typically used at the start of a new project to help a team capture a vision for the end result of a product design.

Product mockups have also been used in advertisements. For example, many E-commerce stores opt to use t-shirt mockups by importing their design onto a mockup template, as opposed to photographing each shirt individually with all its variations.

Using mockup templates makes the design aspect of the mockup incredibly easy. If you are looking for free t-shirt mockup templates, hoodie mockup templates and other product mockup templates, check out Visme’s mockup generator.

Social Media Mockups

An example of a social media mockup.

A social media mockup is a digital rendering of various social media sites that allows you to insert and visualize your content before posting it to the official media site. 

Considering that nearly 55% of all internet traffic is generated on mobile devices, it is important that your images, videos and posts have proper proportions for mobile devices. 

Social media mockups are a great way for businesses and brands to check the proportions of their posts and ensure they are properly formatted and responsive for all types of devices. 

Additionally, social media mockups can be valuable visuals to include within blog posts, marketing plans or even shared on social media.

To ensure that your social media posts are the best they can be, check out our guide on how to create professional posts for social media

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.

 

Why Do You Need a Mockup?

Without a mockup, it can be extremely challenging to give your audience a clear description of what you want to create or sell. 

Because over 65% of the world identifies as a visual learner, it may be a good idea to create a visual aid such as a mockup to share your ideas and products. 

Mockups show potentiality. Your mockups can be used in any department; from marketing to design, board meetings to R&D, everyone can use mockups and reap the benefits of using a mockup.

By creating a professional mockup, your target audience can visualize your product in an exciting, clean and professional way. 

A mockup can:

  • Help visualize an end goal
  • Create a unified team
  • Get investors onboard
  • Personalize pitch decks for target audiences
  • Expand your library of marketing assets
  • Engage your audience
  • Increase lead generation
  • Help customers make purchasing decisions

Mockups have a proven track record of being a cheap and effective method of advertising in the marketing department. 

Marketing teams have used mockups for years to present clean and professional advertisements. These advertisements shine new light on how customers can benefit from the product and entice them to take action. 

Design teams have also benefited from using mockups. By visualizing the end goal, a mockup can act as a guide for the team to know what to design for. A well-designed mockup ensures that your team is on the same page, headed in the same direction and produces a product that is true to the original design.

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

Investors have also seen the benefits of mockups. By creating a customized mockup, potential investors can visually connect with your ideas. 

A clean, sleek and professional-looking mockup can help get investors on board and invested in your product. 

If you’re considering creating a pitch deck to present to potential investors, then you should consider adding a few mockup images to take it to the next level. 

If you want to learn more on how to create the best pitch deck, we’ve written an entire guide just for you that can help you accomplish that.

 

The Best Tools For Creating Mockups

When it comes to creating mockups, having the correct tools for the job can make or break the experience.

Here are the best pieces of software for creating customized mockups with a brief description of why we think they are the best. 

Tool #1: Visme

When it comes to easily creating a high-fidelity mockup of your design with the least amount of effort, the best tool for the job is Visme. 

Visme has a wide variety of mockup templates to choose from that effortlessly implement your design into the scene. 

Traditionally, mockups have been created manually by professional designers, developers or photographers. Not anymore!

With a simple drag-and-drop action, you can import your logo or design into the editor and it immediately generates your new professional-looking mockup.

Here's a quick walkthrough on how to create a mockup with Visme.

1. Create a Free Account

A screenshot of Visme's home page.

Create a free account with Visme. With this free account, you will be able to access hundreds of professionally designed templates for sorts of presentations and mockups.

2. Create a New Project

A screenshot of Visme's dashboard when creating a new project.

Once you have created an account, you will be redirected to your Visme dashboard. This is where all of your future projects can be previewed, queried and shared. Click on the “Create New” button to begin making a new project. From the drop-down menu, select the type of visual you want to create. (If it's a mockup, you'll want to go to "More.")

3. Find Your Template

A screenshot of mockup templates available in Visme's editor.

At the start of every new project, you can select an existing template crafted by professional designers or craft your own design and save it as a template for later use. To use an existing design, click on the mockup template  that will best suit your needs and click “edit.”

4. Drag-and-Drop Your Design Elements

Visme’s templates have an easy-to-use interface. Click on the image you wish to replace and click the “replace” button. Import your design and Visme will automatically insert your image into the mockup. 

For an even more simplified experience, you can simply drag and drop your image onto the mockup and it will automatically import your image. 

Congratulations! You have just created your first mockup with Visme. 

All of your imported media will be stored with your account and can be reused in other designs. This gives you the potential to create hundreds of high-fidelity mockups in a matter of minutes.

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

For a more in-depth look at how to create mockups with Visme, check out this complete tutorial on how to create a mockup.

Aside from its ease of use, another key reason we recommend Visme is because of the seamless workflow it provides. 

Visme creates a whole workspace where you can create a design, transform that design into a mockup and share your mockup in various presentation forms with others. 

Because Visme is such a versatile tool, or better said a complete workstation,  with literally thousands of professional templates to choose from, Visme’s mockup generator makes the top of our list.

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.

Tool #2: Figma

The Figma logo.

Figma is a web-based UI/UX design station. 

While limited to only creating app and website mockups, Figma is a feature-rich platform centered on front-end design and development. It has become an industry standard over the past few years for the web development community. 

Figma also allows you to share your work with others and collaborate with others in real-time. 

Figma tracks each attribute of your created object, so when you go to create your web app, all of the exact relevant information is there. 

If you are looking for a tool to do the one task of creating front-end mockups, Figma may be a good fit for you and your team.

Tool #3: Adobe Photoshop

The Photoshop logo.

Adobe has created some of the most infamous software in the world. Even people from outside of the design world have heard of Photoshop, and for good reason.

Photoshop is a design tool that allows you to manipulate every pixel of an image. 

Regarding mockups, Photoshop is a powerful tool that lets you crop and merge layers of images together to create a single image. This creates a mockup where you manually place your design on various objects. 

While Photoshop does give you full control over your image, this amount of control comes at a hefty resource cost on your computer. 

Because Photoshop is not cloud-based like Visme and Figma, your computer may not be able to run the program smoothly or even run at all. 

You may want to check the specs on your hardware and see if your machine is up to the task of running Photoshop.

Tool #4: Adobe Illustrator

The Illustrator logo.

Illustrator is a vector-based graphic design platform created by Adobe.  

Because Illustrator uses vectors, you can magnify your design without having to worry about low pixel density and poor resolution. This is a great feature for designing logos, fonts, and even drawing.

Illustrator is similar to Photoshop in the sense that all of your designs must be created manually and require heavy resource allocation from your computer.

Photoshop and Illustrator are also notorious for requiring many hours of training to perform the most basic of functions. 

However, if you know what you’re doing or are willing to put in a few hundred hours into learning this software, give Photoshop and Illustrator a try.

 

Now Over to You

Now that you know what mockups are and why they can be so important for business and marketing, it’s time for you to start creating one. 

With Visme’s mockup generator, you can easily and quickly create mockups for your next project.  

With hundreds of fully customizable mockup templates to choose from, we are certain you will find a mockup template that works for you and your needs.

Don’t wait another minute. Create your account for free and get started on your next mockup now.

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    About the Author

    Caleb is a freelance writer, frontend web developer and photographer who is passionate about all things tech.

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