What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?

Designing a product or service can be an intimidating process, but with the right tools and resources, it doesn't have to be. One of the most important elements of any design project is creating a mockup.

A mockup is essentially a non-functional, digital prototype that allows designers and stakeholders to visualize their ideas before they commit them to code or production. 

Mockups are incredibly useful for testing out a concept, experimenting with a layout, pitching a product or service, and showcasing designs in the development phase. 

To create mockups from scratch you need to have both time and skill. But mockup templates that you can customize are a great alternative to get the perfect prototypes for your products or services faster and easier.  

What Is a Mockup?

Are you a designer, business owner, or creative professional looking to create something amazing? If so, then chances are you’ve heard of mockups.

But what exactly is a mockup and why should you use them?

A mockup is an early version of your product design, that helps visualize the final look and functionality of the finished product, providing designers and developers with an invaluable tool for testing out and visualizing ideas without having to invest time and money into creating a full-size model or prototype. 

And unlike sketches or wireframes that are more abstract and bidimensional, mockups really turn concepts into visual information and make it a lot easier to communicate what the product design is about. 

Types of Mockups

Mockups can be used for a variety of purposes. 

For the design of a digital product, like software, websites, or apps. Website mockups are fairly common. App mockups are widely used, too. 

They’re also available for the design of branding and marketing materials. Logo mockups exist, and you can create a print mockup for brochures, flyers, and almost any other print material you need. As a graphic designer, you may also use device mockups such as laptops or mobile phone screens, or mockups for things like billboards, to show clients how their visuals will look on those placements.

Finally, mockups for designs that will become physical products. There are product mockups for nearly anything. T-shirt mockups are extendedly used, among many more. 

Overall, mockups are an industry-standard resource within the design process for virtually any product or service. 

The Benefits of Using Mockups

Mockups offer numerous benefits throughout every stage of the design process – from initial concept creation right through until completion – helping designers streamline the creative process, communicating ideas more effectively, and saving time and money from unnecessary re-designs.

For digital products such as software or a website, for example, working with a mockup is key to visualizing and fine-tuning details regarding the user interface (UI) design or the user experience (UX) with much more clarity than a wireframe or sketch could provide, before investing in costly development work. 

And when it comes to physical products, displaying a realistic –sometimes even 3D– model of the finished product on a computer screen can really help everyone understand and give accurate feedback on its design, without going through the trouble and expense of prototyping it. 

With mockups you can ensure the whole design team, development team, product manager, and everyone else involved has a clear vision for the end result from the start which saves time down the line when making changes becomes more difficult.

They also allow stakeholders such as clients and potential investors to get a better understanding of the project, by seeing it come alive in its earliest form.

Using mockups can also help identify any potential problems with your design before committing resources towards building it out fully – saving both time and money in the long run!

So if you haven’t already started using them – now might be a great time!

How to Use Mockups in the Design Process

Are you looking to create a design that will wow your clients? Nailing the mockup stage is crucial to achieving it. So here is how to use mockups in your design process successfully: 

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas & Gather Feedback – Before creating any type of mockup, it’s important to brainstorm ideas for what you want the end product to look like. Take some time to think about colors, fonts, images, and other elements that would work well together.

Once you have some initial ideas in mind, gather feedback from stakeholders or anyone else who may be involved with the project. This will help ensure everyone is on board with the direction of the project before moving forward.

Step 2: Create Your Mockup – Now it’s time to start putting together your mockup!

There are many different tools available for creating mockups such as Adobe Photoshop or Sketch App; however, there are also free online options like Canva, or professional premium services like Shutterstock and Adobe Stock, that have high-quality mockup templates ready to use (more on this, in a moment). 

Whichever platform you choose should allow you enough flexibility so that changes can easily be made during the design process if needed.

Step 3: Test Your Design & Make Changes As Needed – Once your mockup is complete, try out various scenarios within it such as different screen sizes or resolutions – this will give a better idea of how users might interact with your final product when launched into production mode, and will give the rest of the team or the stakeholders variety. 

If necessary based on testing results or stakeholder feedback, go back and make changes until everything looks just right!

It’s important not to rush through this step as small details could potentially cause big problems down the line once launched live into production mode.

Step 4: Finalize Your Design & Launch Into Production Mode – After making any necessary adjustments based on testing results and stakeholder feedback – congratulations!

You now have a finalized version of your design ready for launch into production mode!

Before doing so though double-check one last time that everything looks perfect; then go ahead and launch away knowing that all parties involved had their say throughout each stage of development which resulted in a great final product, all thanks to accurate mockups!

What Are Mockup Templates 

If you’re not a designer or have comparable skills, developing a mockup can seem like an impossible task. But don’t worry, because there is a perfect solution for this problem: mockup templates. 

These are mockup designs that are already created, and that you can simply customize –with the help of an editing software tool– to faithfully represent your product. 

Mockup templates save a lot of time and hassle so even pro designers use them in their work!

Where to Find the Best Mockup Templates

Did you know, that there is an ever-growing pool of websites offering free and paid mockup templates online? With such a wide offer, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

shutterstock 2 > What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?

To make things easier, we’ve put together this quick list of the best sites to find free and paid mockup templates!

Shutterstock: Millions of Mockups 

Shutterstock has one of the largest collections of royalty-free images on the web, and their variety of ready-to-download mockups is impressive (just a search for “hoodie mockup templates” throws over 13,000 results!) with millions of different types of products and styles available. 

245 662 Web Mockup Template Images Stock Photos Vectors Shutterstock > What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?

These are premium files, but you can get up to 10 free downloads with the Shutterstock free trial, and if budget is an issue, get your templates at discounted price using our exclusive Shutterstock coupon code. 

iStock: Exclusive Mockup Templates

www.istockphoto.com homepage

iStock is a renowned stock photo agency that has both budget-friendly and higher-end, exclusive content. Their collection of mockups has options in both. If you’re after less-widely-used mockups, this is the place. 

1 190 861 Frame Mockup Stock Photos Pictures Royalty Free Images iStock > What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?

You can download up to 10 free mockups with the iStock free trial, but you can also enjoy 10 bonus downloads with our exclusive iStock promo code

Adobe Stock: Mockup Templates for Creative Cloud

www.adobe.com homepage

Adobe Stock is a stock media library owned by Adobe and fully integrated into Creative Cloud apps including Photoshop, where you can easily edit a mockup template. They offer a wide range of templates for every product imaginable, so you’re not short of choice. 

Templates – Browse 10 745 Stock Photos Vectors and Video Adobe Stock > What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?

And you can now unlock 10 free downloads with the special Adobe Stock free trial

www.canva.com homepage

Canva: User-Friendly Mockup Designs

Canva is a design platform for the non-designer, equipped with a user-friendly editor and a vast collection of editable templates, that include simple mockups for things like phone screens, computers, tote bags, and similar. 

Discover apps Canva > What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?
figma logo > What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?

You can use Canva for free with limited access, or enjoy full premium access for longer with our exclusive, Extended Canva Pro free trial!

Figma: Web-Based Mockups & Design Tools

Figma is an online platform that aims at providing design teams with all they need to complete the design process on the web. From brainstorming on whiteboards and using diagrams and infographics, to building mobile-friendly, live mockups you can share and get feedback on, to turning those mockups into an actual, finished design, you can do it all right on Figma.

Figma the collaborative interface design tool > What Is a Mockup, and Why Do I Need One?

There is a free forever version you can use upon sign-up, although it comes with its limitations. And if you want full premium access, their plans start at just $12/mo.

Tips for Creating an Effective Mockup

Creating an effective mockup is essential for any designer or company looking to produce a product. A good mockup can help ensure that the final product looks and functions as expected, saving time and money in the long run.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a mockup:

  1. Make sure all elements are in proportion – This will help avoid potential problems during manufacturing.
  2. Use contrasting colors – Contrasting colors make it easier to distinguish between different parts of the design, making it easier to identify issues before they become costly mistakes down the line.
  3. Pay attention to detail – Small details such as shadows, highlights, textures, and gradients can have a big impact on how realistic your mockup appears.

Taking the time to get these right will pay off in spades later on!

  1. Test out different scenarios – It’s important to try out various scenarios with your mockup so you can be sure that it works well under different conditions or with different materials used during production.
  2. Keep it simple– Simplicity is key when creating a successful mockup; too many complex elements may confuse viewers or obscure important features of your design which could lead to costly mistakes further down the line!

Taking the time to get it right from the start will save you time and money in the long run!

What Is a Mockup – FAQs 

Here we answer the most common questions regarding mockups in design.

What is a mockup in design?

A mockup is a non-functional prototype of a design, usually in the form of a digital image or model. It is used to give designers and clients an idea of what the final product will look like without having to create it from scratch.

Mockups are especially useful for visualizing products that require complex shapes and materials such as furniture, electronics, packaging, apparel, etc.

Mockups are essential for the design process because they allow designers to quickly test out ideas before committing resources to create them.

They also provide feedback on how well certain elements work together and can be used as reference points throughout the development process.

Additionally, mockups help save time by eliminating costly revisions due to unexpected issues that may arise during production.

What is a mockup example?

A mockup example is a realistic representation of a product or design, typically used to showcase the look and feel of an item before it goes into production.

They can also be used by companies to show off their products before committing resources to produce them.

Additionally, mockups help designers visualize how elements interact with each other on-screen or in print form, allowing them to make adjustments accordingly.

What is a mockup image?

A mockup image is a realistic representation of a product or design that can be used to showcase the concept before it is actually created.

What are mockup in simple terms?

Mockups are a type of design tool used to create realistic representations of what a product or service will look like before it is built.

Mockups typically consist of images, text, graphics, and other elements that represent the finished product or service.

Mockup Templates FTW

In conclusion, a mockup is an essential tool for any designer. It helps to visualize the design before it’s finalized and allows designers to make changes quickly and easily.

Mockups also provide benefits such as saving time, reducing costs, and increasing accuracy in the design process. There are plenty of resources available online where you can find high-quality mockup templates that will help you create effective designs faster than ever before.

So what are you waiting for? Go get your mockup templates!

Ivanna Attié

Ivanna Attié

I am Content Manager, Researcher, and Author in StockPhotoSecrets.com and Stock Photo Press and its many stock media-oriented publications. I am a passionate communicator with a love for visual imagery and an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. Lucky enough to enter the wonderful world of stock photography working side-by-side with experienced experts, I am happy to share my research, insights, and advice about image licensing, stock photography offers, and the stock media industry with everyone in the creative community. My background is in Communication and Journalism, and I also love literature and performing arts.

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