The importance of mockups to a designer cannot be overemphasized. Mockups are full-sized or scaled models of a device or design and are primarily used for demonstration, teaching, promotion, design evaluation, and so on. They are used by designers to obtain feedback or criticisms from users. Mockups tackle the idea that was originally captured, and if any faults or defects are detected, it can easily be corrected at that stage. That would save a lot of money, time wastage, and possibly loss of life if no mockups are made available, and design goes straight to construction without criticisms.
The ever-increasing inclination towards digital branding and e-commerce has made it vital for designers to have a plethora of mockup templates that will enhance their work in their arsenal. Mockup templates are essential tools in any design-related work. It saves potential clients the additional stress of trying to picture what you are trying to portray in their minds as it helps them to visually observe how your work will look like in the real world.
Mockup templates also enable you to provide a tangible end product, making your clients appreciate the value you are giving them and applaud your presentation efforts when pitching your design to clients. It is an effective way of winning over your customers by showcasing how your design is the appropriate fit for their brand. The power of the right realistic mockup will sway your clients in your favor thereby making you clinch the design contract or project. Additionally, aside from outshining your competitors, every designer feels a sense of pride when his work is brought to life, and you’re likely not an exception.
Without further ado, let us learn three simple steps to using mockup templates:
The first thing you should do is to search for and download PSD mockup files of your choice. The internet is replete with diverse resources with both free and paid options offered. It is best to go for the paid options since you will likely get premium mockup templates which are not easily seen around the web. Most mockup templates are made available in zipped files. Therefore you need to get yourself acquainted with the structure of the folder it comes in so that you don’t erroneously download a virus program that can harm your computer. As soon as you download the mockup template and extract its contents, the following are what you will find therein:
- .pdf or .txt file that describes what the mockup is all about, its creators, as well as its licensing guidelines
- .psd file of the mockup; this is the source file you will need to edit to your specifications
- .jpg file of the mockup; this is a visual preview of the mockup template in action.
The next step to follow is to open the PSD file in Adobe Photoshop. This will enable you to study the layers critically so that you can find out how detailed and complex the mockup is and understand how the layers of the template work. This is very important since you will be customizing the template with your own unique content and replacing defaults elements on the PSD file.
The third and final step that will be addressed in this article is the placing of your custom content on the mockup template in place of default content. With the PSD file open in Adobe Photoshop, click the Smart Object icon on the layer (Smart Objects, in Photoshop, are layers that convey image data from vector or raster images, and save the content of the images. You can easily edit the content therein).
After clicking on the Smart Object icon, a new window will open up in Photoshop which displays only the editable artwork that you will replace with your custom content.
To use mockup templates is not that difficult; by following the steps outlined above (and employing your expertise as a designer), you will be churning out customized design mockups one after the other to the amazement of your clients.