The Beginner's Guide to Using Mockups

What is a mockup and why should you use mockups?

Using quality mockups on your blog or when presenting your work can add a unique, high standard style and help your visitors or clients imagine more easily what it would look like when printed or used in real life.

Mockups can help displaying products in a natural context or make your brand stand out.

I created a free mockup for you and now I'll show you how to use it.

What is a mockup?

A mockup is usually a photograph of a desk, a computer, a magazine etc. - a set scene with a given theme. It's usually a PSD file that you can open in Photoshop (or Pixlr - the free version).

It's editable so you can insert your own work.

If it's a quality mockup, the person who created it has made sure that it contains a smart object - an editable layer where you can insert your text or photo.

the beginner's guide to using mockups

How to edit a mockup?

Download the free mockup I created from the Kreanille Resources page. We'll walk through the editing process step by step together.

Step 1.

Open the file in Photoshop or Pixlr. You'll see two layers: a background layer and another saying "double click thumb to open". That's our smart object.

(If you can't see the Layers palette on your workspace, go to Window in the menu bar and click on Layers.)

open the psd mockup and find the smart object layer

Step 2.

Double click on the smart object thumbnail. Make sure you click ON the thumbnail and not the text next to it.

The smart object opens. You can see a white rectangle with some text on it:

opening the smart object

This is where you insert your image or text. Now I'll insert some text.

Step 3.

On the Layers palette, click on the bin icon while the "your text here" layer is active to delete it - you don't need it any more.

Click on the Horizontal Type Tool on the toolbar to add your text. Click and drag on the white rectangle (the paper smart object) to create a textbox.

horizontal type tool in photoshop

Step 4.

Type your text.

type the new text in the textbox

STep 5.

Save the smart object (File > Save or Ctrl+S on Windows or Command+S on Mac).

STep 6.

Close the smart object and go back to the original psd and see what we've done:

see the result

Step 7.

Save your work as JPG to use it in your blog etc. Make sure to open and resize it (Image > Image Size) as it might be too big to use on the web.

See? Easy! Enjoy!

Let me know in a comment if you have any questions about using the mockup.