5 Minute Read

Design 101: Spend The Money, Buy Some Great Mockups

Recently, I worked with a client of ours to create a really awesome resource. When I was making this resource, I decided to purchase mockup files specifically for this project. The end result looked very professional and resonated positively with my co-workers.

In this article, I’ll provide some great resources to purchase some mockup files, which ones make good impressions, how to use them effectively and how many you should purchase for your next project.

Sometimes it's worth it to spend the money, like when it comes to mockups. #GraphicDesign Click To Tweet


Where Do You Find These Mockups?

Can’t I just search the web for some free mockups? Yes, you could, but spending a few extra dollars for pre-made mockups will more than likely be easier to use and might save you from having to credit the creator. Before you start your project, you’ll need some good, trustworthy websites to purchase these mockup files from. There are plenty of these websites out there, and I’ve compiled a list of the sites I’ve had experience with throughout my education and career. Here are some great places to start looking and to bookmark for future reference:


Picking the Right Mockups for Your Project

Depending on your project, you’ll have to get creative to pick the right mockups for you. Start by thinking outside of the box. Use Pinterest, Google, and your favorite design ‘inspire’ websites to get your creativity going. Don’t use typical mockups of stationary sets, device mockups, business cards, etc. Make sure to pick mockups that relate to the content of your project. If you have to use mockups with devices, try to pick unique ones such as angled shots of a person holding a phone or maybe computer mockups that show the device in a location such as an office space or coffee shop. Picking mockups that stand out from the ordinary will keep readers engaged and will stop them from skimming over ordinary/typical images they’re used to seeing.

For example, the client I had created the resource for had set guidelines to be a bakery themed resource while still maintaining a professional feel. Like a bakery or coffee shop, they usually have glass windows and chalkboard menus. With this inspiration, I thought to pick a mockup for the cover which would be the designed title displayed on a storefront (bakery) window and for the table of contents and a “recipe” display, I purchased some chalkboard mockups to go along with the theme. These mockups may not relate to “business,” but they related to the content and theme of the project.


Use Sparingly, Don’t Overkill

So you’ve found the perfect mockups, but maybe you have a big list in your shopping cart. The point of using these mockups is to use them to enhance your project. Use these mockups sparingly to avoid overkill. Make sure you pick at least 2-4 mockups maximum so you don’t overwhelm your readers. By picking just a few mockups, it will still have that “wow” effect but it won’t overshadow your personal design work as well.


Spending the extra money for mockups is worth it to take your projects to the next level. Picking the right mockups geared towards content and staying away from the mundane ones will keep readers engaged. Make sure you pick just a few favorites and spread them out so they don’t overshadow your design work. Use these resources I provided to purchase some mockups for your next project and you can make your design work stand out for you and your clients! They will be glad that you did in the long run.