As a Graphic Designer you’ll find yourself having to present your ideas and designs to clients on a regular basis. As the saying goes ‘the customer is always right’ whether we agree with what they think or not, that final decision is always down to the client. We not only have to provide them with a proposal that we feel fits their needs including all of the requirements they’ve asked us for in their brief, but we have to persuade them that it does too. When I say persuade, I also don’t mean to tell them a pack of lies that’ll make them choose your first or only concept with no amends, making it plain sailing for you.
When we present our design(s), the way we present it can often be more important than what we present, especially to those clients with no design background. A simple way to present a design would be as a flat piece often sent across as a PDF. Don’t get me wrong, this can certainly do the job but surely you want to do more than ‘just the job?’. You want to excel, make the client love your ideas and stand out against your competition, right?
We need to make it simple for clients to see the design and know exactly how it’s going to look in the real world, instead of them picturing it wrong. Whether it be a logo, a brochure or even a website, we can show them exactly how it will look using a mock-up and this can help to persuade them into choosing your design. A mockup is basically a static or interactive image of your design presented in the format or scenario of which it has been created for e.g. an image of a computer on a desk showing the website you’ve created on-screen. By doing this you allow the client to see exactly how their logo will look on their uniform or how their billboard will look in the street. It also makes you look extra professional too 😎!
I have gathered together a few, of what I feel, are essential mock ups. It’s important to keep up to date with the latest technology and modern day scenarios that are appropriate to both the design purpose and the client’s area of work too. You wouldn’t present a new app launch on an old Nokia 3310, nor would you present a Christmas sale advert in sunny Africa for a company based in England. Keeping this knowledge up to date and using it appropriately will help you to gain an effective result with your clients.
Workspace Mockup Set – These are perfect for presenting website ideas. You can get endless different styles for this scenario so whoever the client is, there will be one suitable for you to use. Often a lot of the mockups also come with more than one shot as well which is great if you have various different pages you would like to show of the website. The images can be presented from different angles or even on a laptop or mobile phone for example and because they are all from the same mockup set the scenes remain the same.
Branding Mockup – Whether working with logos or packaging, if there’s a range of purposes for your design, why not present them all together like this food mockup. This is similar to how a customer would receive their food order with your design on each individual product. You could design pieces for each individual product within the brand that could look great individually, but it’s when they all come together where you can see if it works as a whole. By showing the client the design like this they’ll know straight away if that’s how they want their customers to see their brand.
Vehicle Mockup – I feel that vehicle mockups are a real essential when designing skins for work vans or company cars to truly visualise the design on a vehicle’s shape. It also helps the design process knowing where to position things as you have windows, handles, wheels etc to work around, which could end up very different when seeing the design on the vehicle compared to a flat pdf.
Clothing Mockup – Tshirt mockups are great for any t-shirt designs you may have from a full printed top or a simple pocket sized logo. It helps clients to decide on what colour tops they’d like, the style of the tshirt (polo / crew neck etc), and also how their logo/design will look on different backgrounds. Tshirt mockups come in a variety of different styles from a flat aerial view of the full t-shirt like above, a folded view or even somebody wearing it to see how the design would look fitted. The mockups also include crinkles within the tshirt so the design doesn’t just lay flat.
Billboard Signs – Billboard or Bus Stop signs are great to view your large scaled designs out in public, but they are ones which you have to choose wisely. You need to think about your client’s target audience, as well as the country the ad will be based in, when choosing a mockup. You could choose any style of bus stop but it’s the background scenery that will make the mock up successful or not when presented to the client. You don’t want something that will draw the client’s attention away from the ad nor do you want something that contrasts too much with your design making it look rubbish! Choose a mockup that’s a professional image, the scene is appropriate to where the ad is actually going to be placed, is tidy and has a subtle or blurred background.
No matter what it is you are presenting to your client, spend time choosing an appropriate mockup that presents your design well. You don’t want to create an amazing design and then choose a poor mockup which may result in the client disliking your design. Stay subtle and simple, and treat the mockup as though it’s a part of your actual design and it should look great!
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