apps

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A Beginner’s Guide to Designing Website and Mobile App Mockups

by Caroline Mercurio on February 21, 2017 3 comments

As a designer, you’re really good at what you do. When a client comes to you with a clear vision for their business but zero idea of how their website should look or function, you know how to deliver amazing results that double or even triple their ROI. Yet sometimes your clients need a little more convincing—a little extra push—to really seal the deal. Or maybe you’ve got quite the collection of website or app designs for your portfolio, but want a flashier, more engaging way to present these designs to your future employers and clients.

Enter product mockups. By providing important visual context for your designs, mockups are key to helping your client fully grasp your collaborative vision when a simple screenshot or Photoshop file just isn’t quite cutting it.

Mockups provide context for your designs and help clients envision your final product in a real world setting. They can also help model your responsive design solutions—allowing you to showcase your ability to design for mobile screens, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Using mockups to showcase your designs is an effective way to highlight your talents. Luckily it’s easy, too—which is why we made this beginner’s guide to show you how it’s done.

For this example, we used this mockup kit along with resources from our library of stock graphics.

 
MockupsDownload the stock graphics used in these designs.

 

Step One: Download a Mockup Kit

 
Mockups
 

The internet boasts a plethora of design resources all at your fingertips—and often for free. Our suggestion? Simply google “free photoshop mockups.” You can also use well-known resources like Mockup World, which is what we used for the designs in our guide to designing swag and our Pantone spring color guide.

Once you’ve chosen your desired mockup, simply download the file, unzip it, and open it in Photoshop. Most photoshop files for mockups have highly organized groups and layers, and should be easy to decipher. Take a moment to understand the layers of your chosen mockup kit—a good kit will name its layers clearly.

 

Step Two: Insert Design

 
Mockups
 

Most kits will name the layers you want to edit something obvious like “Put Your Screen Here” or “Edit This Layer.” The editable layer will be a linked smart object, so double click it and it will open another Photoshop file.

 
Mockups
 

After you create your design and export it as a jpeg or png, simply drag and drop it into this photoshop file, resize it as needed, save it, and then it will automatically populate the the original composition.

 

Step Three: Save and Export

Now you simply save the composition to whatever file type and size you desire. It really is that easy to elevate your designs so that your clients or future employers will be that much more impressed.

 
MockupsDownload the stock graphics used in these designs.
 

Need new stock graphics to inspire and amp up your next designs? Check out our top 20 graphics for web design.

 

Start Designing with Stock Graphics

 

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Caroline MercurioA Beginner’s Guide to Designing Website and Mobile App Mockups

The Best Apps for Graphic Designers

by Brian Platt on October 8, 2014 No comments

The Best Apps for Graphic Designers

In the world of digital graphic artistry, portability and online collaboration during the creative process are indispensable towards becoming a successful designer. There are a plethora of mobile and tablet apps that serve as the perfect tools to help you become a full-service graphic designer. Check out some of our favorite graphic design apps.

1. PicLab HD

The key to being a designer who is always thinking ahead is to stay inspired. Design inspiration while on the go is easy with the PicLab HD app. For $1.99, you can take photos from either your personal library or ones found on the Internet, and create inspirational and encouraging images with a host of different fonts, icons and logos to choose from.

2. Adobe Kuler

Released back in October 2011, Adobe’s free “Kuler” app is a color schemer’s dream. Simply snap any photo, or take one from your library, and the app creates five-color schemes based on the palette of the photo. You can then send these schemes to Illustrator or Photoshop when it is time to work.

3. MyPrice

If you wish to break the tethers of an in-house job and go into the freelance world, MyPrice is right up your alley. It is a free app that takes a lot of the guesswork out of how much you should charge clients, based on criteria such as location, client size, your education levels and graphic design experience.

4. myPANTONE

Instead of having to carry around the quintessential bible of web-safe colors, the myPANTONE app allows you to keep over 13,000 colors and pairings at your fingertips. Although the $9.99 price tag may seem a little intimidating ($7.99 for Android users), it definitely beats carrying around nearly 20 pounds in color swatches any day.

5. Evernote

An absolute lifesaver for anyone who has productivity issues when it comes to keeping up with daily tasks and deadlines, Evernote keeps important notes and creative doodles in one handy space. And because you can sync your ideas across multiple platforms, you’ll never have to worry about finding your inspiration, even if you can’t find your phone.

Did we miss an app that you just can’t live without in your arsenal? Be sure to leave a comment below to get in on the conversation. If you’re looking for more graphic design ideas, browse through the collection of royalty-free stock images at GraphicStock.com.
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Brian PlattThe Best Apps for Graphic Designers