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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Product Mock-up Templates: Creating art for templates & comparison of template packages

Manufacturers can not always visualize how art will look on their products so creating digital product mock-ups and placing your art on them is a good way to market your art. You can create your own mock-up templates or purchase them. Read the articles in "Art Collections / Mockups" section of my blog to see examples of mock-ups and Photoshop/Illustrator tips on creating your own templates.

There is no right or wrong way to represent product shapes. They can be simple sketches of the products or very realistic and three dimensional. Any kind will do the job in showing the manufacturer how the art will look on products and it is up to each artist to choose the style they like. For instance, if your art is characters or a whimsical style, you may wish to use sketched product shapes to compliment your art. Or, if you paint fine art you may choose realistic looking product shapes. The only thing I caution you to do is to make sure that you label your marketing material that the art is available for licensing when showing realistic product mock-ups of your art. You do not want the manufacturer to think that your art is already licensed to a competitor.

Template Packages
If you do not want to create your own templates, there are three different template packages that you can purchase to create product mock-ups; Tara Reed's "Product Mock-Up Magic," All Art Licensing's "PCLS Collection and Presentations Package with 107 Product Templates!," and Phyllis Dobb's "Create Product Mockups." Below is a chart comparing the different packages.

Creating Art for Mock-ups
It is tempting to slap any piece of art on any product template, send it off to manufacturers, and expect licensing deals to pour in. However, not every work of art is suitable for every product so you need to choose only the ones that work for each theme. For instance, flower art works for most products but a party theme is unlikely to work for bath products or bedroom linens. There just is not enough of a market for brightly colored balloons on sheets or shower curtains. :) Read art licensing agent Jim Marcotte's article "Product Design" for a discussion about this.

Also, it is imperative to create interesting product mock-ups with your art in order to get licensing deals. Do not put exactly the same piece of art on every mock-up shape in the collection! As an art director commented in one of my articles, "A true cohesive collection consists of compelling coordinating designs, interesting crops, textures, mix and match print /pattern. The same motif across all SKU's (i.e. product shapes in the collection) is dull and not very exciting." To see examples of product mock-ups, read "The Dynamic Duo #1 - Examples of Art Collections & Mockups" and "The Dynamic Duo #2 - Examples of Art Collections & Mockups."

I welcome any comments. Please write them in the comment section below.


  1. Hi Joan,
    As always, this is an excellent article. Learning to plan a the direction for a design is probably one of the more important aspects of creating artwork for art licensing. For a newbie, like me, creating those mock up consumes considerable thought and time. Thank you for sharing this information. Mary Lou LaBerge

  2. Joan, thanks for the post! A friend and I are talking over template packages and trying to decide what packages work best for us. Thanks for comparing and your own two cents.

  3. I truly appreciate the time and effort you have gone to in making this valuable information available to readers. Thank you so much for sharing your considerable experience with all of us.