The best mockup software provides a simple way to visualize products with graphics and images, without having to make them first.
This is especially important for any business looking to present the results of their plans for a product without going through the whole process to develop and build that product first.
Mockup software allows them to do that, providing images that look like the finished item but as a mockup rather than the completed item. And, creating one of these is much less work, and therefore practical to create for a sales pitch.
The companies that service this sector are generally focused on computers and mobile devices, allowing the customer to insert an image of a prototype app on them.
This gives the appearance that the solution is up and running, or at least what it will look like when it is.
Here are the best mockup software we could find on the market.
Also check out the best graphic design software.
When you arrive at the Placeit (opens in new tab) website, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of choice on offer.
It has templates for clothing, mugs, phones, Macbooks, iPads, iMacs, pillows, hats, bags, business cards, flyers, banners and packaging. And, alongside the pre-designed image templates, the site also offers template videos and even a Logo designer.
An issue for Placeit is that since 2013 it has accrued many templates, and it appears to have never removed any subsequently. The result is that many templates contain older and less relevant technologies.
The content also appears to be especially focused on Apple products, having only a handful of Windows computers but hundreds of Macbook and iPad templates.
Where some services offer only images of phones, tablet and computers, Mediamodifier (opens in new tab) has a much wider selection of potential placements. These include T-shirts, mugs, business cards and social media.
Using it is remarkably easy. Pick the mockup you want and then drag the image to be combined with it on to that template image. The resulting images can be customized and then downloaded as PNG, JPEG or PSD. PSD’s cost extra to download, and assume you have access to Adobe Photoshop.
For those just looking for ideas, Mediamodifier has a free service where the size of the images is limited, and they’re also watermarked. Those looking for the highest resolution images without a watermark will need to sign up for a paid subscription.
Smartmockups (opens in new tab) is a remarkably slick solution that negates the need for using Photoshop or other tools to get a professional result.
The available mockups are divided into six groups; technology, print, packaging, apparel, home & decor and social media. Smartmockups offers thousands of choices, and new ones are added each week.
In addition to these templates, Smartmockups also provides the tools needed to construct custom templates based on images that the user provides. With this feature a logo to be placed on a boat sail, or tail of an aircraft, or similar.
But the flexibility of this solution is only part of the story. Because this service also offers some of the highest resolution images for any mockup service. And, images can be cropped before download, removing the need to have additional image editing tools.
The site integrates with Canva, Dropbox, and Marvel. Allowing existing images stored on those locations to be used without the need to upload it to Smartmockups.
Basic features and a limited number of templates are available for free use, but you'll need to sign up for a subscription to access access to all mockups plus new weekly mockups and customizations, as well as video mockups.
With most mockup generators charging for their content, it’s not unusual to be a little skeptical about one that’s supposedly free.
To be accurate, you can use this MockupsJar (opens in new tab) for free as long as you are happy with adverts, watermarks and partial features.
That low price does hint that this service doesn’t compete with the likes of Smartmockups, because at the time of writing there are only just over 700 templates advertised. And, these are distributed over phones, computers, tablets, apparel, packaging, books, frames and browsers.
However, this isn’t the easiest tool to use and generally assumes that you have image editing tools on hard to adjust the images before uploading them.
One annoyance that we noticed with this solution is that it often expects images to be in predefined resolutions. If an uploaded image doesn’t match the resolution or aspect of the phone or tablet in the image, it will automatically crop them.
If you want something for free and are prepared to work around its foibles, then MockupsJar is fine. Just don’t expect it to generate anything to compare with a more commercial site.
Those looking for something different should explore MockFlow (opens in new tab), a tool that can emulate all manner of user interfaces. Let’s be clear; this isn’t an automated tool for dropping an image of an app into a photo of something holding a phone.
MockFlow has six modules that can be used to construct conceptual websites and applications, and even a mechanism to streamline UI approval for a project in agile-like development.
If you don’t want to build the interface from scratch, templates are available that emulate an iPhone screen, an Android TV or dozens of other familiar interfaces.
For creating websites, the system has pre-designed pages for FAQs, customer support, help centers and dozens of other standard web constructs. These can be used as-is or modified accordingly.
This product is an Aladdin’s cave of pre-built interfaces that can enable a rough concept to be evolved into presentable mockups very rapidly. Where it could be better is that it isn’t possible to make global style changes to a project, making alterations of multiple pages can be a chore.
For tinkerers a free version is available, but the full product offers unlimited pages, unlimited reviewers, app integrations and more for any team size.