Product Mockups: Making Patterns Come Alive

Zirkus Design | Emma Woodhouse Surface Pattern Design Collection Stationery Mockup

Surface Pattern Designers spend hours sketching, scanning, digitizing, assembling, recoloring, varying, and arranging motifs into patterns. These patterns often lend themselves to other patterns and become collections. These collections are (hopefully) sold to companies who use them on real products that real people like you and I buy.

Many patterns are lovely by themselves and can be displayed as prints in frames or as desktop or device wallpaper. But, if the end goal of a pattern or collection is for use on a product, it can be hard to visualize how something like the pattern below looks on something tangible like a t-shirt.

Zirkus Design| Emma Woodhouse Surface Pattern Design Collection Blue Blender Print

Enter: mockups.

Mockups breathe life into patterns and cast a vision for companies and customers. If you read yesterday’s post introducing my newest pattern collection, you’ve seen a few of the product mockups I created for Emma Woodhouse. Because mockups are, I’d like to walk you through the few that I made for this collection.


Zirkus Design | Emma Woodhouse Pattern Collection Children's Clothing T Shirt Mockups

I created the little girls’ turquoise tank top on the left from a tutorial by the talented Denise Anne.┬áThat tutorial helped me understand how to apply my patterns using smart layers. I made the children’s t-shirt on the right from a free Pixenden mockup. It looks like the image below when you download it. It’s already equipped with smart layers and the background is separated from the shirt (a huge time-saver).



If you like working with Photoshop and clipping masks are your jam (no? just me?), mockups can become your new addiction. I made a few more stationery mockups using Denise’s downloads, and then I took a deep breath and decided to make my own (eek!).


Zirkus Design | Emma Woodhouse Surface Pattern Design Collection Card Envelope Mockup


One image that rooted itself in my mind as I designed Emma Woodhouse was that of a big, comfy bed inviting me to stay, relax, and have a cup of tea. With this vision, I choose a basic bedroom image from Unsplash. Here’s what it looked like before.



I made the smart layers for the lampshade, pillowcase, and bedspread, and then applied patterns and spot graphics from my collection. The end result makes me want to crawl in that bed and curl up with a book. Perhaps I should add a cup of tea to the side table..?


Zirkus Design | Emma Woodhouse Surfac Pattern Design Collection Bedroom Home Textiles Mockup v2


Learning to make mockups from stock images and Denise’s blog posts on the process of creating mockups really encouraged me to try shooting my own mockups. Since we’re about Progress, Not Perfection, I made one small step in that direction by purchasing white foam board. Now, I’m collecting products and accessories. Just do one small thing every day to accomplish your creative goals, right?

Are you a mockup all-star? I’d love to see some mockups you have made or even a tutorial you found super helpful. Leave a link or two in the comments below. And, if you have favorite accessories you like to include in your mockups, I’d love to hear about those as well.





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