Written by: Jim Wrubel Published on: Apr 7, 2021 Last updated: Apr 7, 2021
Tools Used In This Recipe
Being able to show potential customers an image of your product can make a huge impact in their willingness to buy. But 'action shots' of products are expensive; you typically need an advertising agency to coordinate finding a set, hiring actors, and staging the scene. For early-stage companies, especially companies that have not formally launched, the PlaceIt service is an invaluable tool.
PlaceIt allows you to upload your logo, a product screenshot, or any other brand image and combine it with a stock photo. If your product is a mobile app, there are templates for nearly every type of mobile device that you can use to show off your screens. You can show your logo on storefronts, totebags, T-Shirts, and more. PlaceIt has such a vast library of stock photos that you can frequently also filter stock photos by the subject's age, gender, ethnic background, and other categories.
A subscription to PlaceIt also includes a number of tools that can act as alternatives to other tools in this collection. It includes a logo maker, a product video creator, and templates for popular ad and post formats on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitch, and more. While it's not as full-featured as the tools featured in recipes on logo creation or product launch videos, if you are extremely limited with your budget a subscription to PlaceIt along with Envato Elements can give you a viable substitute for what those separate products offer.
Creating Mockups with PlaceIt
PlaceIt has thousands of images you can use to embed your logo or product image. The right image for your purpose will depend on the specific product you have, so for the purpose of this recipe we'll use this image of a woman standing next to a screen giving a presentation. Here's the default image when you visit the webpage:
To use this mockup you'll need to start with your graphic or logo sized to 1024x768 pixels. Not sure what a pixel is? There's a great overview on this page on Figma's website. You may notice that 768 is exactly 3/4 of 1024. This 4:3 ratio is one of several common image dimensions seen online.
If you try to use an image that's not sized correctly you will end up with a mockup that looks odd. In the case of this image that is 800x800 pixels, PlaceIt will prompt you to scale the image to fit:
If you want more control over how the image turns out, you can edit the image before uploading it using the Image Editing Recipe. But for the purpose of this Recipe let's zoom using the slider, then drag the image so that the logo is centered and click Crop.
Once you finish editing, you will immediately see your image embedded in the mockup. There are also options for adding text overlays to the image, or adding a logo or additional image. These are all added on top of the mockup rather than embedded in the mockup like the one we just added. A typical reason you would want to add one would be if you wanted to include a copyright or watermark on the image.
When you are finished, click Download to get your finished mockup. Note that it can sometimes take a minute or two for PlaceIt to generate the finished version; they will send you an email when it's ready so you don't have to stay on the page.
Here's the finished result from this recipe, ready for you to add to your website or use wherever you want.
Embedding your website in mockups with PlaceIt
If your product only exists online, embedding screenshots in PlaceIt mockups can be an effective way to create marketing collateral. We'll demonstrate this with two different templates; this image of a laptop open at a business meeting, and this one that includes both a laptop and a smartphone screen.
The interface for generating the mockup of the business meeting is the same as the presentation version we used earlier, although this one recommends a 2560x1600 pixel image:
This ratio is 1.6:1, which is wider than the 4:3 ratio from the previous mockup. Once again you can use an editor to resize your image for best results, or use the embedded tool in PlaceIt to zoom and crop your image. If you are using a web page screenshot or design in this mockup, we recommend you use an editor rather than cropping the image, because people are likely to notice if the screenshot looks unnatural in the finished mockup.
Here's the result we created using a screenshot of the DIY Tools database that's part of Startup Recipes.
Some PlaceIt templates offer opportunities for multiple images in the same mockup. In the below template there are places for both a laptop and a smartphone screen image. If your product is available as an app and a website, using a mockup like this can give you the ability to show off both products.
Pixel dimensions for smartphones tend to be very different than for laptops or other products because they are typically shown vertically-oriented. This means that a screenshot you create for a laptop will likely not look good on a smartphone, and vice versa. If your website or app has different styles for different devices, you can take a screenshot from a laptop and a smartphone to use for your mockup.
The finished version, showing the smartphone (in dark mode) browsing this recipe, is shown below.
The contents of this Recipe are © Innovation Works, Inc. and are licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0 . Contact us with questions or feedback, or to learn more about our structured program in Entrepreneurism based on Startup Recipes.