What is Placeit and Who Needs it?
Like Canva, you can create brand elements, social media graphics, and videos with Placeit using templates. However, the interface looks and works very differently from Canva. If you thought Canva was easy, well, Placeit is even easier! Unlike Canva, however, you cannot use Placeit to design from scratch; only create using their existing templates.
So, if you’re someone who doesn’t design from scratch and only uses templates, Placeit can be an alternative to Canva for you.
However, this blog post isn’t about Placeit’s templates. It’s about my favorite feature: The digital mockups.
Digital Mockups and Placeit
I can’t talk about Placeit without giving you some content first. So, here you go:
What are digital mockups?
A digital mockup allows you to visualize a product as though you were seeing the product in-use in real life. These mockups can be in 3D (like the 3D mockups of actual, physical products,) or they can be images.
Here’s an example: I sell Canva templates for eBooks, workbooks, social media graphics, etc. And I want my potential buyers to see what those things may look like in real life. So, if I designed an eBook, what would it look like on an actual device like an iPad? Sure, I could bring it up on my iPad (which, by the way, I don’t have… I’m more of a Windows person myself,) and take some photos, which let’s face it, isn’t easy because I’m not a still-life photographer. Not a good one anyway.
So, what do I do? I turn to digital mockups. The screenshot below is a mockup of one of my Canva templates: A pricing and services guide for creators and/or freelancers
As you can see in the image above, it’s a photo of an iPad pro on, what appears to be, a coffee table. It even has a couple of coffees!
No, I didn’t take that photo. It’s simply a mockup.
Mockups are great for buyers to get a feel for the actual product they’re about to purchase. Great mockups can really change minds and bring in more sales! So, if you’re someone who sells digital products, mockups are essential for you.
What kind of mockup tools are available to you?
Of course, there are plenty of other apps out there, and usage depends on the kind of mockups you’re creating.
In this post, I want to highlight the most common types of mockups that my readers will find useful: digital documents, graphics, print-on-demand products such as t-shirts, mugs, hats, etc. For these mockups, you can use:
- And now, Placeit!
The most common type of mockup creator is Photoshop. I often use Photoshop to create my mockups. The mockup of the pricing guide you see above? That was created using Photoshop.
The problem, however, is that Photoshop has a bit of a learning curve. In fact, unless you’re really good with Photoshop, I don’t recommend that you attempt creating mockups from scratch. I have a decent working knowledge of Photoshop, but even I don’t create mockups from scratch. Instead, purchase Photoshop mockup templates and customize them for my products (the mockup above was created using such a template by Moyo Studio.) They’re easier to deal with, but you still have to understand some Photoshop features, and these Photoshop Mockups aren’t cheap…
So, for creators who’re not Photoshop savvy, you can always learn the tool, or, use something like Placeit.
What kind of mockups can you create with Placeit?
Placeit allows you to create mockups of all kinds of things, including but not limited to:
- Apparel mockups like hoodies, onesies, masks, sportswear, etc.
- Device mockups like iPhone, iPad, laptops, etc.
- Print mockups such as books, magazines, flyers, etc.
- Print-on-demand mockups like t-shirts, mugs, totes, etc. (Great for those of you with a dropshipping business!)
- And many more.
The following is a mockup (creation in progress) for one of my Canva eBook templates, with Placeit.
Why Placeit over Smartmockups?
Well, it’s not so much that one tool is better than the other, but that Placeit is a viable alternative to Smartmockups with two qualities that give Placeit a serious edge over Smartmockups:
- Placeit has certain video mockups that can be useful if you have a dropshipping business, and you want to promote your products (like a t-shirt, for example, with cute videos on TikTok, Instagram story, Facebook story, etc.
- Placeit annual subscription is cheaper than Smartmockups.
One benefit of Smartmockups for Canva users is that a version of Smartmockps is integrated within Canva; meaning, you can use some features of Smartmockups without ever leaving the Canva platform.
However, that Canva integration comes with some serious limitations:
- You cannot change the color of the products themselves. (all Smartmockups products within Canva are white!)
- You cannot change the scale of the design within the product.
So, for example, if you’ve designed something for your print-on-demand business (like a dropshipping business,) and you want to show your potential buyers what your design may look like on a red t-shirt, well, you can’t, not from within Canva anyway.
However, if you go directly to Smartmockups.com, then you can change the colors of the products too. But then you have to sign up for a Smartmockup subscription.
Here’s a brief comparison of Smartmockups and Placeit:
|Cost||When you sign up for an annual plan, a Placeit subscription is cheaper than Smartmockups (Placeit: $7.47/month; Smartmockups: $9/month)|
|Free mockups||A limited number of free mockups are available on both Smartmockups and Placeit.|
|Image-based mockups||Available on both Placeit and Smartmockups|
|Video-based mockups||Placeit only|
|Canva integration||Smartmockups only|
How to Generate a Mockup with Placeit
The whole point of Placeit is that it’s easy to use. The platform is super intuitive, but still, for first-time users, I hope this short tutorial will be useful.
Since I’m a Canva template designer, allow me to show you how I designed this mockup:
You can watch the video below, or, if you prefer to read your tutorials, scroll down past the video for a step-by-step written tutorial.
Step 1: Create an account on Placeit
Well, you can actually wait to create an account until you’ve designed something and you wish to download the image or mockup. This is great for first-time users. If you don’t know whether you want to use Placeit or something else, feel free to just go to placeit.net and give the tool a try. But, for brevity, I’ll assume you have decided to use Placeit, so the first step for this tutorial would be to create an account and sign up for a subscription.
A few things to note, however:
- If you do not have a need for a lot of use, you can bypass the subscription, and purchase the designs as you create them. A one-time purchase is $7.95.
- Placeit has some free designs available as well that you can download without having to purchase anything or subscribing to a monthly or yearly plan.
But, if you’re a power creator, like a dropshipping business owner who creates multiple designs per month, then an annual subscription will give you the most bang for the bucks.
Step 2: Make sure to download the design as an image on your computer
To create the mockups, you’ll need to have your design ready on your computer.
For example, I designed my magazine/eBook using Canva. So, before I started creating my mockup, I downloaded the magazine spreads as PNG files on my computer from Canva so that I may upload them later on Placeit.
Step 3: Find the mockups template on Placeit
You can go to the Mockup tab on Placeit and find a mockup you want to use using the different categories. Or, you can use the search bar to find the mockup you want.
For example, to create the mockups above, I simply searched for “A4 magazine” on the search bar and chose one that I liked from the search results. When you like a mockup, just click it to go to the next step of customizing the mockups with your designs.
Step 4: Familiarize yourself with the different Placeit mockup customization options
When you click on the mockup you like, you’ll go to the next stage — the mockup editing page. Here, you should take a look around and see what editing options are available to you. Depending on the mockups, you may have different options available for different ones.
For the mockup I’m using, these are the options available to me:
- The ability to add some text on the mockup
- The ability to add my designs to the mockup (in this case, the left and right magazine spread images)
- Magazine color (default is white, but you can change it to something else.)
- The ability to add additional graphics (for example, if you wish to add your business logo, you can use this feature to do so.)
- The ability to change the background color of the mockup, or add an image or gradient. You can add your own or choose from the ones available within Placeit.
Step 5: Customize the mockup
Now go ahead and customize the mockup. For this one, changed the following:
- I used the “Add text option to add the following text: A4 Magazine Canva Template
- I used the left and right images to add the spreads.
- I didn’t change the magazine color because I preferred the pages to be white. And also, the spreads were fully covered by the images I uploaded so, it didn’t matter what the page colors were.
- I didn’t upload additional graphics either.
- I did change the background color from pink to a dark gray-mauve color to compliment the magazine spreads’ colors.
Step 6: Review the design and then download
When you’re done, review and then download.
If you’re already a subscriber (refer to step #1,) you should be able to download the design right away.
If you haven’t subscribed already, however, when you click the download button, you’ll see the following popup where you can either purchase just that mockup for $7.95. Or, you can subscribe to a monthly or annual plan.
Download and enjoy!
And that’s it! You’re done! Easy-peasy! Too many exclamation marks!!!
What do you think?
Do you have a need for creating mockups for your business? Do you use Photoshop or Smarkmockups or something else to create those? if so, which one do you use primarily? Would you consider giving Placeit a try? Let me know in the comments!
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