by Kaleb Dean·
Signs are expensive, take a long time to get installed, and are difficult to document. They are also expensive to add to a design portfolio when the project can be in a different town, state, country, or continent. The right sign mockup solves all of these pain points with just a few clicks. Check out these sign mockup tips.
General signage mockups are great for making a sign mockup. Signage mockups cover a broad range of signs from street signs to billboards to restaurants to wayfinding. In most cases, signage mockups only need one view or one file. Oftentimes in branding mockup projects, designers can use one signage mockup to show the brand along with things like business cards, letterheads, cups, shirts, and so on. In other cases, signage mockups can be used to show multiple instances of signs whether different views, different contexts, or even different times of day like some of our mockups. We can break signage mockups into a few smaller buckets.
Billboards are huge in American advertising. Literally. A billboard mockup can be streetside, on a building, along a road, under a tree, and so many other places. Most billboard mockups show a scene during the day, even though many commuters travel during nighttime. For example, in Chicago, a billboard will be in the dark for nearly 3 months during the usual evening commute. That means that 25% of the time, the billboard is seen at night (not to mention the morning commute). That’s why many of our billboard mockups have a night version, too! In case you want to create your own billboard mockup, here are a few quick tips.
How to Mock up a Billboard
- Find a billboard that is pretty plain in design—busy images and designs are difficult to edit.
- Edit the billboard to remove the design and make it a plain white design
- Pro Tip: if you can keep the shadows and highlights from the environment, it’ll look even more realistic!
- Create a clipping mask and a layer for shadows.
- Create a Smart Object original layer in the right proportions, and a duplicate that is warped to match the billboard perspective.
- Smash it all together to mock up a billboard!
Wayfinding mockups are a bit different than general sign mockups. While other sign mockups only need one image to document them sufficiently, wayfinding mockups need more. Since wayfinding is all about helping people find their way, the project documentation needs to have more than one wayfinding mockup. From entry signs, directional panels, signage kiosks, and room signs, a wayfinding mockup is more than just one. Designers need to document the whole user flow.
Restaurant Sign Mockup
Restaurant sign mockups are relatively simple compared to the rest, though there is one significant difference: style. The sign style needs to match the restaurant design for a restaurant sign mockup. For a modern restaurant, the sign mockup should be modern. For a bespoke restaurant, the sign mockup should be bespoke, and so on. That can make the search for the mockup long and arduous, but worth it when that right sign mockup shows up!
Try our Free Restaurant Sign Mockup to see how they work, and why they add so much value to your project documentation.
Street Sign PSD
Street signs are one of the most underrated sign mockups. People see street signs everywhere, nearly every day, and yet there are very few of these resources available. A simple street sign psd file can help designers sell their work to cities, towns, and even places like amusement parks or any other organization installing street signs.