Create Realistic Mockups to Showcase & Promote your Designs | Mel Armstrong | Skillshare

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Create Realistic Mockups to Showcase & Promote your Designs

teacher avatar Mel Armstrong, Illustrator, Pattern Addict & Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Mockup intro


    • 2.

      Sourcing images


    • 3.

      Mockup 1 - Wall Calendar


    • 4.

      Mockup 2 - Cushion


    • 5.

      Mockup 3 - Dress


    • 6.

      Your Project


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About This Class

Mocking up your art allows your customers and clients to see it in a real environment.  With the power of Adobe Photoshop, you can create presentable mockups that will impress your clients, help you get sales on platforms such as Etsy or land licensing agreements.  It will also save you money, as you can visualise your design on a product without having to get samples made. You can also add your own branding to make your work look more marketable.

In this class, we will create three different mockups in three different ways: 

  • Mockup 1 - I’ll take you through a simple way of creating a mockup for a frame or wall calendar.  I’ll show you a simple way of isolating the shape where you’ll be placing the mockup and creating a smart object to place your design.
  • Mockup 2 - I’ll take you step by step through creating a mockup for a cushion.  I’ll demonstrate how you can bring out the shadows and highlights of the cushion by using blending modes.
  • Mockup 3 - I’ll take you step by step through creating a precise mockup on a dress. We’ll use the pen tool to create an accurate selection of the dress and  I’ll show you the power of the liquify tool to ensure your design looks like the original piece of clothing with shadows, creases & curves.

As you go, you’ll find each lesson increases in complexity.  The more difficult, the more precise the mockup will be. My goal is to help you tackle the difficulties and create mockups with ease.

Some experience with Photoshop is recommended for this class as I do skip over some of the basics.  If you need a little help with Photoshop, I recommend first doing my class “10 Photoshop Tips for Surface Designers”, where I teach you some of the basics of Photoshop, specific for illustrators and Surface Designers.  

This class is ideal for...

  • For artists who sell there work online such as Etsy and want to display it in an appealing way for their customers.
  • Artists who want to present there work to potential clients for licencing.

What you'll need...

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Photograph of a product to mockup.  Can be one of your own, or one from a royalty-free stock website.

I’m super excited to see your designs mocked up, so let’s dive in and get started!

x Mel


Meet Your Teacher

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Mel Armstrong

Illustrator, Pattern Addict & Teacher

Top Teacher

Hello and greetings!

I'm a dedicated illustrator and surface pattern designer hailing from Wellington, New Zealand. My passion lies in crafting beauty, whether it's through illustration, patterns, sewing, or even assembling IKEA flat packs (yes, really).

Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I found my way to Skillshare. After discovering this treasure trove of learning, I not only delved into various classes but also found my... See full profile

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1. Mockup intro: Hello, my name is Mel Armstrong. I'm a full-time illustrator and service pattern design from Wellington, New Zealand. I license my surface designs to a variety of clients all over the world. I find presenting my ideas for a design in the form of a mockup really helps me to find work. Mocking up your art allows your customers and clients to see it in a real environment. With a parallel of Adobe Photoshop, you can create a presentable mockup that will impress your clients, help you get sales and even get a licensing agreement. It will also save you money as you can visualize your design on a product without having to get samples made. You can also add your own branding to make your work look more marketable. In this class, we will create three different mockups in slightly different ways. In the first mockup, I'll take you through simple way of creating a mockup for a frame or wall calendar. I'll show you a simple way of isolating the shape where you'll be placing the mockup and creating a smart object to place your design, so that you can use it as a template. In the second mockup, I'll take you step-by-step through creating a mockup for a cushion, I'll demonstrate how you can bring out the shadows and highlight of the cushion by using different blending modes. In the third mockup, I'll take you step-by-step through creating a precise mockup on address. In this lesson, we'll use the pen tool to create an accurate selection of the address and I'll show you the power of the liquefy tool to ensure your design looks like the original piece of clothing, the shadows, crazes and curves. As you go you find each lesson increases in complexity. The more difficult, the more precise the mockup will be. My goal is to help you tackle the difficulties and create mockups with ease. Some experience with Photoshop is recommended for this class is I do skip over some of the basics. If you need a little help with Photoshop, I recommend first join my class, 10 Photoshop Tips for Surface Designer, where I teach you some of the basics of Photoshop. This class is ideal for artists who sadly work online such as ETC and want to display it in an appealing way for their customers. It's also ideal for artists who want to present their work to potential clients for licensing. I'm super excited to see your designs mocked up. Let's dive in and get started. 2. Sourcing images: Hi, everyone. Before we jump into creating our mockups, I just want to take you through quickly how to source your images that you use to mockup. I use a combination of methods. I either take a photo myself or something, or I use images from royalty-free stock websites. It's really important when you're sourcing an image that image is clean and that it doesn't have anything distracting, nothing hanging down in front of the thing that you're mocking up, just to make it easy for yourself and to make it look professional. Because the whole purpose of this is to create a professional-looking presentation that you can use for your store or to present to clients. You don't want anything too distracting. You want to show off your design on the product. Sometimes I take photos myself and there's a lamp in the background. You can see I've actually used that for a mockup in one of my previous classes, or I use stock websites. I'm going to show you a few of my favorite stock websites. This one here called Unsplash is a free stock website so you can download high resolution photos from here that are free. They do ask you to credit the artists when you can, but you'll find if you're looking for free photographs, this is probably my favorite one. The next one I'm going to show you is Shutterstock and you can see here already on my screen I've been searching for lots of lovely mockups. I'll show you quickly a term that I use when I search for something. Say I want to search for a cushion, I would type in cushion, I'll type in white and I'll type in mockup. There's three words there, cushion, white and mockup. What that will give you is lots of white cushions that is easy to mockup. Just look at them all, they're beautiful. You can go through and find your favorite one. Same thing when I'm searching for say, a frame or anything, I always put mockup in my keywords to search and I'll always put white. Another thing to check when you are buying these, the licensing. Generally, if you're just going to mockup a design that you want to show on your website, or you show in an an Etsy store, or present to someone, you can use the standard license. However, if you want to use the mockup to sell or to circulate an advertising that kind of stuff, you probably need to buy the enhanced or extended license. My recommendation to you is to always read the license terms so that you don't get caught out buying something and not being able to use it. Always read the license wording the license details because that way you know you're okay. Each website has slightly different rules when it comes to their licenses. The next one, I'll show you is another one of my favorites called 123rf and I actually sell some stuff on here as well. A lot of these websites, you do have to buy a subscription. My way of making that chip is to upload my own designs that get sold. Every now and then I'll upload patent designs or photography, mockup photos and the credits I get from that, I use to buy stock images that I can use for mockups, the ones that I can't get a good photograph myself, usually. The final one I'll show you is Adobe Stock. There are some fantastic stuff on here. I think this is where I found the dress that I'm going to show you how to mockup, so I'm going type in white dress and mockup. You can find a whole lot of clean images, lots of T-shirt ones. I might even narrow them down to say kids and there are some fun ones there too. Little T-shirts, lots of great stuff. Once you find yourself an image, you're ready to tackle the mockups. In each lesson, I will show you the mockup, that I sourced and where I sourced it from, so you're most welcome to go find the same one. If you've got a subscription you can download it. Otherwise, I recommend using Unsplash to practice with because you can get some free ones there that you can use to practice on and let's get started. 3. Mockup 1 - Wall Calendar: Hi everyone. This is the first mock-up I'm going to show you in this class. This is a simple mock-up that you can create pretty quickly. For this mock-up, I would suggest getting something that is square, like a frame, or in my case here, I've downloaded an image of a wall calendar. Any frame or wall calendar would be perfect, or poster maybe. Something that's very easy to draw out the shape of the object that you're going to mock-up. I got this image from Shutterstock. Let me show you. It is here. There are heaps of beautiful images that you can get from Shutterstock, here are some posters, it's something that you can show your artwork on those. They're very simple and effective. Your artwork will really standout on this image. The first thing I'm going to do is actually save this as a PSD at the moment, it's just a JPEG that I've opened. I'm going to go to File Save As, and I'm going to save it as a Photoshop file. I'm just going to call it mockup1-calendar. The first step is to add some guides so that we can draw out the shape. Make sure you've got your ruler showing. If they're not showing, go up to View, Rulers. Make sure that it's checked. What that lets you do is to create guides by clicking on the Ruler itself and holding down, click and hold, and then drag until you can align that guide in the right spot around your object. You can zoom right in. Get that right on there. Don't worry if it's not 100 percent accurate because we can change it later. Then I want to do the other side. Then click at the top and drag to the top and the bottom zoom in there and see. Just nudge that up a bit. Last one at the top. Easy. Now, you should lock your guides so that you don't accidentally bump them. Go up to View. Lock Guides. The next step is to draw out the shape of where your mock-up will appear. As this is a straight rectangle, we can use the Rectangle tool on your keyboard, or you can select the Rectangle from the toolbar. Zoom in a little bit. You might want to make sure that you've got the whole rectangle, in your view. Click on the corner and don't be too worried about getting this completely accurate because I'm about to show you how to fix that. Then just drag out your rectangle and make sure that fill color is a dark color. I'm just going to change that to dark brown. Now to adjust the frame, you may not have it in the exact right spot. If you use Command T to turn on the Free Transform tool, this will activate the corners, which you can see here. If you hold down Command and click on the corner, you can adjust it to the correct position. If I will Command and then you can see you can just pull that into it is in the exact right position. Another way that will help you get it correct is to ensure that you've got Snap on. Don't always use this comes sometimes it can be a hindrance, but sometimes it can actually be quite helpful to get that in the right spot. Let's go check this on the side. I think it all looks pretty good to be honest. You may find that you've magically got in the exact spot. This one's gone a bit low. I want to hold down the Command and just snap that back up. Then the other side, now I'm holding down my space and clicking to drag this. Sometimes it's easier just to go back out and then back in again. Then Command and click to get that in the right spot. When you're happy, just click the tick box and then just click Yes to that message. The next step is to convert that to a smart object. What that does is it converts it to a vector shape. Right-click it, Convert to Smart Object. When you double-click that smart object, it will open up into another document. The great thing about this is that means you can use this template, this mock-up multiple times. Using the smart object, you just need to put your design into the smart object to appear back on your main document. What we're going to do next is to place our design into the smart object. There's a couple of ways you can do that. You could open up your design. I've got a calendar here. If I do Command A to select the whole document and then Command C to copy, go back to my smart object and Command V to paste. Then zoom out and select Command T to transform. I can then readjust the size down to fit that space. Then Command S to save. If we go back, you can see it's now come across onto our mock-up. Another way to place your design in here. I will remove that, is to go to file place embedded. This time I'm going to select my original PSD of my calendar. Place that there. What we've done here is embedded the original file, which means if I double-click it, it's like another smart object, which means I can now edit the original document, update it, and it will update into my mock-up. That's just another way to place your design in there. Either way is fine. Save that and go it's updated there. I might just remove the guides. We don't need them anymore. Go to View, Clear Guides. Step 5 is to adjust blending modes to make it look more realistic. At the moment it doesn't look fantastic. We can't see the holes up here. What we need to do is adjust it to create a more realistic mock-up. The first thing I do is change that layer to multiply blending mode that allows the texture of the actual calendar to come through. Now, you can see that it went a bit darker and go back to normal. That's what the original looks like. Now multiple, we'll make it a bit darker. It will change the color slightly. What I normally do for that is create an adjustment. If I go to my Adjustments panel and select Levels, we can then adjust the levels put down a bit. We can adjust these levels to adjust the brightness and to get it back to the original color. I'm just going to change that to darken it up a little bit to make it more like the original colors. The next step is to erase any unwanted areas, I just noticed two. See this black line at the top. It means we haven't actually filled this all the way up on our smart object. You can see there's a gap here, so if I just select that and just resize it slightly to ensure that we have covered the whole area. Just double-check the bottom as well. That's better. Now, we don't have that dark shine through. That's why you should set that original rectangle to dark, it allows you to see where you haven't quite taking your artwork to the edge. Now, this next step is to erase any unwanted areas. I want to erase all these holes and the binding. I want that all to showing through. Enjoy your smart object layout and select then click on Layer Mask, so that is down the bottom here, is little square with a hole in the middle. Click that, ensure that your fill and stroke are black and white. If I put it onto erase, you can also use a brush. If I erase a bit, if I hit the X to toggle my strike and fill, I can then return that back in what I erased. It means that you're not going to lose any work because you can go back. With that, I'm going to zoom that right in here. Hit the X so that I'm on erase. I'm going to erase these holes as well as the binding. Then you have a simple mock-up to display a ruler calendars. You can re-use it over and over. It's a very simple way to showcase your art. It's great for Etsy stores to display your work that will get you lots of sales hopefully. Just to summarize those steps, in step 1, we edit guides. In step 2, we drew the shape out. In step 3, we converted it to a smart object. Then in step 4, we placed the design in the smart object. Step 5, we adjusted the blending modes. Finally in step 6, we removed all those unwanted areas. In the next class, we are going to mock-up a cushion. In this one, it's going to be slightly harder. I'll show you how to add some highlights and shadows to make it more realistic mock-up. See you there. 4. Mockup 2 - Cushion: Welcome back everyone. This is the second mockup for this class. It's slightly harder than the first one. A little bit more complex but not too difficult. This is the end result. This is the image that I found on Shutterstock again. There are many, many, many images on Shutterstock with some lovely plain white cushions that you can mockup. This one was perfect for what I was after. Like this one here on the couch if you wanted to have two cushions that were displaying two different designs from the same collection, that would look really great. Back to our cushion. The first step is to isolate this cushion. To isolate the cushion, the first thing you need to do is duplicate the image layer. So unlock it, drag it down to the duplicate icon. Now you have two layers. Hide the first layer. With your top layer selected, select the Quick Selection Tool, and then click and drag on your cushion to select it. When you let go, it will select the area. Also, if you have Adobe CC, or any version, you can just say option up here would select subject. If it hasn't selected the whole area that you want, you can actually click this button, and it will use its intelligence to select it for you. I'm not sure if it's going to work in this case because it's all the same color, but let's give it a go. See it has selected too much. If you have Adobe CC give it a go because sometimes it's pretty cool, that will select everything, but I'm going to undo that. To remove these bits that you have gone over. If you hold on the Option key, you can see there it's got a minus. If I click in there, drag it will drag it back down to around the cushion. I'm just going to bump out some of these areas. Don't worry too much if it's not completely accurate. The next thing I will do is hit "Q" on my keyboard. Now I will zoom in and fix up these little pieces that I've gone over. To do that, I use the brush tool. So B on your keyboard, find a brush that is round brush, something that's quite solid. Take that down in size by using the left square bracket. Make sure your stroke, and fill is black and white. If you've got the fill on black, you can erase, the bits that you don't want. The red area allows me to see easily where it has gone over. Now if you make mistake about that, I've gone too far into the cushion hit "X "on your keyboard to toggle the stroke and fill. Now we've got white on top, and I can put that back in. I'm just going to go around, and clean this up a little bit. When you're happy with that, hit the "Q" again on the keyboard. Now we want to isolate the cushion by deleting everything around the outside of it. To do that, go up to Select Inverse, and then hit "Delete." Now we just have the cushion on its own. Don't de-select yet, unhide the original layer. Go up to Select an Inverse, to select that cushion area again, and then hit "Delete." If you remove that first player, you can see that you've now removed the cushion on the first layer and you just have the cushion on the second layer. We'll turn both of those on, command it to unselect. Next, we're going to create a pattern layer. If we go up to Layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern It selected my last pattern, which was fine we'll use that. Drag that layer to the bottom. Next step is to select the top layer, the cushion layer, and change the blending mode to multiply. This will allow that pattern to show it through. I double-click my pattern now I can then go in and move it around to the spot where I want it. The next step is to allow the shadows, and highlights of the original cushion to show through your pattern. So duplicate that top layer, the cushion layer. With that top layer selected, select the blending mode Linear Burn, and adjust the opacity to around 60 percent. You can see the shadows have come through. If you wanted to remove this background I have with the chair, and the wall, and just have a plain color, or some sort of texture, place a layer above your background layer. I'm going to do a Color, New Fill Layer, Solid Color. That will do for the moment, and then clip it to that background layer and see now I've just got a colored background. Still it didn't really suit my cushion, but you could place a wooden floor there or some sort of texture and then you don't have the chair. But I like the chair, so we'll get rid of that layer. There you go. I'll just summarize. In step 1, we isolated the cushion. In step 2, we added a pattern. In step 3, we added some highlights and shadows. In the next lesson, I will take it to another level. We'll do a mockup on a dress. In that lesson I'll show you how to curve the edges so that it actually looks like it's wrapping around the object. In this one, the pattern is actually just laying there flat and we wanted to bend the curves and wrap-around, so it looks even more realistic than this one. This is fine. I would use this for a lot of my mockups, but the next mockup I'm going to show you, really does take it to another level. Takes a bit of time, but I think the time will be rewarded because you'll have a great mockup that you can use to showcase your products, and your designs. See you then. 5. Mockup 3 - Dress: Welcome back everyone. This is going to be the hardest mock-up to create, but hopefully I can make it easy for you. I found this image on Adobe Stock and motion at that. What I look for when I'm am creating a mock-up, that is going to be very precise. Mock-up is something that doesn't have too much going on. So I tried to find ones where there is no hair hanging in front because hair can be quite difficult to remove or mock-up around. Not too many embellishments like this one does have some lines on the bottom, but normally wouldn't not pick that, but I thought it was really cute and I am going to try and incorporate it. But you don't want too much stuff going on and you just want it as plain as possible, white or even the light gray would work. So this is where I am going with this photo and also because she looks so like my daughter. Anyway, let us get started. First of all, I am going to save this JPEG as a PSD, and we will call this one mockup3.dress. Make sure it's a PSD Photoshop file. So we can use it over and over again. So step one is to place your pattern on top of this dress. So I am going to create a new layer, New Fill Layer, Pattern. I am going to use the same pattern that I used in my previous class. Click "OK". Now to align it where I want it. I am just going to change the blending mode to Multiply. Slide Opacity down a bit. Then I can adjust this to a position that I think could look good. That will do. I can also adjust the size as well. If we wanted to make it smaller. I could change the scale down, but I quite like it at 100 percent, so I will leave it there. The next thing I need to do is actually cut it out. So to do that first, I am going to restisize this layer. So if you right-click on it, choose Restisize Layer, and then right-click again, right-click on the Layer Mask and select Apply Layer Mask. Then select the Marquee tool and just draw out a rectangle around the dress. Leave a little bit of space around the edge as we need that. For him we are going to try and wrap the dress and round her so it looks more realistic. It can probably go a little bit smaller than that. Once you have made your selection, inverse it. So I got to select Inverse. Then delete the outside of that. So there we have just got a piece of that passion that covers her dress. Make sure you've got her dress completely covered. You can then return the blending mode to Normal. Opacity to normal as well. Next thing you need to do is add a layer mask. So go down to your Layer Mask icon and click on that. Make sure the Layer Mask is selected and then invert it by hitting Command I. Next step is to isolate the dress so that the pattern only appears on the dress. To do this, the most precise method of doing this is to use the Pen tool. Now if you're new to using the Pen tool, you may find it a bit tricky. It does take a bit of practice. I suggest just practice outlining different shapes and sizes just so you can get a good grip of the Pen tool and how to navigate your way around an object. So let us get started. I am going to zoom in a bit. I am going to start here and select Paper Pen first. Then click all the way around that. If you need to adjust along the way, you use the Command key. See how I can still see a bit here, I want to move it out a bit. So I am going to hit Command and just click and drag to the position. Then you can also still holding down the Command, adjust the in-cants by pulling on names. So you can make it very very precise by doing this. There are so many ways of isolating an object for a mock-up. This is just one of them and I find it's probably the most precise. Let's keep going. I'm not going to do the collar. I could add that later on. I wanted too. Use the Space bar and the mass to just drag it around as you go. Let us speed this up. It takes so long before you don't get your board. Then once you get to the end, you just click on that first point to close it up. There I have got the whole thing just selected. So then you right-click and select Make Selection. I like to give it a bit of a feather radius. So about 0.5 is good. It just makes the edge a bit smoother and not so jugged. Click on the Layer Mask and hit Shift Delete, and then fill it with white. Make sure that it's 100 percent to your Opacity. Then it will show through. Command D and deselect. So obviously at the moment it looks very flash. So the next step is to use the Liquify and Freeze Mask tools to wrap this pattern around the dress to make it look more realistic. So to do that, make sure you have got the pattern selected, not the layer mask, the pattern. Go up to Filter, Liquify. Here make sure you've got the Option in View Options. Make Show Image on. That way you can see your person over there. You also want to have the Show Backup on. I haven't set to All Layers and Mode in front. You can increase or decrease the Opacity to allow that to show through more. Now over here you have got top one is called Forward Warp Tool. We are going to use that to bump in the edges to make it appear as though the pattern is actually molded to the dress. So it curves around the body around the dress. So I like to get this to very large. So I'm just hitting the right square bracket. Then I am going to push in the sides. I'm going to also push down on the top a little just to follow the contour of her body. And the same at the bottom. Just pushing up a few. I'm just going to go out and have a quick look of that. Starting to look a bit better. Let's just change this to multiply and it will show the creases. Go back into liquify. Now there's a tool over here called the freeze mask tool which is great for where you've got creases. So if we zoom in here, I'm just going to phrase that crease there. Go back to my work tool just decrease that using the left square bracket. And then I can pull that in so that it will look like it's going down underneath that crease. I'm going to do the same over here just slightly on this one. And then there's another one over here, which is quite hard to see but there is actually one there. And see how that's holding the left side there. So now I'm ready to push the design underneath it to make it look more realistic. So we push these in a little bit more. Another thing you can do with creases is pull it down on one side slightly, then push up on the other. Also creates a nice effect. Okay, that's starting to look good. Just need to do a little bit in here where the buttons are so let's go back inside liquify tool. Going to freeze that side of the buttons and we will push in the other side. It's much better. So now it looks like the pattern has gone underneath that button. Alright, the next step is to create some highlights and shadows. Let's just put this back to normal. Dump that opacity back to normal. So the first step in this is actually to put it on multiply. We can bump the opacity down a little bit, create a duplicate of the original layer and take it to the top, and then clip it to the dress. Otherwise, your changes will apply to the whole image. Changed the blending mode to multiply. Just adjust the opacity a little bit. So it's not so dark maybe, this is just allowing their shadows to come through. Now we need to bring out the highlights. So I'm going to duplicate the original layer. Again, take it to the top, clip it, and change the blending mode to screen this time. And this time I'm going to change the levels. I'm going to bring up the levels panel and I'm going to take the left side all the way down the dark side. So just go a little bit of light on the right-hand side here where the light is hitting the dress. And then I want to adjust the levels just to take that down a little bit more so it's not so bright. Okay, it's starting to look really good, we're almost there. So the final thing I'm going to do is bring out these buttons that are hiding at the moment. So I'm going to go back to my original layer. Click on the Layer Mask, make sure that my fill and stroke is black and white. And then use my eraser tool to erase, smudge off the white is your fill. And that will let you erase that core. Put it back, so to speak. Now I've got the layer mask selected, I'm just going to clean up these edges with, when I did my pen tool, I've gone too far and you can see a bit of the dress showing through. So I can actually bring that back by using my eraser tool. Natural black is different. Let's get it back. And it's going to go around and fix a few spots like that. And there you go. A quite precise mock-up that's got shadows, highlights, the pattern fits around her so as not so flat. It almost looks like the real thing. Obviously, it's impossible to make it look like the real thing, but this is pretty close and it's a great way to showcase your work. So to summarize, in step one, we place the pattern over the dress. In step two, we isolated the dress using the pen tool. In step three, we use the liquify tool to wrap the pattern around the dress. In step four, we brought out the highlights and shadows of the dress. And then finally in step five, we removed any unwanted areas. [MUSIC] 6. Your Project: For the class project, you get to mock-up your own design. You can create a simple or complex mock-up using a photo you've taken yourself or when you have sourced from royalty-free stock website. You could use one of the methods I've shown you, or you could use combination of all of them. Your mock-up should include your name or logo, so that is easily recognized as your own. Don't forget to upload it to the project gallery so that we can all appreciate your wonderful work. Thank you for watching. I really hope you got a lot out of my class. If you have any questions, please post them in the community section and I'll try and get back to you as soon as I can. If you're sharing your work on social media, please use the hashtag Milan strong design so I can see all your beautiful work. Thank you again. See you later.