Two Types of Design Mockups in Design: Hardware and Graphic -1

Two Types of Design Mockups in Design: Hardware and Graphic


In the dynamic world of design, mockups play a pivotal role in transforming visions into tangible experiences. A mockup, in its essence, is a full-scale model of a design used for demonstration, evaluation, or promotion purposes. These visual tools bridge the gap between an abstract idea and its physical manifestation, providing a realistic preview of the final product.


Design mockup


Physical Hardware Mockups



hardware Design mockup


Physical Hardware Mockups are predominantly used in industrial design. They are a go-to method when designing a product and wanting to see a physical representation of it. Design mockups, especially in the realm of physical hardware, offer invaluable insights into the actual look and feel of a product before it goes into mass production.


Types of Physical Hardware Design Mockups (Focused on Form and Aesthetics)


1. Paper Mockups
  • Created using paper or cardboard, these mockups provide a basic, tangible representation of the product’s shape and size.
  • Ideal for quick and cost-effective design iterations, especially in the early stages of product development.


2. Machined Mockups
  • Machined from materials like foam, wood, or plastic, these mockups offer a more accurate representation of the product’s form.
  • They are often used for ergonomic assessments and to understand the spatial dimensions of a design.


3. 3D Printed Mockups
  • Utilize 3D printing technology to create detailed and precise representations of the product.
  • While they can mimic the look and feel of the final product, they typically do not incorporate functional elements.


4. Look-Like Mockups
  • These mockups are designed to closely resemble the final product in terms of color, texture, and finish.
  • They are crucial in visualizing the final aesthetic appeal of the product, often used for marketing and presentation purposes.


5. Scaled Mockups
  • Miniature or scaled-down versions of the product, maintaining the proportions and aesthetics.
  • Useful for products that are too large to be prototyped at full scale, like vehicles or furniture.



These types of mockups play a crucial role in visualizing the physical aspect of the product without delving into its functionality. They are essential in assessing the design’s visual appeal, ergonomics, and overall impact, often used to gather feedback from designers, stakeholders, or potential customers in the developmental phase.


Examples of Physical Hardware Design Mockups


I’d like to share my experience with creating a mockup based on an actual headphone design. First, we create a soft mockup using 3D printing, based on the designed headphones. This step is to review the overall feel, focusing on the form and size to match the actual product.



Bengdii commissioned a headphone design project, and now we are selling children’s headsets worldwide based on that work.



mock up


We utilized a 3D printer to test the shape and form, and through machining, we produced a finish almost identical to the mass-produced product. The 3D printed model on the left, although non-functional, allowed us to primarily evaluate the form and feel. On the right, the design mockup offered the advantage of examining not only the movement but also the material and finish (CMF), which greatly facilitated our work process.


mock up




Showcasing Websites with Examples of Design Mockups


Yanko Design








Overview: Yanko Design is a popular online magazine dedicated to covering the best in international product design. It has been presenting innovative and industrial designs since its inception in 2002.


Content: The site showcases a wide range of design disciplines, including product, industrial, and hardware design mockup. It’s known for featuring cutting-edge, futuristic concepts and real-world product designs.


Audience: Ideal for designers, technology enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the latest trends in product design.


Unique Aspect: Yanko Design stands out for its focus on modern, often futuristic design concepts, making it a great source for inspiration and staying updated on the latest design innovations.








Overview: DesignBoom is one of the first digital magazines for architecture, design, and art. Since its launch in 1999, it has established itself as a leading source of information in the design world.


Content: The website covers a broad range of design topics, including architecture, art, and technology, with a significant emphasis on product and industrial design mockup.


Audience: Targeted towards professional architects, designers, students, and design aficionados.


Unique Aspect: DesignBoom is known for its comprehensive coverage of global design competitions, exhibitions, and prominent figures in the design world.








Overview: NOTCOT is a visual filtration of ideas + aesthetics + amusements. It’s a network of design-centric websites that focuses on visual inspiration.


Content: The site features an eclectic mix of content, ranging from design and art to intriguing gadgets and technology design mockup.


Audience: Suitable for creative professionals seeking inspiration, as well as anyone with an interest in contemporary design and art.


Unique Aspect: NOTCOT’s strength lies in its diverse range of content, which is not only limited to traditional design but also includes unique and quirky ideas and objects.






For the next post, we will delve into the topic of Graphic Mockups.


design mock-up






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