Mockups sell designs

By Dan Antonelli

Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2022

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More tips to help you get the logo approved

Communication: Have conversations up front about who their new logo should be targeting. Find out some of their likes and dislikes in terms of genres and styles. Use your portfolio: Have the client indicate which logos you’ve created they feel are most closely aligned to their vision of their brand.

Invest in your mockups: We’ve had professional photos taken of most of the more popular vans, and then created templates in Photoshop. Once the design is roughed out in Illustrator, we can build a realistic photo mockup in literally five minutes. If you go to the online version of this article at, you’ll find a link to a video that shows me doing this.

Be patient: Understand that most of your clients aren’t visual people. Be patient when explaining your vision to them. Just because they might not see it right away, doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Understand how important this decision is to them, and never take your responsibility lightly. If you do your job right, you’ll be creating the single most important asset this business will ever have.

Be enthused: You’re the expert here. You have to instill confidence in your work, and be excited and enthusiastic about the results it will have for their business. Sometimes that’s enough to get the client on board.

I often hear from other sign makers that the hardest part of selling logo design is getting clients to understand the vision they have for their brand, and how it will be implemented across different mediums. Quite often they present logo sketches, perhaps several on a piece of paper, or perhaps a digital image that they email their client.

As the designer, you understand how any one of these design sketches might work on the canvas it needs to live on. That’s your job—and something you’ve done time and time again. It comes natural to you. You can simply look at the design and “get it.” You know when you’ve hit a homerun on a design. You know exactly how it will look on their storefront, their vehicles, their stationery and their uniforms.

Unfortunately, the skill to envision how amazing your design might work doesn’t come naturally to the client. Therein lies the problem. You design something amazing, but they just don’t get it—and they don’t buy into the design.

I’d love to say our clients see our logo sketches and are as excited as we are about how it might work on their truck or elsewhere. Sometimes they are, but sometimes they still don’t get it. This has happened with some of the best brands we’ve created. The sketches just weren’t well received.

We really began to better understand what we were up against. Most clients simply don’t think the way we do, and they can’t see how what you’ve presented might work. I came to realize this wasn’t their fault; it’s not their business to understand and imagine how a logo might work on vehicles, signs, stationery and elsewhere.

So we changed the way we presented sketches. Since most clients are hiring us for a logo and a wrap design simultaneously, why not show one of our favorite sketches and how it might live integrated on a truck wrap? In doing so we can illustrate visually how amazing the truck wrap would look with their new logo.

Now you’re presenting something to them in a medium they can understand. Especially since their vehicle is often the most important part of their brand implementation.

I can’t tell you how many logos I think I’ve saved from never seeing the light of day by simply presenting how that design might look on an actual truck. Even if it’s just a rough approximation of the finished design, clients seem to “get it” more often than not as soon as I can present to them how it’s going to work on a truck (or sign, for that matter).

Dan Antonelli owns KickCharge Creative (formerly Graphic D-Signs, Inc.) in Washington, New Jersey. His latest book, Building a Big Small Business Brand, joins his Logo Design for Small Business I and II. He can be reached at dan@kickcharge. com. Dan also offers consulting and business coaching services to sign companies. For more information, visit On Instagram: @danantonelli_kickcharge.