If you are a designer, or even a wanna-be, you have probably heard of Placeit. Placeit is one of the best known “mockup” companies currently online. However, they are not the only choice. With other options out there, we decided to do an in-depth review of Placeit and provide you with the most objective review possible as to its overall ease of use, image library, pricing, customer service and quality.
The Ultimate Review of Placeit. Placeit has a huge image library, offers competitive mockup pricing and is fairly easy to use. However, it lacks easy to find tutorials for the new user and some of the graphics are dated.
|Reasonably intuitive||Tutorials hard to find|
|Large image library||Some graphics look dated|
|Large portfolio of preset options||Some uploaded images look grainy|
|Subscription fairly inexpensive||By the piece charges add up fast|
Welcome to the digital age, my friend. Back in the “old” days, when we wanted a logo, business card designed, any other form of “custom” image, we hired a graphic designer, hoped they understood our needs and vision and then paid out the wazoo. Then came Photoshop and many people began making their own. Placeit, among other companies like it, is 17th generation (I exaggerate) from that beginning.
What is Placeit?
Placeit is a “mockup” company that has been in business since 2013. Basically, it allows you to make your own logos, designs and artwork. It offers a library of images and templates as well as giving you the option to upload your own.
In addition, Placeit allows you to design animated video, slideshows, images for T-shirts and other hard goods, e-designs and just about any other type of graphic design you can think of.
To continue clarifying for the uninitiated, a “mockup” is a preset merchandise template. You can add your own logo or image to this template to customize for your personal or business use.
Placeit has a free version, which has a limited number of mockups available, a “pay-as-you-go” version, where you pay only for the services you utilize and a subscription that you can pay monthly or annually which offers unlimited downloads and mockups.
What it lacks, to start with, is a clearly understandable tutorial on its use. If you’re new to mockups in general, this can become frustrating really quick.
Sure, you could probably research tutorials on YouTube, but you’d think a company that can help you make your own slideshow and animated video could at least offer an easy to locate tutorial or two.
After over 8 hours, I finally found a few video tutorials under the FAQ section. To be honest, a completely different site directed me to this area. I probably wouldn’t have looked here for video tutorials, personally.
Lacking that tutorial, I decided to be a typical user and try out everything I could.
Services Offered and Ease of Use
As I indicated, Placeit offers multiple services to its users. Let’s delve deeper into each and see what exactly they are offering.
The Placeit site indicates they 22,992 mockups available. That’s a pretty impressive number. (and checking back a few days later, they add new ones almost daily: 24,715 available today)
To test the site out, I chose the T-shirt mockup offered in the mockup generator. It returned 11,741 results. That’s a bit overwhelming to sort through, however good to know there are plenty of options.
Changing direction, I clicked on T-shirt in the alphabetized left side bar menu. That offered 7,501 options. It also brought up a page consisting of photos of different models wearing different types of T-shirts with the words “upload your image here” on all of them, along with the size of the image in pixels.
Ok, so I pick a picture. Since I’m not really going to make a shirt, I don’t care which one I select. Primarily this is a marketing feature, so what my model looks like is irrelevant.
On the left is a side menu with the options of choosing text and uploading your image. I select image and pickup a copy of a logo I have saved to my and upload it. Bingo! Within less than 2 seconds my logo is placed in the center of the white T-shirt the model is wearing. On the right, I find a button that allows me to change the shirt color.
Have to admit, that was pretty easy and cool. I can also add text and modify text color, background color and font.
I could now purchase this layout, with my customized logoed shirt and custom text for $7.95 or can pay for a subscription for unlimited downloads.
The subscription is $14.95 per month. Or $12.70 per month with the 15% off coupon.
Once downloaded, I would be able to use this in my website for marketing purposes, in advertising or any other digital format. [Full commercial usage rights]
All in all, that wasn’t terribly difficult, even for a non-graphic artist like me.
What I like about it is that it is fairly intuitive, almost immediately visible and straight forward.
What I don’t like is my logo has a white background. This shows up on my shirt if I select a colored shirt. I could find nowhere to eliminate that issue. I know there is software available to make a white background transparent, it would be nice that that was an option in this area, as well.
Lunapic.com “transparent” tool is the best free option I’ve found so far to remove the background color of a logo.
Additional mockups available are too numerous to list entirely, but include banners, blankets, business cards, coffee cups, Facebook ads, flyers, letterhead, brochures, bags and iPhone or Samsung covers, to name just a few of the choices provided. Each mockup category has multiple template designs available to choose from.
In case I haven’t been clear…they are NOT selling you the shirt, cup or bag that you have designed. They are allowing you to design the graphic and download the picture. Saw this question in their FAQ page and thought it was worthy of clarifying.
That image can then be added to your business website, Facebook page, Instagram story or integrated into a marketing promotion. The choice is yours.
Under the “designs” category, you have choices like Instagram posts or stories, YouTube profile pictures, Twitch templates, podcast covers, and Pinterest pins. In total, I counted 21 separate categories to choose from.
For fun, I select a Facebook post template. I select a picture. The post is to encourage folks to follow my vlog and features a squirrel in a pink frame, with the words “follow me”. I quickly change the image to my own, upload the custom image and in about 2 seconds, my own face is staring back at me rather than the squirrel. Frankly, I liked the squirrel better.
I am beginning to see potential in this. I am able to change text, font, colors and background easily.
What I like…again, it isn’t terribly difficult to figure out how to manipulate the images and change the text.
What I don’t like…text changes take quite a while to render and visualize. The more changes you make, the longer the image seems to take to modify.
Using Google Chrome internet browser proved to speed things up.
I can download this design for $2.95, or it is included under the subscription.
The monthly subscription includes unlimited downloads of every category on the website, not only mockups.
Under the “logos” selection, there are 46 industries to select from, including include Chiropractic, Consultants, Painters, Law Firms, Coffee Shops, Designers and Gaming Teams and Avatars, to name just a few.
If none are quite what you’re wanting, there is an abstract option, which digs even deeper into choices. These choices include things like CBD or Wellness, and several have sub-categories, as well.
I am fairly confident that, given a little time, you can find a pre-made design that works for whatever you are making your logo for.
I chose to select the “Real Estate” industry for this trial. I entered a name, determined two colors and selected an image from the library.
It did take some time, but 25 different layouts that included the components I had selected were generated for my review.
Some of them are pretty good, others not so much. I picked one and opened it. The logo opened into another edit window that allowed me the opportunity to change font, text color, banner color and so forth.
When finished, I could download for $39.95 or…again….free with my subscription.
What I liked…Very user friendly, even for a relative beginner.
What I didn’t like…It felt a bit limited. Like I had to pick and choose what elements were changeable rather than literally every element being modifiable. Luckily, there were plenty of templates to choose from.
Next up is the “videos” category. There are 15 options initially. Those include product demos, slide shows, YouTube ads, promo videos and Instagram stories, to name a select few.
I decided to try my name at a promo video. I have nothing to “promo”, but I thought it would be fun to give it a whirl.
I chose a cool looking video with multiple graphics and fonts to really try this out. Added some different pics from my personal library fairly easily. Changed fonts and text with very little problem.
I spent over 5 hours playing with just the video component of Placeit because it was really cool. There is some pretty awesome animation effects, but I think videos have the largest learning curve.
What I like…Lots of impressive features, colors and animations.
What I don’t like…The largest learning curve.
Video was downloadable for $9.95, or free with the subscription.
The “gaming” selection has 12 different primary categories. Browse “all gaming templates” and prepare to be overwhelmed and overjoyed. Twitch banners, Starting Soon screens, YouTube Banners and Thumbnails, and the list continues.
I chose to go with a simple social media post.
This is visually comparable to the logo designer and the mockup we discussed earlier.
It is easy to swap out images, change text, change font and colors. There are a host of suggested graphics available, as well as the ability to upload your own, if you choose.
After messing around with video, the gaming feature was a piece of cake.
The Gaming mockup was available for download at $2.95 or…free with subscription.
What I like… Very easy to use and very intuitive.
What I don’t like… Not much. Though I admit I am not an expert in this category, so it may be more limited than I am aware.
Though not specific to their product, Placeit has a nice library of resources available for their users.
Using their blog, there are articles and “how to” information on social media, design and branding, logo design, marketing and several other topics.
For example, I found a really good blog on 8 Essentials to Branding your Business Online. In addition to (obviously) recommending their product, they also explained the “why” behind branding, as well as a basic outline of “how to”.
I like that the included links to their specific products that would help in the “how to” portion of the blog.
For example, if I was reading about posting to social media, there was a link that brought me directly to the social media posts mockup links. That makes it easy to follow and work with.
I will admit, I found more than a few typographical and editorial errors in those blogs, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t sound or helpful.
Though I’ve been thoroughly frustrated by a lack of information on the use of their product, Placeit has done a nice job of offering supplemental information and resources to its users.
Another nice resource is the categorization of certain media sites.
Perhaps I don’t know what kind of design I want, but I know I want to put something on Pinterest. There is an area that allows me to select for a Pinterest template and options appear that are all designed toward that specific target.
I found this sort of targeted media design for Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitch and Twitter.
Placeit has a multiple level pricing structure.
First, there are a few free mockups to choose from. They are simplistic and worth every penny you don’t pay for them.
Second, you can pay as you go. This is a good option if you’re certain that you’re only going to do 1 or 2 things and the total cost is less than $12.70 for a single month of subscription.
Third, there is a monthly subscription rate. That rate is currently $14.95 per month, or $12.70 per month with the 15% off coupon.
Finally, there is an annual subscription available. That rate is currently $99.95 per year, which is a savings of 44.29% over the monthly subscription rate. The coupon also applies to the annual rate, bringing it down to $84.95 for the year.
All subscriptions may be canceled at any time. I do NOT see that a refund of the unused portion will be provided.
Placeit ratings run from 2 of 5 stars to 4.2 of 5 stars, depending on the review site. What is consistent, however, is a lack of sufficient reviews to consider. Each site offered only a handful of commentaries, so 1 or 2 bad or good reviews will obviously skew the average way out of whack.
I have no direct experience with their customer service, so must rely on others to share their concerns.
Trustpilot.com, an independent review location, gives Placeit 2.5 stars out of a 5-star rating. This rating is based on only 18 reviews. Of those 18, 44% were 5-star and 39% were one star. Clearly, this is a love it or hate it company.
G2.com, another review location, gives Placeit 3.9 stars out of a 5-star rating based on only 4 reviews. Most of the drawbacks on this site relate to Placeit’s cost, rather than quality or customer service issues.
I do want to note here, as I was reviewing customer complaints and comments, I found several areas where the management team at Placeit reached out to the unhappy user and at least tried to make the problem right. For me, that’s a huge green flag.
Marketing Your Business
Placeit could be invaluable in branding and marketing your business.
We all know if you want to get anywhere in business, you have to have a strong Internet presence. You have to grab the attention of potential customers or clients, keep them interested and convert them (ultimately) to paying customers. You then need to be able to retain them as loyal or repeat business.
Placeit has the ability to help with that.
It takes only 0.05 seconds for a user to form an initial opinion about your website. That means you literally have one quick chance to make a great initial impression.
With the attention span of a gnat on crack, how do you get them to stay long enough to see what you have to offer?
You make your content interesting and “new” (something that Placeit’s library can certainly do).
You could design an opening animated video, showcasing what you do or who you are. You could design an animated logo, to grab the eye. You could integrate sound, whether music or a sound bite to involve the user’s audio senses. Honestly, the choices are limited only by your own imagination.
Another interesting statistic. 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business that has a poorly designed website. Part of that overall design is keeping their attention and focusing it. Again, you can use some of the mockup tools in Placeit to do exactly that.
Another key step in marketing your business is branding. You know, getting the user to associate your company with your product or service. Most experts agree that one of the most important steps in doing so is consistency.
You want consistency with color, design, theme and flow throughout your site, through your blogs, and weaving through your promotional materials. If you are using Placeit to design your own graphics, this consistency falls directly within your own control.
You can customize your colors, making certain that the exact shade of blue is the same in every single graphic and promotional item. You can make certain the font styles are consistent throughout. You can even choose to use the same models (if you use models in your marketing designs) to keep a constant feel to your company.
This consistency is absolutely invaluable in the branding of your business to your potential customers.
Another important piece of information is that users average 5.94 seconds looking at a website’s main image. That’s assuming you didn’t lose them initially. 5.94 seconds is a loooong time in Internetland.
You need that main image to pop and really say something about who and what you are.
Placeit can help you with designing exactly what you want.
Or, it can help you change what you have into something much more AWESOME and reflective of where you want your business to go.
By utilizing the subscription option, you can make or change as many pieces as you need to until you find the perfect feel for that site of yours.
Final Thoughts on Placeit
I spent almost 18 hours playing around with Placeit. I openly admit that I am not a graphic designer by profession or even by habit. I know enough to function, but no more.
During those 18 hours, I was able to figure out how to design a lot of different graphics. I feel confident that I could be proficient within less than 48 hours of good focused time.
If you have the time and patience, Placeit may be one of the best things that could happen to your business and your web presence.
For a comparison, I recently priced graphic designers on Guru.com and Upwork.com. Both are freelance sites that are well known and popular.
An experienced graphic designer charges $50 to $150 per hour, or more. With Placeit charging $15 for an unlimited monthly subscription, the question comes down to how expensive is your time? Will you use custom graphics enough to pay the subscription? If so, can you become proficient enough at designing your own graphics to make Placeit cost efficient?
If the answer to both is “yes”, Placeit is definitely worth your time and your business dollars.
Even if you chose to buy as you go, a $9.95 animated video as the opening image for your website is a pretty reasonable investment. If you spend 3 hours designing it yourself, you just saved $150 to $500 for your company. That is marketing money that can now be spent on Facebook ads or maybe a latte. Choice is yours.
Overall, I will have to say I did like Placeit. Other than the lack of easy to locate video tutorials, I had very few significant complaints.
From my time learning, I can confidently recommend the $12.70 monthly subscription because it clearly provides the most bang for your buck.
18 hours later, I hope this review helped save you some time 🙂