I love gorgeous coffee table books. Someday I’ll publish one. In the meantime, I thought why not display my design in a book layout format by applying realistic form and lighting effects. See how I used the Transform tools and Layer Styles to create a realistic design mockup in Adobe Photoshop.
Before You Start
Use my sample files if you’d like, or practice with your own.
Step 1: Open a Book
It’s important to use assets that work well together. My artwork roughly matched the dimensions of a book mockup I found on Adobe Stock. The pages in this mockup are square, so I created a square design. If you pick a different mockup, choose a design that fits it. When you’re ready, open your design and book mockup documents in Photoshop.
Step 2: Make It Smart
To prep your design for layout, Shift-select all the print design layers. Choose Convert to Smart Object from the Layers panel. Creating a Smart Object is super handy, since it makes it easy for you to go back and change your page design even after you’ve added it to the book mockup.
Step 3: Add Your Design
With the print design ready, choose the Selection tool and drag the new Smart Object layer to the tab of the open book mockup document. When the tab becomes active, drag the page design layer down on top of the mockup and hold Shift as you drag a corner handle to resize the image. Reposition and rotate the image to roughly match the angle of the left page.
Step 4: Go to the Corner
Continue to align the image with the shape of the mockup with the Distort tool. Drag each corner of the art to align with the corners of the left page.
Step 5: Follow the Curve
Use additional Transform tools to reshape the design. For example, I chose the Warp tool and adjusted each handle to align the edges with the curves of the page.
Step 6: Adjust the Seam
I wanted to add a lighting effect to blend the page design with the mockup. To do this yourself, double-click the page design layer to open the Layer Styles dialog and then choose Gradient Overlay. Click the Gradient field, choose the “Black, White” gradient from the Basics presets, and adjust the settings to your liking. With the Layer Style dialog still open, drag the gradient to reposition it along the seam of the page. I moved the gradient left and right to play around with how much shadow I wanted.
Step 7: Turn off the Light
Still working with the Layer Style settings, I clicked the + icon next to Gradient Overlay to add a second gradient and adjusted Opacity and Scale. Then I dragged the gradient slightly to the left, away from the seam of the page. This effect created a shadow that transitioned from the darker one in the seam.
Step 8: Highlight Your Design
I completed the lighting effects for my mockup by including a subtle highlight. I added a third Gradient Overlay, set the Blend Mode to Screen, and dragged the gradient on the artwork to reposition the highlight over the left side of the page.
Step 9: Match the Grain
To blend the design with the grain of the paper, I applied a noise filter and adjusted the settings.
Create a Showcase
Let others see how your design will appear in a variety of layouts using Transform tools and Layer Styles in Adobe Photoshop.