Design and Layout • How-To How to Make a Print Mockup in Adobe Photoshop

Picture your design in a variety of book layouts.

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.

Headshot of Kendall Plant
Headshot of Kendall Plant

I’m Kendall Plant, a designer, content creator, and associate art director at Adobe who loves to incorporate nature, street photography, and even skulls into my work.

I’m Kendall Plant, a designer, content creator, and associate art director at Adobe who loves to incorporate nature, street photography, and even skulls into my work.

Book with black pages open in the middle, a composite of flowers over a model with a black hat is on the left page

First take a one-minute look at my technique. I’ve written out the basic steps below.

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.

Blank book with black pages on the left and image of model and flower composite with the word ‘Chrysalis’ on the right

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.

Photoshop Layers panel has layer group and 3 layers selected with Convert to Smart Object selected in front of image of model

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.

Fashion photo has transform markers applied and is rotated to the left while being placed on the left page of the book mockup

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.

Menu selection Transform and Distort in upper left, the model image is on left page of the book with each corner highlighted

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.

Menu selection Transform and Warp in upper left, selection handles extend so edges of image align with curves of left 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.

image shows dark shadow in seam, bottom has shadow shifted to the right, Layer Style panel shows black & white gradient

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.

Top image shows dark shadow in seam, bottom has lighter shadow, Layer Style panel shows Blend Mode is Multiply

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.

Second gradient overlay applied, top image shows muted model image, bottom is clearer, Blend Mode is Screen

Step 9: Match the Grain

To blend the design with the grain of the paper, I applied a noise filter and adjusted the settings.

Model image has grain effect applied, the Add Noise dialog shows the noise Amount set to 8%, Monochromatic box is checked

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.

The book mockup layout has model image blended on the left page and the words ‘Chrysalis Spring Collection’ on the right

Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

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