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In Defense of Real-Life Mockups: A Hand Letterer Tests Her Designs Off Screen

As a designer, it’s your job to leave little to your client's imagination. The closer you can get them to imagine the final application of their new logo, the more transparency and clarity you’ll both have. That's why if you're a designer who's working on physical branding, bringing your design mockups into the real world is pivotal.

Mushky Ginsburg is a an Art Director at Ptex Group in Brooklyn. When she can, she does freelance hand lettering and design work, and she uses physical mockups as part of her client process. One of her latest branding projects was for the newly renovated and reopened Brooklyn Bakehouse.

 In Defense of Real-Life Mockups: A Hand Letterer Tests Her Designs Off Screen  In Defense of Real-Life Mockups: A Hand Letterer Tests Her Designs Off Screen

Mushky's mark for the bakehouse is illustrative, artisnal and elegant, carefully avoiding a look that's overly stuffy or overly lax. She ordered Lumi stamps with detailed illustrations of wheat to layer on top of the full mark and stamp solo on business cards and other assets. She got a lot of her inspiration from a vintage ad from Pattisons Scotch Whisky (above) that she said was "full of personality with its slight imperfections and beautiful type composition."

“The original direction was for the branding to be understated and handcrafted with a touch of vintage. They wanted it to look artisanal effortlessly so as to say 'We spent way more time on our bread than our branding, but we still look perfect.'”

 In Defense of Real-Life Mockups: A Hand Letterer Tests Her Designs Off Screen  In Defense of Real-Life Mockups: A Hand Letterer Tests Her Designs Off Screen

By physically layering different branding elements with stamps, embossers, and silkscreens, Mushky could create completely new, spontaneous applications for the different branding elements she designed. She tested the different inks on notebooks, cardboard boxes, and butcher paper. Her favorite was the business cards.

“The Lumi goodies were used to see the logo and branding in action. That’s where all the fun happens, seeing how the logo and elements interact, like the wheat stamp turning into a pattern, or the embosser and stamps overlaying each other on a business card resulting in neat textures. It would take a lot more effort and I wouldn’t be able to experiment as much if I went with traditional printing at this stage.”

 In Defense of Real-Life Mockups: A Hand Letterer Tests Her Designs Off Screen

“There’s so much variation that can come out of using three stamps and that made it really interesting.”

Mushky likes working on restaurants because she gets to really craft the customer experience through so many touchpoints. From menus and signage to bread packaging and coffee sleeves, she and her clients can start to see what's physically possible with their branding by using low-commitment, DIY solutions and supplies like silkscreens and stamping.


When you do choose your final designs, quickly lay them out on boxes, mailers and paper for your client and send them real-life Lumi mockups before they order.

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