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Beginner's handbook

10 Things You Didn’t Know the Printful Mockup Generator Could Do

By Reading Time: 5 minutes

Printful’s Mockup Generator is meant for creating product mockups and design files for print, embroidery, and engraving. Most of our ecommerce platform integrations let you push your designs from the Mockup Generator directly into your store which speeds up the process of launching new products.

However, our Mockup Generator is also great for creating unique designs from scratch. We’re here to show you how to benefit from the design features it offers. Open the Mockup Generator, choose a product, and get started!

1. Create text designs

The Mockup Generator has a built-in text design tool that will help you transform words into eye-catching designs in a few simple steps. Click Add text in the Design tab and write your text.


For apparel products:

  • Pick font
  • Choose font size
  • Adjust letter spacing
  • Pick text color
  • Add outline and shadow
  • Choose distance and angle of the shadow
  • Adjust text arc

For embroidery products:

  • Pick font
  • Choose font size
  • Adjust letter spacing
  • Choose thread color
  • Set line height

For engraving:

  • Pick font
  • Choose font size
  • Adjust letter spacing
  • Adjust text arc
  • Choose engraving style—outlined or filled

Our list of fonts is selected to ensure high quality results for all fulfillment techniques. If you wish to use a font we currently don’t support, you can create your design in an image editor and upload it as a file. As a bonus, embroidery text designs made in our Mockup Generator have a reduced digitization fee—only $3.95 per file.

2. Experiment with clipart

The Mockup Generator has a large clipart selection you can use in all your designs for free. Explore it to create fun, unique designs using only our Mockup Generator.

In the Mockup Generator’s Design tab, hit Add clipart to check out different symbols, drawings, and emojis created by our in-house designers. 


Choose line drawings for minimalist designs, add text designs to create original gifts, or pick a shape for a special occasion. Feel free to experiment with color combos and mix and match different styles! 


3. Browse our Getty Images library

Printful integrates with one of the largest stock photography libraries, Getty Images. Choose from millions of images right in our Mockup Generator, add the image to your product, and pay only $1 for it when you get a sale. If you want to skip the cost, subscribe to Printful Pro. With the plan, you can use Getty Images at no extra cost.

The Getty + Printful integration offers more than 90M photos and illustrations in countless searchable categories, so no matter your niche, you’ll find beautiful designs perfect for your store. Plus, the high-resolution files are large enough for your all-over products.

Once you log into your Printful account, the Getty library will be available to you in the Mockup Generator. Under Configure design, choose Browse artwork. You can then search for any image using the Getty search interface.

Play around with the images and create your designs, then add the products to your store in just a few clicks!

4. Try our sample designs

Printful’s in-house designers have created fantastic sample designs you can use on your products for free. To use a sample design, hit Upload file on the Mockup Generator, go to Sample files, and choose a design you like. 


Some of them make great backgrounds, some can be used to add a splash of color to your design, and all of them can be combined and altered in exciting and unexpected ways. 


5. Adjust design placement

You’ve created a design, but you’re not feeling it yet? Try adjusting the size, position, and angle of the design. You can make adjustments to both uploaded files and design elements you’ve chosen from the Mockup Generator.


There are three ways you can make adjustments:

  • Click the buttons on the left to align, flip, or rotate
  • Type a number in the rotation box
  • Use the blue anchor points to scale and rotate 

To get a closer look at the print area and get the design placement just right, use the Mockup Generator’s zoom tool. It works for all Printful products except all-over print items. 

Click Zoom in at the top right corner of the Mockup Generator. Adjust your design, and press “Zoom out” to see the entire product again.


6. Create designs with several layers

The Mockup Generator lets you combine elements to create complex designs with several layers. You can upload your own files and use Printful’s sample designs, clipart, and text. Mix and match these elements to create original designs!


Experiment with the order of your design layers. Select and drag layers to rearrange them, and find the order that brings out your design the best. 


 7. Pick a background color

The Mockup Generator lets you add a background color on mugs, phone cases, wall art, and all-over products (like leggings). We offer classic hues as well as some trendy options that are guaranteed to print well. 


Background colors save time you’d otherwise spend on your image editing software. Choose a color on the Mockup Generator, add design elements, and you’re good to go!

8. Make patterns for all-over designs 

The pattern tool is a life-saver when you’re creating all-over print product designs. It’s free, easy to use, and it offers endless possibilities for original all-over designs. Pick a product, and start designing!

  • Select an all-over product
  • Upload a design file, or use our sample designs, or clipart
  • Click Make a pattern
  • Choose pattern type: block, half drop, brick, reflect, horizontal or vertical line
  • Adjust color, size, and spacing of one component to modify entire pattern

You can also: 

  • Add more design layers (in my case, more cherries!)
  • Pick a background color 

When you’re finished, go to Mockup view in the top right corner of the Mockup Generator to check how the printed product will look.


9. Duplicate design elements

The duplication tool is a gamechanger for creating designs with similar elements. Unlike the pattern tool, it places each duplicated item in a new layer, so you can also play around with the size, color, and alignment of each one individually. 

  • Upload a design element or pick one of ours
  • Click Duplicate
  • Arrange the items to create your design

The duplication tool is most helpful when it comes to transferring designs between print areas. For example, choose which areas you want your design printed on for all-over print products, and copy your design on both sleeves or legs for all long-sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, and joggers. Add more design elements, text, and a background color to take your design to the next level.


10. Generate embroidery mockups 

With Printful’s Mockup Generator, creating embroidery mockups is as easy as ever. The mockups are very lifelike—you can even see the stitching in your designs. To start designing, follow these steps.

  • Pick an embroidery product
  • Upload your design or use one of ours
  • Choose up to 6 thread colors
  • Let the Generator work its magic!

For hats, you can choose between Flat embroidery and 3D Puff, or use a combination of both embroidery types in one design. Flat embroidery is meant for embroidery designs with smaller details. 3D Puff is a raised embroidery type that works best for bigger graphics. 

When it comes to embroidery, every detail counts, so please follow our embroidery guidelines.

Your turn

Now that you know all our Mockup Generator insider info, you can play around and create your next bestseller!

If you need inspiration, make sure to watch our step-by-step video tutorial on how to design in our Mockup Generator.

And in case you’re looking for free, ready-to-use designs, make sure to download some awesome typography graphics below.

This article was originally published in November 2017; it has since been updated.

Grēte is a Content Marketing Specialist at Printful. She's on her way to a Master's degree in Creative Writing, and always keen on expanding her knowledge in copywriting, translating, and editing.


  1. Galaxy

    hi there
    For my first designs here in Printful, I need help since by reading this article and many others and chatting with helping center, I got baffled. So please correct me where necessary.

    1) For DTG tees, when background color is the same as the color of garments, the BG has to be transparent while for AOP ones with the same situation, it has to be white.
    2) For both AOP and DTG tees, if the background differs from the color of garments, the background can be anything the designer wants.
    3) designers can not use Brush tools in photoshop cause the sharp brushes make the brush-drawn area looks transparent in printing and the softer ones make the area semi-transparent. If I got this part correct, hope someone tell me which tool I can use instead of brush tools when I wanna specify the border of an area by lines or something like that where has not to be transparent or semi-transparent after printing?
    4) As I read, vector pictures are not accepted for printing so we have to change them to raster. My question is if we need to make any changes to shapes made by shape tool in Photoshop cause as you know the shapes are vector?

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, thanks for reaching out! I’ll try to answer your questions down below one by one:
      * To answer the first and second questions, it’s important to understand that we only don’t print pure white color on white fabrics. All the other colors are always printed, no matter the color of the fabric. Background color (if there’s such) would be your choice.
      * Regarding the brush effect, the main thing to avoid in your DTG designs is transparency. You can replace this effect with half-toning, but transparencies don’t translate well on DTG prints.
      * To address your last question, Photoshop doesn’t create vector files. All the objects/shapes in Photoshop are in pixels. In cases when the design is created as a vector file (for example in Illustrator), there is no need to raster the objects in the work file. For printing purposes, we suggest exporting the print file in .png format with a transparent background. For the Photoshop files, we also recommend exporting the print file in .png format.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

      1. Galaxy

        sorry rewrite my Qs again to make it clear:

        using white color or transparency as background for my AOP designs?
        and when I don’t need any transparency in my design areas not as background but as a part of the design itself, which tool can I use instead of brush ones to avoid transparency made by brush tool?

        thx again

        1. Alise Zindiga

          Hey! It’s up to you to choose between transparency or white color. If it’s pure white we simply won’t print it, because the base fabric of AOP products is already white. Transparent background, however, will allow you to play around with other color backgrounds if you decide to do that in the future. You can learn how to use a brush without the transparencies from this video > //
          Keep in mind that transparencies will work well on AOP products. You can also try it on white fabrics with the DTG printing method, as there’s no underbase for white fabrics.
          Last but not least, have a look at this article. I believe it will help you prepare the perfect print file > //

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, Courtney, it’s not possible to upload other mockups to Printful. You’ll have to use another designing software to add designs to the purchased mockups. After that, you can upload these mockups directly to your store platform.

  2. kevin

    is there a way to print past the designated box? I have a design where it starts from the top of the tee to the bottom. But the box to print is too small. Would it still work or no?

    1. Alise Zindiga

      Hey, Kevin, if you’re referring to DTG (direct-to-garment) printing, it’s not possible to print outside the designated box as it’s physically restricted by the size of the printing pallet. If you have larger designs, we suggest exploring our AOP (all-over print) products. AOP products are fully customizable not just on the front, but all the placements.

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