The Advantages of Mock-ups in Packaging for Cosmetics

26 Feb 2021

Elaborating mock-ups that combine digital design and prototype printing helps to evaluate the packaging for cosmetics.

After a year of pandemic and widespread homeworking, we now live in a contactless world —where screens help us ease physical isolation but cannot substitute the longing for direct contact with others, for touching and feeling. Even so, brands in the cosmetic industry cannot allow themselves to stop innovating because customers have changed, and must adapt their products to new habits, such as online shopping. At the same time, they must study which design will be included in the packaging of beauty products and make consensual decisions to continue moving forward as one. How can we overcome the obstacles that physical distance puts in the way?

At Essentra we experience this on a daily basis, and one of the services that has greatly improved the workflow with our clients is the development of packaging mock-ups for cosmetics. Let us take a look at what these are, as well as their advantages.

What is a mock-up in the context of packaging?

Usually, the notion of mock-up refers to a digital mock-up or a photomontage of images that take the required shape of the elements on which they will later be applied. Thanks to digital prototypes, we can get an idea of how the designs will work in real life. In the case of mock-ups in packaging for cosmetics, this design would take the shape of the case or container of the product.

However, digital mock-ups are only a fictitious representation that provides an approximate assessment of the packaging design. It is not possible to appreciate the textures, the aroma, the finishing touches, the dimensions chosen, or even the colour (sometimes we can see these slightly distorted on a computer screen). Fortunately, digital printing technology overcomes this limitation by enabling companies to manufacture the needed copies of a packaging model in record time.

The advantages of Essentra’s mock-ups in packaging for cosmetics
Creating comprehensive mock-ups that combine digital design and prototype printing has significant advantages for packaging development in the beauty industry:


1. Active participation in the design and 3D modelling: in this initial phase, the client can provide their creative design if they have already worked on it internally or with their agency. As a packaging manufacturer, at Essentra we can also intervene in this process with our Design Hub service. In this sense, we work together with the client on all aspects related to packaging conception: design, functionality, safety, and volumetry.

2. More possibilities for packaging evaluation: physical prototypes can also be used as samples at trade fairs and sales demonstrations. Even smaller print runs can be produced to carry out market studies and surveys involving the brand’s target audience and thus assess the acceptance of the packaging. 

3. Faster decision-making: in short, Essentra’s digital design tools, latest pricing techniques, and powerful logistics network open the way for decision-making and ensure that the product reaches the market without delay and with absolute guarantees.

How we use mock-ups at Essentra: a case study in the cosmetics industry as an example

In 2020, one of the world leading companies in skincare products posed Essentra a formidable challenge. With one week's time to launch a new cosmetic, there was a total of six departments involved in approving the packaging throughout different locations, and the 3D digital mock-up did not guarantee the packaging’s acceptance. They needed to go one step further.

The packaging prototypes were key to overcoming this challenge:

- We used digital printing technology to produce packaging prototypes identical to mass-produced models. This way, all the teams working with the Global Brand Manager were able to touch the packaging, examine the sensations it conveyed, as well as verify the finishing touches and colours.

- Essentra’s logistical capabilities, with presence in 32 countries, enabled the mock-ups to reach international locations in just 48 hours.

- The final decision on the packaging was taken by consensus after approval by all parties. In addition, the rapid production of the prototype made it possible to launch the product on schedule. Mission accomplished!

If you think that our methodology for designing and manufacturing mock-ups can help you, do not hesitate to contact us, so that we can adapt it to your specific needs.

Would you like to learn more about how we can apply this to your packaging? Contact us