Geneza School Blog

Geneza Store: How Geneza Brands, a Nigerian-led design studio, is creating an online store for premium and affordable design mockups, resources, and templates.

October 4, 2023

One of the things that sets you apart as a designer is how you present your work. Over the years, one of the ways designers have stood out amidst a sea of designers is how they chose to present their ideas and work. No matter how good you think the idea behind your work or the work itself is, failing to present it well will lead to the work not getting the kind of reaction you sometimes expect it to get.

A must-have in your presentation artillery as a designer is mockups. Mockups help you contextualise your work as a designer. Imagine trying to show a client what a design will look like when produced or printed without having to produce one. That is where the use mockup comes in.

Simply put, a mockup is what you use to prototype an idea without having to really produce one. It is useful in getting buy-in and approval from a colleague, client, or boss.

Billboard mockup by Geneza Store
Credit: Geneza Store

Knowing you have to use a mockup is one thing, finding a unique mockup that is right for your design and presentation is another. While there are hundreds of mockups out there, finding a mockup that is unique, affordable and stands out as a designer can be daunting, and when you manage to find one, most times, it is expensive.

Beyond mockups, finding affordable and useful resources such as contract templates, invoice templates, and design presentation templates that are locally relevant while starting out as a designer, most especially in Nigeria and Africa generally, is a herculean task because a lot of them are not readily available. You will often see articles and pieces of advice on the need to learn how to write proposals as a designer but there are not a lot of locally relevant resources and templates on how to structure one and what to include in your proposals when you need to write one.

An online store for designers by designers

In the last few years, Geneza School, an online design school led by Bolanle Banwo Osadolo, a brand identity designer and design advocate from Lagos, Nigeria, has trained thousands of students in designbrand design, product design, and motion designacross the world. Over the time of training students, one challenge was found to be common among most studentsfinding quality mockups and design resources.

With every challenge comes an opportunity. So Bolanle tasked her team at Geneza Brands, a design studio she leads, to build a product to tackle this challenge. This gave birth to Geneza Store, which they refer to as “the home for premium mockups and design resources at unbeatable prices.”

Geneza Store was built for designers by designers. “One thing we had in mind when we started to build the store was that we wanted to push out quality products and creative resources,” Charles David, the project lead for Geneza Store, told The Creatives Note.

Currently we have a bunch of premium mockups and we are working on creating other resources for brand designers [and designers generally] because we noticed that there's no platform where Nigerian [African] designers can get resources like contract templates—that describe the contract and what the client should expect, and pricing templates—that guide them on how to price a project and prepare an invoice for it.

The goal of Geneza Store is to create and make available templates that designers can use, easily edit, and guide them on whatever they need to do. “We're working on making available resources like brand guide templates because we found out that a lot of the time, people just starting out in design often have trouble creating one from scratch because they don't have an idea of what should be in a brand guide even though they aspire to create and do good and quality work generally,” he said.

Brand Guide Document Template by Geneza Store
Credit: Geneza Store

The resources on the store are said to be carefully created and curated. “Our founder, Mrs. Bolanle Banwo, always say, ‘If it's not good enough, we're not going to put it out’,” he explained.

You will never see us put something that's substandard on the platform. The mockups are easy and intuitive to use and customize. I am happy to say that we were able to hit on that. We have received feedback that attests to the fact that we did a great job.”

Creating the first set of resources for the store

According to Charles, creating the resources for the store was a long and tedious process as they had to do a lot of research. “We have been trying to set up the store for a while. At first, we were just experimenting. We went through a lot of iterations and had to scrap some and rework them. There are a lot of mockups that we created that we didn't even put out because they didn't meet the standard we had set at the onset of the project.”

Headset and Apple Watch mockup from Geneza Store
Credit: Geneza Store

While he led the project, Charles mentioned that he worked with two 3D designers who created the mockups. They created two types of mockups: the object and scene mockups. Examples of the object mockups are the iWatch and headset mockups which were pretty easy to create. However, the scene mockups proved to be quite tricky because they had to look like an actual photograph even though they were software generated. “Though leading the project was pretty tedious, it was a learning experience because I was learning about mockups generally at a very fast pace. It took about 3-4 months of working tirelessly and receiving feedback and critiques to improve and make sure everything came out right,” he shared.

Charles revealed that the reception since the store launched has been great. “I saw senior designers share it and as the person who led the project, I felt very excited because of the positive reactions to what we've created. We've had people from other countries use these products,” he said.

Other resources currently available on the Geneza Store other than mockups include a social media design template, a brand guide template, and a portfolio website template.

We're trying to bring the quality of the expensive mockups and resources to people and make them affordable. I believe the prices are subsidized compared to what is charged for quality resources out there. We're not trying to overprice them but make them affordable,” he shared, speaking on the prices of the resources on the store.

Credit: Geneza Store

What to expect going forward

At the moment of this publication, there are no free resources on the store but Charles confirmed that they are working on releasing some free resources soon. “We don't have any free resources on the platform at the moment but there are plans to add free resources like brand icons, pricing resources, and design proposal resources on the store soon.”

“We are also working to add more mockups. We have plans to create and add mockups from real photographs, unlike the 3D-generated ones we have currently.”

The team’s plan is to continue to add more resources and expand its library of resources so that designers can have access to high-quality design resources at affordable prices.

Written by Tunmise Afape

Tunmise is Brand and Digital Designer who tells stories of creativity in Africa. He is also a Design and Digital Media Consultant.

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