How to use digital templates if you are not a designer
So you like templates?
Me too, that’s why I make a bunch of them, but a lot of people have asked me:
“How do I use your templates if I don’t know the programs, I’m not a designer?”
Most of the templates for magazines, business cards, flyers, social media packs and the likes are created in Photoshop and InDesign. Not everyone has these programs let alone knows how to use them.
The purpose of most templates (particularly the ones I create) are to cut your design costs riggghhhht down to a tiny percentage (like 1-3%) of what you would hire a designer for. They are aimed at startups and anyone wanting to save some cash on hiring a designer from scratch.
To give you an idea, a full custom magazine design can start at $1500 and go up to $5000 depending on the amount of work involved if you were to hire a designer to create the look and feel, design the layout of the magazine, add your text and images, and that is BEFORE photography costs.
Why do I make them and sell templates for such a small cost then?
Because I am good at it and I really enjoy it! I LOVE creating beautiful things with the utmost respect and attention to detail. I also think there is a gap that needs to be bridged for startups who can’t afford a $10k branding package or to pay a really good designer, (I consider myself a really good designer 👩🎨).
So how can you benefit from my templates if you are not a designer?
Here are a few simple tips:
1. Buy a template. Hire a designer.
The majority of the design work is already done. Pick or photograph your own images, write your copy, get your logo ready. The design cost is drastically reduced and the legwork is done.
All templates I make are incredibly designer friendly (made by a designer with over 15 years of experience – I know what designers want). They are clear, clean and concise. They have predetermined font and paragraph styles (which is called typesetting) already set up – just one of the features. And EVERYTHING is customisable. If you want to change something, you can. Don’t like a page, font or colour? It’s yours to adjust to whatever you desire.
The other major bonus with all of my templates is that ALL photos and fonts are included so there are no hidden add on sales. What you see is what you get. Which is exactly what I would want being a customer!
Check with your chosen designer before hand to see if they are ok using a template to start off the project. Clear communication is always really important. Some designers will be cool with it, some won’t.
2. Do it yourself.
Have a little bit of Photoshop knowledge to get you by? Love having a go and learning something new? Never heard of or tried InDesign?
If you have time you can try it out yourself. I usually weigh up how long something might take me to do or whether it is better use of my time to outsource it and focus on what I am good at and enjoy the most. Especially if the majority of the design work is already done for you, this allows your budget to outsource! – My time VS someone else’s time.
Most people have heard of Photoshop and some InDesign, these are the 2 of the 3 main Adobe programs graphic designers use (the 3rd is Illustrator).
Photoshop is great for… manipulating photos, essentially, and single page layered files of all sorts. InDesign is a program best suited for multi page layouts like magazines, brochures and booklets.
Designing multi page magazines in Photoshop is a nightmare and professional designers would never do it. And where I can (without it amounting to 20+ hours more work) I also supply layered files in Photoshop to help out those who only have Photoshop knowledge.
When buying templates it’s always important to read the description to know what you are getting and what programs you will need. You would not believe how many people email me and say ‘But I don’t have InDesign?’…
As well as making templates super clean, easy to navigate and to replace text and images, I also have created a Help Booklet which covers the basics of how to change colours, fonts, styles, replace images and adjust other features. If you are willing to have a go this usually gets you through, if not there a hundreds of free youtube tutorials. The programs are not as complicated as you might think.