How to use design templates like a professional

As a brand designer, most people think that I am against companies that use design templates.After all, how can you make your marketing materials feel unique you When the template you use may also be used by thousands of other people?

But my feeling is just the opposite: templates are a great way for small businesses to expand their usually small design budgets.In fact, you Shouldn’t Before you have enough cash, before you consolidate your business strategy and truly define your brand, invest in high-quality customized marketing assets.

But there are many bad templates, and if you didn’t know how to use them before, knowing how to use them can be overwhelming.No matter what you are using canvas, Adobe Spark, Or any other Design template tool On the web, please continue to read my best advice to ensure that your brand continues to shine.

1. Keep it simple

When you browse most design template apps, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the available options-this may entice you to choose the first thing that looks good, rather than deliberately choosing a template that matches your brand.

To prevent this from happening, before you start looking at the options, first imagine what you want the template to look like. Consider what elements are needed for the asset you are creating. Simple captions and photos for Instagram graphics? How many text blocks for an event? The “Buy Now” button for website graphics? Based on your goals in this post or event, which elements need to stand out the most?

With this in mind, you can easily sort out compelling distractions that don’t actually meet your needs. In general, it is best to use the simplest option, which is to check all the boxes you are looking for. Ideally, it can also easily adapt to multiple types of marketing assets, so you can maintain cohesion across channels.

Keep it simple-only use the elements that the graphics really need. (use Magician.)

2. Customize according to your brand appearance

Design templates are a good starting point, but they should not be used as-is.Obviously, you need to fill in your own content, but you can also update the colors and fonts to make the template look and feel like they were designed for Your Card.

If you don’t already have a certain brand style guide, you need to create a simple guide before you start using the template. At the very least, include the color palette and specific fonts you will use on all design assets. If you are just starting out and don’t have the money to pay for professionals, there are many tools to help you define these.

Start your brand style guide with 1-2 brand fonts and 2-3 main brand colors.

You may also want to add guidelines for other elements (such as illustrations or photos) to your style guide. For example, if you plan to use stock photography or illustrations, you can describe some of the qualities you are looking for, or even make a list of specific artists that you always pull from their collection to keep things cohesive.

It’s easy to be attracted by the design trends you see on Instagram, but it’s also easy to be attracted by these trends and integrate them into your design assets, even if they don’t actually align with your brand.

I recommend finding some templates that suit you and stick to them. People don’t realize that using the same template multiple times is completely okay—in fact, it might be better to keep your brand looking consistent.

Small adjustments to simple templates can make things feel cohesive and fresh.

However, if there is a new design template that really catches your eye or a trend that you think can help you gain more engagement, there is an easy way to visually check whether it suits your brand. Just customize the template with your brand look and compare it to the existing assets in the feed to make sure it feels like part of the family. If it looks cohesive, go ahead and add the template to your portfolio-if not, your brand better abandon it.

4. Focus on what your brand really wants to express

My last piece of advice on making the most of templates is to not spend too much time emphasizing your templates! Many small business owners usually put too much emphasis on design because there are many other things that are critical to your brand, such as the messaging you use with your customers and your overall business strategy.

Choose some templates you like-prioritize features over flash-and let yourself redistribute your energy to write great copies of your graphics, A/B test CTA, And everything you can control to make your brand stand out online.

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