If you're a design novice you might find the thought of designing your own business card, brochure or postcard to be quite intimidating. That's understandable; graphic design software alone often has huge learning curves, not to mention the lack of a formal design education. Still, we know what we like and it isn't difficult for most to visualize the perfect marketing materials for their company – if only in their minds.
The good news is that you can indeed put your visualized marketing materials on paper when you take advantage of easy-to-use templates – and you don't need expensive, hard-to-learn graphic design software to do it. The following details what you need to know about creating your own marketing materials with easy-to-use templates for design novices.
Start with an easy-to-use template
First of all, what is an easy-to-use template? Does using one mean you'll have a brochure that looks like everyone else's? The answer is that there are two different types of graphic design templates for novices. The first is essentially a pre-designed template that already has everything in place; you just swap out your photos and text. On the upside, you can have professional-looking marketing materials. On the other hand, your marketing materials will look the same as many others' – and because so many such templates are industry-specific, you take the major risk of looking just like one of your competitors.
The second, and recommended, type of template is the layout template. Layout templates have no graphic design or text elements. Instead, they are properly formatted for printing and have helpful guidelines so you know where to position your own design elements for a perfect print run. You can download free layout templates for business cards, brochures, postcards, catalogs and a whole host of other marketing materials from PsPrint.
Create your design
Once you have your template, open it in your favorite graphic design software. It doesn't matter what design software you use; you could go as advanced as Photoshop, or you could go with a free solution such as Paint.NET or OpenOffice. Even Microsoft Word's drawing tools have enough power to help you make a professional-looking brochure.
Place your template in its own layer, and put it below everything you design: your text, images, clip art and other layout elements. Follow the guidelines to ensure your positioning is spot-on. Double-check that edge-to-edge backgrounds extend past your bleed line and that your entire design is within your safe area. One you're satisfied with your design, make sure it is in the resolution and format dictated by your template, then delete your template layer (or else it will be printed with your design!). Now you're ready to print.
Print your design
Once you're completed your design by taking advantage of the easy-to-use template benefits listed above, you're ready to print. It's important to choose a quality online printing company to maintain the integrity of your design. Your template made it easy to create and it needs to go through a professional printing company that understands proper layout so you can ensure a perfect print run.