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If you're a small business that uses print marketing materials to promote your brand, products and services, you've undoubtedly seen online design templates for brochures, postcards, catalogs, business cards, flyers and more. Online design templates can make your life easier by giving you a quick and easy professional design you can customize for your business. But typical online design templates aren't the only way to arrive at an excellent design that helps define your brand and grow your business. Read on to learn the secrets online design template makers don't want you to know.
You can get online design templates for free
One of the first things template makers won't advertise is that you can get online design templates for free. Many websites offer free templates, and it's also a good idea to check with your online printing company to see if they offer free design templates. Many do. In addition, you can potentially get free custom templates by asking friends and family members who are design-savvy or even inquiring at your local community college's graphic design school, which is full of designers who need to build their professional portfolios.
You can do it yourself
Armed with professional online design layout templates, you can pop open your favorite graphic editor and create your own custom design templates. Depending on your skill level, eye for design and willingness to watch a few tutorials you might be able to come up with a compelling design on your own. If not, at least you've proven that you're not a designer and can justify outsourcing the work elsewhere.
You still need some design skills
One thing about most online design templates is that unless you want to use the same exact images and colors in your chosen template, you still have to have some semblance of graphic design skills in order to customize it to your business, products and services. Often that means you also need professional graphic design software, such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, which costs hundreds of dollars. You’ll need to know how to use software to edit and add photos and text to your templates.
You'll lack originality
Another big factor in online design templates is that if you've purchased one, many others have likely purchased it as well – leaving your business and brand vulnerable to copycats and a perceived lack of originality. How can you tell your customers that your business is different if your marketing materials are identical to a competitor's? There are opportunities to buy full rights to designs, but that can cost thousands and you still can't control any purchases made before yours.
You can pay a designer the same for custom work
Whether the online design templates you like cost $100 or $3,000, there's a graphic designer out there who can give you a custom design for a similar price. In fact, it is likely your online printing company's own in-house graphic designers can give you a compelling design for around the same price of a professional template.