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Need a good design template for your business card, postcard, brochure or invitation? There are plenty of design templates out there, that's for sure, but not all are created equal. In fact, some design templates seem to take more time – and therefore cost more money – than doing custom work yourself or hiring it out to professionals. Great design templates should look awesome and save you time, thereby making you money. The following are must-have time-saving attributes to look for in your graphic design templates.
First and foremost, good design templates are print-ready. That is to say, you could simply download them and then upload them to your online printing company and get a high-quality product in return. This means that your design templates should come in the right size, color mode (CMYK) and resolution (300 dpi, typically).
There's more to it than proper file setup, however. The best design templates also include helpful guidelines to help you position your design. Those guidelines include a safe area, so you know where to print your design; cut lines so you know the approximate location where your business cards, brochures and other marketing materials will be sliced in post-press production; and bleed lines so you know how far out to extend backgrounds in order to ensure they go to the edge of your documents.
Beyond the basics, your design templates should be easy to customize with your own text, photos and colors. A design template could look great, but nothing is more frustrating than paying for a killer template design only to find out later that it is difficult to position your logo in place of the sample logo that is shown.
This means that your design templates should open in a popular design program: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or even Microsoft Word work well. All you need is the basic knowledge on how to change text, images, and background colors in order to customize your design templates with your own brand, style and copy.
And it should go without saying that you should choose a template that you like and that relevance to your business. Don't let yourself get carried away with design templates that you love but do not match your brand, your colors or anything else about your company. Relevance and repetition are important to your brand image and success, so keep looking until you're totally satisfied with the look you're getting for now and the long term.
Finally, even the best design templates can't look their best without the right choice in printing options. Premium paper stocks such as 100-pound gloss, super-thick 16-point gloss, and 13-point recycled matte are good options for excellent sheen and robust durability.
Always order a hardcopy proof so you can double-check the final printed piece firsthand before you approve the full run. This simple, yet often ignored, practice can easily be the difference between an awesome campaign and one that fails due to a typo.