The Dangers of Templates
Templates are a great tool! Whether you're suffering from a lack of design experience, lack of inspiration, or just lack of time, a helpful template can swoop in and save the day. There are templates for almost anything: social media posts, website designs, resumes, emails, tracking sheets… the list goes on! In mere moments you can have beautiful content with the perfect professional touch. Use caution, however! Don't get trapped by how easy it is to fill in the blanks and go.
One hardly needs to read a blog to know that templates are incredibly useful! Not only can they save you time and effort, but they can also create a sense of consistency throughout your content (which then solidifies your brand image). Fill-in-the-blank email templates can help find the most professional response for those difficult client communication moments and help you keep a consistent brand voice. The argument in favour of using a template, no matter your experience level, writes itself!
Apps with Great Templates:
Canva (personal recommendation)
Unfold (personal recommendation)
Adobe Spark (recommended by others but haven't used personally)
Snappa (recommended by others but haven't used personally)
The Dangers of Templates
This is hardly a piece against the use of templates, as demonstrated above, but it's time to rethink how you're using them. Finding the perfect template that matches your vision is exciting, but the chances of being the only one using it are slim. In using it as is, you're running the risk of blurring your brand image into a copy cat of an untold number of different brands. Your unique image is getting lost!
It's time to start putting a twist on your templates. The first easy step to this is to place your logo somewhere easily spotted in the image. Take time to change up the colours or background images. This way, the layout you fell in love with remains, but now it carries your unique colour palette and tastes.
With very little time and know-how, you could even create your own templates! The apps listed above offer the option to start with a blank canvas and to add colours and elements as you see fit. Canva allows you to save 3 brand colours (more with a paid subscription) so you can quickly access them no matter what kind of project you are working on. Make them once, and use them over and over again and adapt them as needed.
Rethinking How You Template
Using a template is meant to make your life go more smoothly and your content creation less difficult. Keep using them! Just make sure to take steps to avoid losing your brand to the convenience of an as-is template