Use a Design Template or Break the Mould?

Blue umbrella in a row of white ones

There have been several online marketplaces that have sprung up to provide templates for things like brochures, email newsletters, flyers, logos and even websites. The idea is that you could buy a template and assets like images to make something unique and that represents your business.

This is obviously appealing, but there are at least a few flaws to this approach:

The design might not look unique

People choose your business over competitors because you have a unique value proposition which help your customers choose you. Your marketing should draw attention to these things that make you stand out from your competition — like price, service, features, etc. When your marketing looks like all the other companies, you don’t stand out from the crowd.

Not all templates are easy to manipulate

These templates don’t follow a set pattern, so some might be easy to change while for others, they might be difficult or impossible to shape into something that works for you. In the case of email newsletters and websites, they could require complex coding to make changes that seem simple.

These resources are a starting point, not an end point

A template can help a designer create something faster by providing some of the groundwork for the design. But to truly make the design fulfil its marketing function, it needs to be customized for the particular needs of your business.

A template is designed to be used not by one company for one person; it’s made to be used by thousands of companies for thousands of purposes. One size doesn’t fit all.

It’s certainly possible to use a template as a starting point, but it’s almost always a good decision to further customize it into something that properly represents your business and what you want to communicate. An experienced graphic designer is in an ideal position to understand your business needs and how to communicate them.

To stand out, you need to break the mould.

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