Creating graphics for your business takes up a lot of time. If it’s for your blog, social media, promotions you run or other marketing materials, you’re almost constantly creating something. Many of these graphics have a similar style or at least they should have. Otherwise, you’re not sticking with a cohesive visual style and not building brand recognition. This is where branded templates become handy. They allow you to create graphics without starting from scratch every time. And more importantly, branded templates help you to stay on brand without putting a lot of thought into it.
Why do you need to create branded templates?
One of the advantages of creating templates for your graphics is to stick to a cohesive brand style without effort. Starting from scratch with every graphic you create means chances are high you try something new. You can fall into the trap of recreating something you’ve seen elsewhere. But using the same fonts, colors, and even composition in your designs will help your audience to remember and later on recognize your brand. They familiarize with your brand style which is an important step in building trust.
Related post: Why brand consistency matters
Not to forget, having templates in place is going to save you a lot of time and energy. You don’t have to look for the exact image size you need every time when setting up your file. What was the hex code for the blue I use again? Yes, this all takes up more time than necessary. With a branded template all you have to do is change the text and switch out a photo. File size, fonts, colors, your logo, everything is already set up.
For which graphics can you best use branded templates?
There’s a lot of graphics which can profit from branded templates. Start with asking yourself which graphics you create on a regular basis. If you are a blogger, you need graphics for every blog post you publish. Especially, graphics to promote your content on social media and other platforms. Think about Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram. You can also create templates for other images you use on these platforms e.g. quotes or ads you run. Every graphic you use more than once is a good candidate here.
Related post: How to stay consistent with your branding
What to include in a branded template?
Which elements you want to include in a branded template depends on your brand style and of course on the sort of graphic you need and its purpose. Here are some elements you can include:
- Logo or submark
- Title and text using your brand fonts
- Patterns, illustrations, image overlays, style elements
- Brand colors for text and graphics
How to create a branded template?
There are many free tools which you can use like Adobe Spark or Canva. They have the basic functions to create what you need. Some even offer the option to save your brand colors and fonts so they’re always ready to use.
I prefer Adobe Illustrator to create my templates because it offers more flexibility and more options. After creating a branded template, I save the file as an .AIT which is a special file format for templates. Every time I want to use this template, I just need to double-click on it. Illustrator will then automatically create a new file with all the template settings I’ve made before. The original template file stays intact. In case you accidentally changed something you didn’t want to it’s always great to have a backup.
Related post: How to create a template in Illustrator