Thoughts on templates and pre-made designs

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by atad6, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. atad6 macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2006
    I was wondering everyone's opinion of the abundance of pre-made/template based design services such as templatemonster and how it impacts the design industry.

    While most designers understand the value of proper branding and identity design, this is sometimes hard to convince a potential client. Does the availability of cheap, relatively decent quality pre-made designs pose a significant threat to the design industry, specifically smaller firms and those who freelance?

    A question to those who have been in the field of design for a significant length of time, has devaluation always been a concern or has it become more of a threat with the evolution of the internet and the availability of "pro" design apps?
  2. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    Honestly? I bailed from the industry after ten years in print design, and devaluation was one of the two primary reasons - I was spending increasing amounts of my time recreating clients' jobs because they had cobbled them together in POS apps like Publisher, and they actually wanted discounts for having done the artwork for us rather than pay an artworking fee for me to recreate the damn thing from scratch.

    (The other main factor was lack of job security - redundant twice in two years is a bit much, to be honest.)

    It was bloody depressing, to be frank!


  3. SwiftLives macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2001
    Charleston, SC
    I rarely worry about them. What I can offer a client is a personalized and customized design, which is far superior to what the template and logo farms can create.

    Secondly, there's really not much stopping different clients - including competitors - from using the same template or logo from one of those logo farms. Sure they can pay a little extra for exclusivity, but even then, the farms tend to churn out concepts in a similar style.

    I'll be honest - I've used those sites as a springboard before. I'll just browse through the logos and/or templates to get a rough idea of someplace to start. But my work is far superior to what they can churn out.

    To put it another way...I ain't scared.

    You may also find this thread interesting.
  4. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    I tell my clients, if they want to have the same look and feel as the next 10 competitors, go for it!

    Those things are so poorly made, by the time you're done modifying them, you could have spent the same amount of time creating one from scratch.
  5. Z.Beeblebrox macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2007
    NJ / NYC
    IMO, they don't devaluate the industry in any way. Of all the people/clients I know who opted for the quick, cheap and easy template route, almost all of them were start-up / small size businesses who couldn't afford to go the professional route.

    Of those I knew that went for the templates and then later expanded their business, they've all ditched the old template forms and hired out to creatives after a few years for a full-on identity package. It's a decent solution for start-ups who can't afford the design firms but want something slightly better than the do-it-yourself version. But in the end, they all wind up on the professional doorstep knocking.

    Kinko's has been in the business of making sh*tty business cards, letterhead and envelopes using stock clip art for decades now but that hasn't stopped the stream of people flocking to me for logo design and business collateral.
  6. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2008
    The templates serve a purpose for those who are either savvy enough to perform the necessary editing in order to alter them to their use, or can afford to pay the template creators to do this for them. They are also offered the option to purchase them as an exclusive, for several hundred dollars more than the cost of a template that can be used by anyone who purchases it.

    The templates I've seen, such as on MonsterTemplate, require graphics programs such as Photoshop, or Fireworks, (unless they happen to know of Gimp), and also recommend Dreamweaver, etc. Basically, my take on them is that they are fine for some uses. Personally, I've had clients who fell in love with a pre-designed template, and paid me to do the alterations. This is far less time consuming than building from scratch, and can be done by student interns who work on hourly wages.

    The majority of web clients I have, either already have a corporate identity that they want integrated into a website, have downsized and eliminated their in-house designer, or need one created from scratch to their specifications, and opt for a package that includes a website as well. Some have seen the template sites, and when I explain what the low cost vs. the unique cost entails, they have almost always opted to have their site designed from scratch. If anything, the template sites have generated more business as far as alterations, and site redesigns for those who got bored with them, or needed higher functionality than was built into the template.

    To the OP, this was a good question, and I'm glad you asked it. :)
  7. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    I agree, I hate the premade templates as well, they are poorly construction and add no value to a company's overall branding philosophy.

    I don't feel they devalue the industry more the clients who use them.

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