At some point someone’s going to say it to you – someone’s going to ask why you bother to spend money hiring professional designers and companies to create your branded assets like a brochure when we live in the template age and the gig economy. It’s so easy – and cheap – to create your brochures, business cards, and other printed marketing materials on the cheap using templates and the services of a dirt-cheap freelancer available via the Internet from anywhere in the world while you sit at home in Scottsdale Arizona, New York New York, or Dallas Texas and take it easy.
While it’s true that there is an almost infinite supply of free templates, some of which are very well designed, and cheap freelancers, some of whom are actually quite talented, there is at least one main reason you want to resist this money-saving trend: You want your business to stand out.
The Plague of Templates
Templates exist for just about every possible design project, from your website to your brochures to your advertising. If you search for free (or cheap) templates, you’ll find them. Many were actually created by professional designers in Scottsdale Arizona and elsewhere, or by talented students, and so they actually look very good.
The problem? They all look the same. They’re all following the latest trends in design slavishly, with zero personalization or individual identity, and chances are very high that your business will look very generic if you use a downloaded template, no matter how aggressively you try to tweak it. These templates are cranked out, mass-produced, and often are based in turn on other templates and changed only enough to avoid being accused of outright theft.
Speaking of theft, using downloadable templates can also cause other headaches: Like using stolen merchandise. Many website offering ‘free’ templates will amaze you with the complexity and artistry of their offerings – and you might wonder how they can generate enough traffic to make their ad revenue pay for such professional work. The answer is, they can’t: The templates are stolen and scrubbed free of copyright information, and a few months later you’re getting a letter in the mail from a law firm.
The other problem with these free templates is more simple: You’ll spend more time making them what you want than makes sense, because every tweak you make breaks for things that then have to be tweaked, which in turn causes four more things to break. A design is a complicated relationship between various assets. You can’t just appropriate one and bend it into the shape you want.
The answer, in Scottsdale Arizona as elsewhere, is to hire a design team to handle your work. A little more expensive than free? Yes, but well worth it when you consider you get a bespoke design that fits your business like a glove, and no headaches – plus a distinct look that makes you stand out.