We have become a world of do it yourselfers; pump your own gas, fix up your own home, scan your groceries at the supermarket. With so many people using computers, many starting their own businesses, we have also become a world of templates. Templates are available for free with most word processing, desktop publishing and graphic design software programs. And with the Internet at everyone’s fingertips, there is a wealth of even more free templates available.
HP Creative Studio is no exception. I came upon their website while looking for menu templates, found the menu templates and a whole lot more. On the business side they had Business Identity Kits, some for free and some not. These business kits included templates for business card, letterhead, envelope, post card, brochure, horizontal and vertical flyers, monthly and yearly calendars, invoice, proposal kit, shipping label and some even included a template of a PowerPoint slide presentation. All the templates of each kit had a specific business theme or industry including legal, medical, restaurant, construction, real estate, health and beauty, to name a few.
Looking through the free templates, most of the template files were for use with Microsoft Word, and some of the templates also available in Publisher, except of course for the PowerPoint templates. Upon selecting a Business Identify Kit theme you like, you will get to see all the different templates included and can either download them individually, if you only wanted a few, or download the whole folder with all the templates.
On the HP Creative Studio website you have the option of sorting the templates by the software application you are using. These include Microsoft Word and Publisher, Illustrator, InDesign, QuarkXPress and Apple iWork Pages. You can also sort by the free or pay for templates. Selecting any of the pay for templates will bring you to a new website that sells stock templates of all kinds. Stock Layouts offers the sale of individual templates or three different subscription plans, depending on your needs. Along with the above listed software applications, CorelDraw is also offered as a template application.
Using a template certainly can make creating a business identity a lot easier than starting from scratch and will save you money by not having to hire a graphics professional, even if you pay for the template. However, when you decide to use a template, you can be sure so are a lot of other people. Even I have used a template or two. So, to be sure that your business branding is unique to you (or your client), make lots of changes in the template. I may start a project with a template, but before I am done almost every element within that template has been changed. Fonts, pictures, background, heading, layout, graphics and even colors get changed. Very seldom does the end produce look like the template I started with. And that is the way it should be!