Design Templates 101: How to Make Beautiful Designs in No Time

Design Templates 101: How to Make Beautiful Designs in No Time
August 29, 2017 PicMonkey

Does the thought of crafting a Facebook banner for your biz give you chills? Afraid of making Youtube thumbnails? Wanna design your own wedding invitations, but don’t know where to start? Relax, designaphobe: PicMonkey’s design templates are here to quell your creative woes. Customize them as much as you like—simply add your own info and call it done, or treat our templates as starting places and swap out every color, font, and image. We’ll show you how to make them your own in this short video tutorial, so you can start designing your own social media images, YouTube thumbnails, birthday party invitations, business cards, and any other visual necessities life may throw your way. We’ll cover:

  • Accessing Templates
  • Using Layers to customize Templates
  • Using effects, textures, and touch-up tools with Templates

Accessing Templates

You can get to PicMonkey’s design templates three different ways. If you’re on the homepage, hover over Design and click Templates. If you’re already working in the Editor, you can either click Open new in the top toolbar and then Templates, or click the Templates tab on the left-hand side of the editing panel.

No matter which road to Templates you take, you’ll end up at the same destination. From the Templates gallery, you can peruse categories and print sizes using the drop-down menus. You can also search for templates by clicking any of the popular tags, or by typing a term into the search bar.

When you find the template of your dreams, click Preview to see it larger. You’ll also notice a number of tags underneath the template’s name and size information. If you see a tag similar to the template’s name (for example, if you’re looking at the Stella Facebook Ad template and see the “Stella” tag), that means the template is part of a set. Click the tag to see more templates with a similar look. You can also click the “Set” tag to see all of our template sets.

When you find the template you want, click Customize. Your template will open in the Editor, so you can start tweaking it right away.

Customizing templates with Layers

All of PicMonkey’s templates are completely customizable, which means you can satisfy any creative craving—whether you’re hungry for different fonts, a new background color, or wanna cover your creation in mustache graphics (a.k.a. graphics).

You-ifying your template gets even easier when you put the Layers palette to work. To open the Layers palette, click the icon of two stacked squares in the bottom toolbar.

Layers displays all of your design elements in a list. Simply click the text box or graphic you want to change, and use the Text or Graphic palette that pops up to modify it. If you add a new text box or graphic to your template, it will automatically show up on the Layers palette.

You can use the arrows at the top of the Layers palette to bring your design elements forward or backward, and if you’re not loving a part of your design, click the trash can icon to make it disappear.

Here are a couple little customization tips, to help you whip up something stunning supa fast:

  • To change the color of your background, head to the Basic Edits tab and click Canvas Color, then use the color picker or enter the hex value for your chosen hue.
  • To replace an image with one of your own, right- or control-click. You’ll see options for replacing your image with one from your computer, Hub, or another location. Once you’ve selected your image, it’ll display perfectly sized for your template.
  • You can use the corner handles to resize your images. To change which part of your image appears on the template, hold the Option key while you drag it.
  • To make sure your design doesn’t look askew, turn grids and alignment hints on (you can do that with the Alignment palette).
  • Use the eyedropper to make your colors match in milliseconds.

Effects, textures, touch-up tools, and templates

If you want to use your favorite photo effects, textures, or touch-up tools with templates, start by flattening your image. You’ll find the Flatten button on the Layers palette, in the lower left-hand corner. Keep in mind that flattening combines all of the pieces of your design, so you won’t be able to move text boxes, change graphic colors, etc., once you’ve flattened. You can always save a copy of your creation to Hub before you flatten in case you want to edit it later.

Once you’ve flattened your masterpiece, you can use all the portrait-perfecting tools in the Touch Up tab, as well as your favorites from the Effects and Textures tabs. If you only want an effect/texture/tool on certain parts of your design, click the paintbrush icon and use the options on the Paint palette to paint on or erase your photo effect.


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This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make powerful images that level up your business.