While many web designers go with the standard two or three column static, one-page site, you may want to spruce your own design template up to make your site stand out from the crowd. Everything from color and typography to grids and free design elements are available to help you create the most impressive design templates with ease. Follow these professional design tips you can easily make your template look better than your competitions without even using much added effort or resources.
Start With a Framework
The simplest way to create a powerful design template for your next website is to start with a robust framework. The best choice for websites on today’s web is a responsive grid framework such as the well-known Bootstrap framework. There are several other popular frameworks to build your website on including Base and Simple Grid. When you choose a great development framework, your design practically creates itself as you can focus on the aesthetics of your project and design for the mobile web.
Make Use of Vectors
Vector images are great for inclusion in any template design. You can save time by downloading free or premium vectors from places like Free Vector. Often times vector images can enhance the overall look and feel of your site while fulfilling essential menu and background and border image needs. Instead of creating your own menu button background image or templates, try using rectangular vector images with embellished borders.
Great Typography for Design Templates
While all of the textual content on your site won’t be included in your template, many aspects can be. These often include header and footer labels, menu buttons, navigation text and other core elements of your site. Try downloading a visually-stunning font to use throughout your template design. Google Fonts has hundreds of choices for web designers that will work well with any web browser. This is a vital tip for designers with WordPress hosting, as the standard fonts accessible through a WordPress install may leave you desiring more options.
Use Well Designed Icons
Many icon sets are available online ranging from free, such as those at Flat Icon, to a few bucks per dozen icons. Depending on your template’s needs you will likely find highly specific icons to match your future site’s content to a tee. Consider packaging a bundle of icons with your template design if you are selling your templates or have WordPress hosting and plan to make several websites. A great tip is to design your templates with room for interchangeable icons and upload customized, compressed icon packages to your host or let users download them as part of your template package file.
Color Blocking and Contrasting
Color blocking is an important part of design. Make sure to check your colors against the Complimentary Color Wheel to ensure the primary and secondary colors of your design match. Consider making multiple color schemes for your template, as users often prefer to have a simple way to test various themes across a single design template. Contrasting colors can draw attention to areas you want readers to focus on while improperly contrasted text can reduce readability on your site. Leave room for plenty of white space between content blocks so that you or future users of your template will have an easier time spacing content.
Professional Template Design Programs
Making your design template in the proper application can make a huge difference in your final product. Some of the most popular programs for designing website and app templates include Adobe Photoshop, Sketch for Mac computers, and illustrator. Fans of open-source design software may prefer GIMP which is a full-featured Photoshop alternative capable of making any desktop or mobile website template. Once you chosen your professional design application, consider downloading some template elements and barebones projects to give you a head start. By starting with a basic background and bordering you will be free to focus on the more important foreground objects in your final template.
There are also plugins and extensions available for each major design application. Try downloading some plugins for Photoshop or Sketch to automate tasks and add filters and features that don’t come standard with the software. Popular examples of these include filters for making retro and vintage designs, plugins to create special camera effects, and colorizing options that can help you bring a uniform design pattern to the photos and images used on your template.
By using these simple ways to enhance your design template and create more unique, inspiring designs, you will get results in terms of impressing visitors and establishing yourself as a master web designer. Make more creative templates simply by following these tips from design experts around the world and turn your website into a hub for creativity. Having a more creative design template will ensure your website and your client’s sites come across as professional and more artisan than the standard cookie-cutter, basic site templates used by many others.