Welcome and thank you for giving our complete marketing sets a try!Â Now, instead of dozens of hours of painstaking design and computer work, you can simply slip in your images and text and have a branded set that is ready to go - which means you can get back to shooting, or better yet, lounging at the beach.
This guide will serve as a tutorial to answer any questions you may have about using and printing your marketing set.
The purpose of these marketing sets is to give all of your customer materials a professional, clean, and consistent look.Â We professional photographers have to stay on top of our game and any materials given to our clients must be stellar.Â We believe these marketing sets are just the ticket.Â Not only are they gorgeous, but they are easy as pie to implement right away.Â Similar custom designs done by a professional graphic artist would cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars (euros, yen, pesos, loonies, or pounds - depending on where you are, of course).Â With these sets, not only are you eliminating the cost, you are eliminating all of the time involved in contacting a designer, laying out an idea, revamping that idea, and of course, figuring out what to do with the designs once you have them.Â Trust us - it's not pretty.Â With these templates, 90% of the work is already done for you.Â All you will have to do is drop in your best stuff, customize your colors, text, and graphics, and send the set off to be printed.Â The estimated time to complete a marketing and client materials package is only a few hours.
Now that the purpose is out of the way, let's take a look at what came in your download.
In your download folder you will see all of the templates that will make up your marketing and client materials set.Â These include:
An quad-fold marketing brochure
Each item has a .jpg preview so that you may easily identify what you are looking for.
SOFTWARE YOU WILL NEED
These templates are designed for Adobe Photoshop CS or newer and InDesign CS3 or newer.Â This is not to say that they don't work with previous versions - they very well may.Â The files are un-flattened, fully editable PSDs and INDD files that offer literally limitless opportunity for customization and creativity.
In order to take full advantage of these templates, you should be relatively proficient in Photoshop.Â Not an expert, mind you.Â But you should have a general knowledge of layers, shapes, text and image manipulation such as using the transform tool, layer masks, etc.
If you are less familiar with Photoshop, don't fear.Â We will try to be as thorough as possible with the tutorial - and hey, you might just learn something new!
When you downloaded your marketing set from the Design Aglow website you should have saved it in an easy-to-find location somewhere on your hard drive.Â Take a moment to locate the folder.Â Ready?Â Great!Â Let's move on.
First thing's first - you must unzip the folder before using any of the templates.Â This is very important as Photoshop will not be able to work with the files in zipped format.Â Use your favorite extraction program for this, such as WinZip (www.winzip.com) or StuffIt (www.stuffit.com).
After you have successfully unzipped your folder you should strongly consider backing up everything just in case you ever accidentally over-write one of the original templates.Â This is always a good idea as re-downloading these huge files can be quite a bummer.Â Use a blank DVD or portable thumb drive to save a copy, and put it in a safe place.
PRINTING YOUR MARKETING SET
Printing your materials is always a tricky topic because, quite simply, there are an astronomical number of great printers out there.Â And so many printers means a dizzying variety of sizes, crops, bleeds, formats, rules, and upload instructions.Â You are welcome to look into any printing service and use whomever you wish.Â If you choose to do this, be absolutely sure that you contact them for their own templates before printing your marketing materials.Â You will need to resize everything to their specs BEFORE sending them to print.Â Remember, everyone is different, so check first.
For this set we've chosen to use White House Custom Color's (www.whcc.com) templates.Â This is because their printing is beautiful, turnaround time is miniscule, and you can order almost everything for your set in one place.Â (The letterhead and envelopes will have to be printed elsewhere.Â But we've taken care of that too.)Â But most of all, we like the fact that with WHCC you can do very small print runs (usually as little as 25).Â That way, you do not have to commit to ordering thousands of something and getting stuck with them like some of the larger commercial printers require.
Ordering your materials in small batches will allow you to mix up your marketing for seasonal events and target certain customers with different looks without breaking the bank.Â And of course, a photographer's prerogative is to change his/her mind.Â So you can tire of last year's look and make a brand new look in the blink of an eye.
For the letterhead and envelopes, sorry to say, but you are on your own.Â There are enough printing companies out there to create marketing materials for a small village.Â We have used templates from 48 Hour Print (www.48hourprint.com) because we have worked with them in the past and haven't been disappointed yet.Â The turnaround time is - as the name very succinctly implies - 48 hours and the quality is good.Â They also have some of the best prices out there.Â We are in no way endorsing 48 Hour Print, so please contact them before you order just to check ”˜em out.Â We don't want an army of angry photographers with pitchforks showing up at our door because of botched printing jobs.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR SET
As we said before, your templates can be customized in any way imaginable.Â You can change nearly everything about them including the fonts, colors, image placement, borders, and so on.Â Here's a little info on how to customize a few key things:
Fonts:Â We cannot include fonts in our downloads, as fonts are protected under copyright.Â In order to keep the look of your materials the same as the original template, you will have to have the fonts we used installed on your computer.Â If you do not have the fonts we have used, a quick Google search should turn up a resource in no time.
The font used for this set is:
To change the wording on your templates do the following:
1.Â Select the Text Tool from your tools palette (keyboard shortcut "T")
2.Â Click on the line of text that you would like to change.
3.Â Highlight the text by dragging the tool across it.
4.Â Type to your heart's content.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR SET - COLORS
Changing the colors of your templates could not be easier.Â Here are a few tips on how to change the text, background, and stroke colors:
Text - Perform the same steps as if you were to change the text - text tool, click and highlight.
1.Â Double click on the top color box in your tools menu.
2.Â Choose the color for your text.
3.Â Click "OK"
Background - You will see that the colors behind your text and graphics are in the form of shapes.Â This makes it very easy to change the color on the fly.Â Here's how:
1.Â Choose the color block that you would like to change in the Layers palette.Â If you cannot see the layers palette, click the "Window" dropdown menu at the top of your screen and choose "Layers".
2.Â Now, double-click the small box of color next to the name of the layer.
3.Â Choose the new color when the dialog box appears.
4.Â Click "OK"
HOW TO INSERT YOUR IMAGES INTO THE TEMPLATE
This is an area where any new Photoshopper could get a little confused and frustrated.Â We'll try to make it as easy on you as possible. (For the InDesign files, you can simply drag and drop your images onto the templates, but now we'll provide instructions for those using Photoshop).
These templates are set up in a very simple way.Â All of the text is grouped together, as is all of the graphics, and what we call "image layers".Â An image layer is basically a gray box that represents where your image will fit in.Â Each image layer is numbered to make it easy to locate in the Layers palette.
Picture a framed photograph.Â The gray box "IMAGE LAYER" is the matte and your image is the photograph beneath.Â When you insert your image, the black box will represent where the image will be located and what the bounds of that image are.Â You will not be able to see any area outside of the matte, as in a real framed photograph.
There is no need to pre-crop your images before inserting them into the image layers.Â We will tackle how to place, crop, and resize in the following tutorial.
USING THE INCLUDED ACTION TO INSERT YOUR IMAGES
This set contains quite a few image layers, so we decided to include an action to make the process a little faster.Â Follow these steps to add your images using the action:
1.Â Double click the "INSERT IMAGES - TASTEMAKER COLLECTION.atn" file within your download folder to load it into Photoshop.
2.Â Open the template that you would like to work with, such as "ENVELOPE.psd".
3.Â If you cannot see the image layers, try expanding the Group "Image Layers" by clicking the tiny triangle next to the group name.
4.Â Press play on the INSERT IMAGES - ENVELOPE action in the layers palette.
5.Â Follow the instructions that pop up along the way.
ADDING ONE IMAGE AT A TIME USING THE INCLUDED ACTION
You can also add the images one at a time by selecting the image layer you would like to populate (such as IMAGE LAYER 5) and running the "INSERT ONE IMAGE" action.
PREFER TO ADD IMAGES THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY? NO PROBLEM.Â LET'S GO OVER HOW TO ADD YOUR IMAGES BY HAND:
1.Â Open the template that you would like to work with.
2.Â Choose the location you would like your image to appear in the Layers palette.Â Example: IMAGE LAYER 1.
3. If you cannot see the image layers, try expanding the Group "Image Layers" by clicking the tiny triangle next to the group name.
4.Â Open the image that you would like to insert into the template.
5.Â Now, choose the "Move" tool from your tools palette. (Keyboard shortcut "V")
6.Â Drag your photo onto the marketing template.
7.Â Go to the Layers palette and right-click on your image.
8.Â Choose "Make clipping mask".Â This will create that bounding box we talked about above.
Notice how your image is now positioned within the frame and how you can still move it around without disrupting anything around it.Â Pretty cool, huh?
RESIZING YOUR IMAGES
You will probably also notice that your image is waaaaay too big.Â That's fine - we'll now resize the image so that it fits perfectly into the opening.
To resize your image:
1.Â Choose Edit -->Â Transform -->Â Scale from the top dropdown menu. (or you can just hit "Control+T" on your keyboard)
2.Â Your image will now have handles.Â If you can't see the handles you will need to zoom out quite a bit.Â Hit enter to cancel the transform, zoom out, and then hit Control + T again.
3.Â When you mouse over a corner handle of your image you will see a double sided arrow.Â Click the handle of your image, and drag in toward the center to scale down.Â You may also drag out diagonally to enlarge your image, if need be. Hold down the Shift key while you are dragging to maintain your image's perspective.
4.Â When you are satisfied with the size, hit the Enter key.
You are all set!Â A little practice makes perfect - the more you do these steps the faster and easier they will become.
TIPS AND NOTES
Remember, wherever that gray box lies in the template is where your image will be positioned.Â If you need to move your image, you will want to move the gray "IMAGE LAYER" box first.
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There are the obvious benefits to being your own boss. You control your own schedule. You decide what direction you want your business to go in. You deal with your clients directly. The business is 100% YOU. Then there are the not so obvious obstacles to being your own boss. You control your own schedule. You decide what direction you want your business to go in. You deal with your clients directly. The business is 100% YOU! Everything is on your shoulders. You must have self-discipline to get things done on your own time, all while wearing 100 different hats. I am my own editor, creative director, location scouter, accountant, marketing material designer, client care and customer support team, the photographer, and so much more!
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