For those who lack graphic design experience, the word “template” has become something of a dirty word. It calls to mind cheap cookie-cutter designs stuffed with clip art. But there’s more than one type of template, and many of them are much more than just an easy shortcut; they’re absolutely vital to the print design process.
Any time you design presentation folders, you’re eventually going to need a template at some point—whether you’re forming your initial idea and layout, creating the design itself, or presenting a finished design mockup to your client.
Finding the right template for your project can be challenging. There are lots of them out there, and not all of them are free; you might end up paying for a template only to realize that it’s completely wrong for your pocket folder concept. Fortunately, Company Folders has invested a great deal of time into creating the following free downloads, with each template fashioned to make your design process as smooth and painless as possible.
Raw design files aren’t very helpful when you present your work to a client, especially for print projects that need to be folded into shape, such as two pocket folders. Parts of the folder will appear upside-down, which will confuse those who are less familiar with how dielines work. In situations like this, mockup templates are a lifesaver. They allow you to quickly convert your design files into fully realized mockups, so your design will look the way it will when it’s actually printed and folded.
These mockups can be further customized with a background of your choice, so your presentation folders can be set against a wooden table, a grassy field, or another surface or environment.
Front and Inside Folder Mockup Template
This versatile template shows off both the front cover and inside right panel of the folder.
Stacked Presentation Folders Mockup Template
Show your client what their folders will look like fanned out across a table, focusing exclusively on the front cover.
Inside View Two Pocket Folder Mockup Template
This template is most useful when the most interesting elements of a folder design are on its interior, showcasing the pockets and inside panels.
Die Cut Templates
Even if you never make use of any other type of template when crafting a presentation folder design, you’re not going to get very far without a die cut template. Also known as “dieline” templates, these function as the canvas upon which you will construct your actual design. Without an appropriate die cut template, a printer will be unable to print your work.
In situations where you don’t actually need your design printed (such as when you don’t have a client and are just experimenting with creating folders), it’s still worth it to use a die cut template. That way, you’ll always have the option to print it later if the need arises. Plus, this will make it easier to apply your design to a mockup template and incorporate it into your portfolio.
4-Color Process Letter Size Two Pocket Folder
Specifically designed for a folder printed with four-color process, this template is a great choice for colorful, cost-effective designs.
6×9 2 Pocket Small Presentation Folder
This template is well-suited for compact, lightweight designs meant to hold leaflets or other smaller materials.
Serpentine Cut Right Pocket Presentation Folder
With its creative, eye-catching pocket, this curvy template is perfect for when you want your design to stand out from the crowd.
Folder design templates give you a pre-made design that you can mix and match with your own images and text. Since practically every element of the template can be replaced with something else, you don’t need to worry about your design looking identical to someone else’s; it’s just a convenient time-saving solution when you need help coming up with a general layout.
Templates are available in both Illustrator and Photoshop formats. Even if you don’t turn one of these templates into a design of your own, browsing them might just give you the inspiration you need to create something completely original.
Six Design Services Folder and Business Card Template
Modern typography and a pattern of diagonal lines give this template a dynamic, energetic feel.
Green Eco-Friendly Presentation Folder Design Template
Perfect for “green” businesses, this earthy design template expresses a love of the natural world.
School District Pocket Folder and Business Card Template
This template makes use of primary colors and creative illustrations to create a warm and welcoming tone.
Don’t think of templates as a lazy way to avoid doing work for your client. Instead, think of them as a way to save valuable time and reinvest it into expressing the creativity and craftsmanship that your client hired you for. Templates function best as a way to enhance the hard work you do, not skirt around it.
Any questions or comments regarding these folder templates? Share them in the comments below.