The Template Brouhaha Haha
Every couple of years graphic design is threatened by devaluation or extinction because our standards are being attacked by the forces of evil knights templates. Remember the commercial where Apple claimed that with a Macintosh computer designers would no longer be necessary? Alas, it never came to pass, despite the persuasive 1984 ad campaign (above).
Remember when stock imagery was the scourge? It’ll take more than that to squelch real talent. And don’t forget that for decades various template companies have foisted their wares on the field (below top), charging paltry sums for subscriptions to template libraries. Well, there will always be clients who go for cheap, rather than good.
Now, one of the most highly respected editorial designers is producing templates too. Thanks to Roger Black’s “Ready-Media” template collection the design world is having a cow. This is not Black’s first foray into template design, but it is the first time, the promotion asserts, that “world-class media design been so available, so accessible, so affordable. A cabal of highly skilled designers have pooled their talent to give you outstanding media templates for both print and web-based formats, featuring a huge variety of pages. At a fraction of the cost” (below bottom).
Cabal? Its not the quality of the design that’s upsetting members of The Society of Publication Designers (SPD), but the “fraction of the cost.” Well, maybe the quality too. And that’s the sticky wicket, in this critical economic era, is charging a “fraction” unfair and detrimental to the whole editorial design field? Or is it a smart entrepreneurial idea, that will inject better design into the field?
Debate rages: Which rings true? This from Dirk Barnett on SPD.org “Thanks Ready-Media, you just set us all back about 10 years.” Or as Ready-Media designer Robb Rice says, the templates will leave magazine designers “freed to concentrate on visual content.”