Unless you’re a creative genius, you may find that buying (actually, licensing) commercial templates is a lot easier than designing them yourself.

But what do you get when you pay for a template? Here’s a sample description using the “I Heart You” template from Cherie Irwin. Your package includes Photoshop files to create 3 image layouts:

  • A 4″ x 6″ print with 3 photos: 2 small and 1 “hero”
  • A 2″ x 6″ strip with  4 photos
  • A 2″ x 6″ strip with  3 photos

and built into the template are some important instructions.

If you’re not familiar with Photoshop, you should know that it can save images with several layers of information. Those layers can be visible or you can make them invisible.

Let’s start with the top layer of this design template.

The top layer includes the terms of use – what rights you have purchased and things you can not legally do. The biggest “no-no” is that you can’t resell this design or incorporate elements of this design into another design that you then sell. Other than that the terms are pretty liberal – you can customize it for your customers, make some signs for your own publicity purposes, put it on your website.

And you also get a list of the fonts you need to customize the layout. Usually those fonts are available free from sites like “dafont.com” but the data sheet tells you the source, too.

The bottom layer, which is visible once you turn the top layer invisible, shows you the exact coordinates to place each shot your camera takes.

Most software prints 2″ x 6″ photo strips as 2-up on a 4″ x 6″ piece of paper. So you will want to enter information as follows:

All the images will be 550 pixels wide by 412 pixels high. For the left hand strip

  • image 1 will start 45 pixels from the left border, 60 pixels from the top.
  • image 2 will start 45 pixels from the left border, 497 pixels from the top.
  • image 3 will start 45 pixels from the left border, 934 pixels from the top.

And you’ll be entering data for a second set, the strip on the right hand side.

 

  • image 1 will start 645 pixels from the left border, 60 pixels from the top.
  • image 2 will start 645 pixels from the left border, 497 pixels from the top.
  • image 3 will start 645 pixels from the left border, 934 pixels from the top.

 

The middle layers  are where you find all the design work, and you can open up layer after layer to see exacly what’s there. And you can change colors and content freely.

After you have edited the names of your bride and groom, and the dates, you will make the bottom layer invisible and save your complete template as an overlay in the .png format. Why .png instead of .jpg? Because the .jpg format doesn’t support transparency, and you need the photos from each session to show through the overlay.

If you use Darkroom Booth software, you do not need to lay out 2″ x 6″ strips as doubles. The software can take care of the composite process so you can lay out your photos and edit your text only once

There are many vendors offering well designed templates. Personally, I like the work that Cherie Irwin does (she’s the one who created Photo Booth Talk) and you can see samples in the Market portion of this website. Belonging to the VIP Club makes a lot of sense: you get bunches of templates right off the bat and as new designs are published you can get those too.

 

 

 

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