I loved being creative, so it was one of the fun parts of my job. But it was hard to always come up with a great professional design -- and it was time consuming. When I started to try to find ways to be more productive, I realized that I needed to let go of my desire to create and make a template.
Art design was not my specialty, so it took many attempts to come up with a template that worked for all of our programs. Then we realized we needed a logo for our library (which I am proud to say that I did design with the help of my husband) and then my director hired someone with art skills who made an even better template than I did.
An amazing thing happened-- four, actually:
1. I Saved Hours of WorkThere are people out there who can whip up an awesome flyer in no time, but that wasn't me. I can make a decent one but it required lots of creative energy and some trial and error until I came up with the perfect design. But with our template, I could make a new flyer in minutes and know I would immediately be happy with it. That's a lot of precious time saved!
With the new design, my coworkers were able to easily use it, too. Now everyone, even those who felt they didn't have any artistic skills, could make a flyer for their own program. (Or I could easily delegate this project to someone else who needed something to do.) There were a few hurdles for us to jump through (I did teach some of them how to use our art program) but the end result was something with which we all could be happy. And I like teaching, so I didn't mind those sessions at all.
2. Everyone Used the Template
3. We Advertised MoreHaving a template and an easy way to make flyers meant we could bang them out quickly. We also made a template for our website slider, so it was really easy for us to constantly update the website with the current information. Before, we had to constantly change our design to fit whatever medium we were using, but with these templates, it was easy to adapt the designs accordingly.
4. We Established a Professional Library IdentityOnce we had a great template and used it consistently, we realized we had established an identity. There was no question what was a library flyer and what was a community flyer. We also gave a united front -- every department used the same template in the same artistic style, so we were providing the consistent message across the board.
Template ExampleBelow is an example of the template we used at my previous library. The top always began with a short title in the same font. Below it was the date and time. We included an image of what the program would be about, then a short description. In the bottom header is the library location and contact information. I no longer had to worry that I forgot something essential because it was standard on all our templates.
Do you have any templates to share? We would love to see them in the comments.
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