A long-standing client had a short-n-sweet project they needed completed. In addition to the very short deadline, they had a very small budget, and half of the amount was needed for color printing at a quick printer. So we quickly found and downloaded a template that would work, flowed in their text, grabbed photos from the ones we’d taken for their website, and sent the file off to be printed. Sometimes our job isn’t about creating something from scratch — instead, it’s about helping a client with a specific need get their project done as efficiently as possible.
Were there drawbacks with this method? Oh yes — for one thing, the template is a photoshop file instead of being done in InDesign, so there are no paragraph or character styles to easily change if the client doesn’t like the font, just some individually selected words and blocks of text with the font information set individually. And since it’s not our “design” there’s a chance that potential clients who don’t know us and who see it in our portfolio will confuse us with the original designer, or that potential clients might see us as just “production” people rather than able to design on our own. But in the end the time savings to us and cost savings to our client (since we didn’t have to bill them for layout out a new 8.5×11 file from scratch) won out. The project was done on time and on budget. Which makes it a winning project in our book.