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Thread: Template design v Custom development - pros and cons for industry and clients

  1. #1
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    A discussion arising from another thread, where I questioned the business practice of supplying pre-designed Flash "templates" for businesses simply to purchase, add their content, and deploy onto the web.

    The initial response from a member "for" this practice:

    Originally posted by Agent_Coop
    No disrespect detected....

    Supply and Demand. Templates exist in a wide variety of forms..out on the Internet as a whole already. FlashKit included.

    There are tutorials, open source, demos, freebies, etc...

    Plenty of people modify them for commercial reasons and give no credit or $$$ to the author. Doesn't really matter if you copyright/register/warn, etc...they are ripping off other people's work and selling it in some form.

    You can then apply the same logic (as it pertains to impacting the Flash Developer Community) when considering freely providing open source & tutorial files, as you can to commercial templates.

    Commercial grade templates are merely a way to legally adapt another's work. (Tagline Alert: How about..."Rip of Websites the LEGAL way!"[tm])

    Start the thread Davo...this is already interesting....
    And my initial reaction "against":

    Firstly, comparing it to "Plenty of people modify them for commercial reasons and give no credit or $$$ to the author" is a cop out. As the old saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right. Simply because there are people out there engaging in certain unethical practices I don't think should be a reason for justifying a certain business practice along the same lines.

    In the case of source files, these are resources provided to other developers/industry professionals, whether that be a full time designer/developer, students, or even someone wanting to learn enough simply to develop their own business site. Either way, what is being provided is a type of learning method, or tutorial if you like. It is not providing a fully developed site ready for deployment on the web simply with a change of text and a couple of images. If I was to take an FLA from the Flashkit library and deploy it exactly as it is on the web I would be guilty of unethical practices. It is available as a resource to learn from and change to make it my own, not so much to use "as is".

    Taking this further, let's examine some of the basics:

    What is design?

    Well, as industry professionals, design should be about adding value to a business by providing the visual means to effect the communication of a business' core message or product. By the definition of us as "design professionals" this involves the analysis of a business' strategy, target audience, and overall goals. For each business this will be unique. If not then every business would have exactly the same logo and company letterhead, every business would have exactly the same marketing plan and be catering for exactly the same market segmentation - even while their core product/message is not the same.

    If we are design "professionals", then what does this say? This says that we have a professional and highly skilled ability to deliver a design solution that caters for their distinct business requirements. If on the other hand we are not "professionals", and any Joe can do this, then you are saying by definition that there's no such thing as a design industry at all.

    Some may make an argument that a business owner will know the best design solution for his own business. Why would he know this? If we accept that "design" is a professional vocation, then why would someone not trained in design know what they require? They may get lucky at times, just like I may get lucky determing part of their business dealings outside the area of visual communication, but chances are that in most cases I, and they, will be completely wrong.

    Okay, now let's look at design templates specifically.

    First, what is beng said with a pre-fabricated design is that we already know a business' exact requirements without any analysis, examination of the target market, or the business' unique standing within their market segmentation. How is this possible? Well, in truth, it is not. And do you want to find me one piece of research or writing, or educational resource that says it is?

    Second to this, let's even for a minute imagine that one of these pre-fabricated designs has somehow nailed it - by some lucky fluke catered brilliantly for a company's online visual communication needs. Now we are expecting the business owner who comes along to a site selling these design "templates" to know exactly which one provides the solution that he requires. Will he be able to? 99% of the time, no, as we have already discussed.

    Okay, so bottom line, what does that do for a business, and most importantly, what does that do for the design industry?

    Well, for the business involved, they get a solution that is not quite right for their overall goals and strategy, and delivers a less than ideal return on their investment. Sure, it may still work in some way, but compared to the result that could have been gained from the correct design solution delivered by a design professional, the result is much less than could have been expected.

    And for our industry? Well, the most obvious initial result is that it devalues our expertise. If one business has got this "great bargain" site for $49.95 and told his mate who also has a business then how am I going to justify charging more for a site? Of curse there are ways to do so, but it can make it very much more difficult.

    Second, once the business has got their template design up onto the Internet, and they don't get the return on investment (ROI) that all businesses want from any marketing venture, then their percieved value of website design goes out the window. They will be loath to invest any more online since their initial attempt gave no ROI. Suddenyl all designers are a waste of money.

    Anyway, enough (too much?) for my initial response. It will be interesting to hear what others have to say.
    (and let's keep this civil - it's about business and the industry, not personal, and involves many areas of gray, not simply black and white).

    Cheers
    Dave






  2. #2
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    I am of the thought that design templates are the enemy much like predatory pricers are the enemy. They are much less a viable business solution than they are a failed online venture in waiting. It is a tough market out there and the lure of a $50.00 flash website is probably too much for many small businesses to resist. A proper website production requires much more than a pre-packaged layout. It requires, careful planning, image integration, SEO, proper site architecture, strategic submission, content development, well written copy, promotion, effective hosting, etc. A template can't give a small business owner even a fraction of these factors, but the average small business owner does not know this. They see, build your own website and be online in a half hour all for the low low price of $49.99. Thats a pretty attractive offer, but an offer that will inevitably fall short of their needs. After a business owner commits and puts his faith in the claims of the template company, and that template fails, how can he be expected too believe in a real designer, or worse yet, the power of the world wide web at all. The lure of a qiuck cheap solution into the oft unknown territory of the web is a wonderful idea for the template company owners, but probably is more of a wolf in sheeps clothing to the business owners they claim they are there to help.

    That's my $.02, take it for what its worth.

    Great topic and a nicely laid out intro Davo, keep up the good work.

  3. #3
    Hi guys I really like this thread topic and I dont disagree with you guys either even though I own 50% of [edit] which sells Flash Templates. Yes we also sell them cheaply. Our most expensive Flash Template on our site is only $50. We also offer our customers service and modify some if they ask. We help them greatly, let me tell you. I have to be online alot more then I would like but what can I say. It makes me good money. Good topic though guys, you do have your points.

    [EDIT url edited... DigitalFlash, please remove links to your site. You have been warned more than once by numerous people.]
    [Edited by JabezStone on 08-02-2002 at 09:12 AM]

  4. #4
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    While I don't think templates are the greatest thing since sliced bread, let me play devil's advocate here (I really hate that expression...)

    How many of you have purchased stock photography from companies like Comstock or Corbis to incorporate into your designs? As the consumer, I love the fact that I can get quality images for $30-$40 bucks a pop.

    For the last few years, photographers have been ranting about royalty-free images (pay once, use as many times as you like). They'd much rather be paid for each time the image is used (rights-protected).

    Their arguments against the royalty-free images are very similar to our arguments against template sites, but the bottom line in both discussions seem to be, "I won't make as much money if everyone starts using these low-cost alternatives."

    My point? I think HTML & Flash templates are here to stay, but there will alway be a market for custom design. (If that were not true, everyone would be creating their company letterhead using MS Office templates & clip art.)

    Why fight against it? As a designer, why not create (or purchase) a handful of templates to be able to offer to cheap... er, fugal-minded clients that don't see the value of custom designed site? Larger clients with larger budgets will usually go with a unique custom design.

    That's my $.02, tho it's probably overpriced.

  5. #5
    Ryan Kallok: Kallok Studios kallok's Avatar
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    Custom, you get what you want.

  6. #6
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    Hmmm... I have to make an issue about some of the comparisons being used. It would be nice if we talked about this specific issue rather than use comparisons that concern completely different issues.

    -----

    Such as:

    Stock photography

    A person purchases a photograph to use within a layout or design, that is to put it into a context. It is the success or otherwise of then putting that photo into a relevant and effective context that should be looked at, not the photo itself. Sure, he may then turn around and use a template with that photo, and hence the sum of the parts will be even worse, but stock photography in itself does not neccesarily result in bad communications implementation.

    TV dinners

    A comparison used in another thread. You buy a TV dinner to consume yourself, not to present to someone else as a restaurant meal. Nor do you buy a TV dinner as your diet when training for a marathon. If you did, guess what the result would be?

    -----

    So far the only arguments for templates have been from the side of the template design business, and how it has or will grow and make them money, so since we can't avoid let's jump on the bandwagon. Well, hang on a sec there....

    Part of my responsibilities as a professional designer (and note the emphasis there on professional "designer" rather than business person) it is my ethical responsibility to deliver to the client the best solution for their business srategy, goals, as well as budget. Now, in any defence over "templates" I have read so far no claim has been made that they deliver an effective online communication solution for a clent, only that they deliver an AFFORDABLE solution. At least advocates of templates aren't trying to kid themselves there, which I'm glad.

    So okay, let's look at the affordability viewpoint.

    So what are they buying? They are buying some funky little design, with a few standard sections such as "about us" and "products"...etc, with a generic design that has some relevance to their business area. Cool. But unlike a Word template, or even a template from some of the HTML editors, they are buying a template from a supposedly "professional" template design conmpany. Hmmm, so that would say to the layman that because I am buying from a "professional" in the design field that I am getting an effective solution for my needs.

    Well, of course, they do not. They end up with a cheap solution that sure, gives them a precence online, but certainly will not deliver an effective return on investment (ROI) over time. So what does that do? Well, of course, in their viewpoint it cheapens what "professional" visual communication is and can do for their company. It cheapens the value of design professionals in the industry. Unless they happen to meet someone personally who really convinces them of the difference between buying a template and using a professional designer (which, c'mon, most of us must realise to them is only the price), they are unlikely to rethink their online strategies in the short term.

    If you'd like to argue this point WITHOUT using irrelevant comparisons, please do.

    In fact, I will go so far to say that it would be better keeping that $49.95 in their pocket and having NO online precence than having an ineffective, and potentially even damaging, web precence. I myself have told potential clients to keep their money in their pocket when they have requested a "budget" or template type design, and will continue to do so. Just like an advertising campaign, it needs to be effective to be worth their while at all.

    So far I have seen only reasons such as "it makes me money" or "it's not going away" as reasons to support template designs. I have countered with one or two ways it impacts on our industry. So far, from an "ethical" viewpoint, I don't see how a designer could support the practice.

    I will look forward to hearing more viewpoints.

    Cheers
    Dave






  7. #7
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalFlashDavo
    It would be nice if we talked about this specific issue rather than use comparisons that concern completely different issues.

    -----

    Such as:
    TV dinners

    A comparison used in another thread. You buy a TV dinner to consume yourself, not to present to someone else as a restaurant meal. Nor do you buy a TV dinner as your diet when training for a marathon. If you did, guess what the result would be?

    -----

    If you'd like to argue this point WITHOUT using irrelevant comparisons, please do.

    -----

    First off, calling my analogy to tv dinners IRRELEVANT, coupled with your logic of why this comparision is incorrect, really makes you look like you didn't read my post at all.

    I simply stated that flash templates, like tv dinners, are products suited to meet a need of someone and her budget.

    You stating that restaurants don't use TV dinners proves you misunderstood my case. That would be akin to a new media design shop using a 50 dollar template for their own site as well as their clients. Clearly that is not what I stated in my comparison.

    If you're claiming that your customers are seeing your template design as a restaurant serves food (i.e. the product put in front of the customer to buy) then you're still missing the point of my post. Almost all fastfood/midgrade restaurants thaw their prepackaged, freight-shipped food and drop it in the fryer and wrap it in colorful paper, similar to any flash template.

    Then you also said that if you were running a marathon and all you ate was tv dinners, you'd probably lose. This is another gross misunderstanding of my analogy that led to you claiming such analogies are irrelevant.

    Your understanding seems to imply that I think flash templates are an integral part of the branding process for a company serious about its online presence, just as diet and nutrition are components of successfully competing a marathon.

    I clearly stated that the need for flash templates for some customers is similar to someone who's hungry for a cheap eat they will forget about the next day.

    Once again it seems as though some people want to keep professional design in an ivory tower at the top of the mountain where only a few lucky customers may enter, and where even fewer designers may bless the world with their work. Get over it already.
    [Edited by erova on 08-03-2002 at 12:07 PM]

  8. #8
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    Actually, I am trying to discuss design rather than TV dinners basically. Those comparisons are irrelevant, just as if I went and found some other comparisons in the world of - I don't know, native American customs - that showed exactly the opposite comparison. It would be like comparing apples to oranges. I'd like to stick to the one area if possible.

    For example:
    "If you're claiming that your customers are seeing your template design as a restaurant serves food (i.e. the product put in front of the customer to buy) then you're still missing the point of my post. Almost all fastfood/midgrade restaurants thaw their prepackaged, freight-shipped food and drop it in the fryer and wrap it in colorful paper, similar to any flash template."

    --> So if I am a chef, I should not be making an issue about this form of food production? And what "chef" would use this method?

    It's about making the point that design is not just about a few pretty colours and photos thrown together, but is a means of communication, and that no professional designer could support this. A business person perhaps - and the reason why yes, maybe it is here to stay in sme form - but not as a designer.

    Now, so far we still have not had any counter points about the actual practice itself, but only using other comparisons that have nothing to do with design - in my viewpoint.

    Come on, there MUST be designers here, and not just business people, who can discuss the actual design merits or otherwise?

    Surely??

    And are able to either agree or counter these viewpoints with rational rather than be offended by them. Geez... have you guys never debated before?? It can actually be done without personal offence or abuse and with great gusto....




  9. #9
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    as an IT rather than design professional i can understand why some look on 'new media' designers with a certain amount of antipathy

    i know how to code a site in html, desing an interface in flash, use actionscript, ASP, javascript etc. but i am not a what you would call a designer

    i tend to create off the cuff based on technical necessity rather than some higher aesthetic understanding - i even get lost when reading about colour schemes and the like - as far as i'm concerned if it looks good and doesn't clash then go with it

    i also always produce my own graphical elements - mainly so that i can never be accused of using something without permission - this occaisionally leads to using the same graphic (usually for buttons) with a different colour scheme - this is probably the closest i get to templates but i can see their wider appeal from a small business standpoint

    my company has difficulty explaining the costs of email access to some of our less technical (technical imbeciles actually!!) clients who assume that the www and all facets of electronic communication should come free with a box of weetabix - to suggest that they should pay upwards of 1500 for a fully featured, unique web site would cause convulsions and i see more and more *bad* websites presumably as a result

    with that in mind i'd imagine that a well designed template does have a place in most businesses web plans - even if its just part of a costing exercise - there will still be a great deal of companies employing the services of designers so i shouldn't worry too much

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by scrote
    there will still be a great deal of companies employing the services of designers so i shouldn't worry too much
    ...Apart from the fact that the industry is still in what might be termed a slump, with many, many very good designers out of work (along with other IT prfoessionals, but we are discussing the design profession for the moment).

    While there are always a number of contributing factors to this kind of scenario, I do very much believe that business practices such as "templates" as we are discussing do contribute in some way to this. The ONLY person I believe it helps is the business person. It cheapens the design value, and it does not provide the solution required by the purchaser.

    But thanks for the input - it is valuable to get the viewpoint of others within the industry. Though funny how replies from either side from designers as such has been deafening. Do you guys give a damn about the industry or what???

    Whatever your viewpoint....


  11. #11
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    ... and it is advisable to have one rather than just accept the status quo...

    No more opinions or arguments to back them up?
    C'mon, I don't believe that for a second...

    Guys, discussions don't evolve nor new ideas get experienced without constributions to ongoing debates, nor disagreements bewteen members. If we all believed exactly the same thing, and did not contribute numerous viewpoints to various discussions, then we don't evolve as a society - whether we be talking Flashkit board or an entire country.

    Contribute, speak up, and don't be afraid just 'cos someone has a different viewpoint than yours.

    Only dead fish go with the flow...



  12. #12
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    tofd -

    trying hard to put together a coherent reply to this but not being very successful I am a designer and I think this is interesting, so I'll keep going...

    Design itself simply can't be looked at as an entity, talking about design merits without taking into account the business aspect is meaningless. Design is a means to an end, not a solution in itself. The end you want to achieve by designing a template is very different to the aim of a large corporate online marketing strategy.

    I think what you are really saying is that from a business point of view opting for a template website is a bad move. Which may be correct, however it has no bearing on the design merit of templates per se, since they weren't intended for a brand-focused campaign.

    ----
    What I'm trying hard to bring across is that you need to look at this from a different level.

    On the one hand, there is the design merit of templates - do they fulfill the need that they were designed for, to which the answer is of course 'depends on the template'.

    On the other hand, there is the question of whether a template website is suitable for a given business need. The answer is 'depends on the business'.(yes, I think there are business requirements where a template approach is sufficient - but I wouldn't want to deal in that sort of market )

    You are mixing the two levels, which I feel is leading to sweeping generalisations that just don't hold true.

    ----
    hopefully that made some sense. this is a discussion after all, so I can develop a little on these thoughts if required

    - n.

  13. #13
    curmudgeon swampy's Avatar
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    we've used templates in the past for the simple reason that when you are creating 3000 screens for a company like http://www.learndirect.co.uk you need to do it quickly, efficiently and with common design elements.

    Economy of scale becomes a major factor.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by swampy
    we've used templates in the past for the simple reason that when you are creating 3000 screens for a company like http://www.learndirect.co.uk you need to do it quickly, efficiently and with common design elements.

    Economy of scale becomes a major factor.
    not sure that's what tofd was referring to though - I take it he means the 'off-the-shelf, slap on a logo, site is finished' variety, where you buy a template design and fill in the content.

    popular with weblogs and small company sites the world over

    - n.


  15. #15
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    Yes Swampy, you're getting the two possible definitions of "template" mixed up. Of course tmplates are designed for a database driven site.

    Thanks for the contribution enemem.

    I suppose the point I'm trying to make is, looking at it from purely a business perspective, that design is a form of communication, and in a business sense each company should be different. If not then what type of business do you have - one that's homogenous with any other business? If that was truly what a company desires, then fine, there is a place for off-the-shelf templates.

    But put that to a business: Do you want to be homogenous with other businesses on the web (or really, in all your business communication), or do you want to communicate something that's individual to your company?

    And then find me a company who wants to be homogenous with everyone else.

    But of course those in the business of template designs won't describe their products as such.

    Now, don't get me wrong, not every company needs a website designed by a professional. If ALL they need to do is communicate information only, and no other message or brand or values needs to be communicated, then they should stick with, basically, a text based website, or some template from within a common HTML editor. I've even advised clients as such - I'm not one to take money off a client just 'cos they want to spend it, if they want something that's not right for their needs.

    However, if they want to pay for a "design" because they realise that this form of communication will help them achieve their business goals, then I cannot in all honesty as a designer support a choice of a template as an effective solution.

    Yes, they aren't going away, but as a designer should my professional ethics allow me to support them?

    (and I'm trying to look at it from specific points of view, 'cos I know this ain't just black or white, and am trying to avoid generalisation, hence specific examples/case studies would be great).

    Anyway, seem to be a lot of supposed "designers" here not bothering to have a point of view. Why? This is an issue discussed widely within the professional design industry of which you're a part of. Please contribute, it helps us develop as an industry.

    Cheers
    Dave





  16. #16
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    i think the problem with the discussion as is (and the reason for so few replies) is the very narrow field you have given for the concept of template sites

    if i understand you correctly you are happy for smaller companies to use html based templates from packages such as dreamweaver/frontpage to deliver a message simply and cost effectively but you are not happy for a larger company to use a design led template for a full on marketing extravaganza

    i would imagine that this area of crossover would only have a major effect on freelancers who need the smaller large companies to keep them in br

    design teams for larger firms would probably not be competing for this type of contract

    as a designer yourself i assume your ire is directed at those passing themselves off as designers when all they are is glorified sales teams and i can understand why you'd be a bit peeved

    however, isn't the nature of capitalism, indeed the very core of capitalism, "stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap"??

    if you are competing in a market where the design principle plays second fiddle to profit margins then i'm afraid you are going to be a very bitter old man!!!

    looking around the web, most obvious design oriented sites are portfolio's for graphic designers etc... most of the rest of the web is relatively bland in comparison - most businesses will be happy with a clone of one of the bigger companies sites and those are the 'templates' that stick around

    design based templates are (imo) such a small percentile of all active sites that the issue is not relevant to many outside your (our!) particular sphere



  17. #17
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    I agree and Disagree with you at the same time and it all depends on what the client is going after. Many companies/orgs/individuasls do not want/see then need/ have the need for what has been defined as design here.

    For Vanity Pages, For Educators when placing Lessons Online, A Page for the company who sees the internet as a Yellow Page Ad and only wants to be listed on the net, TurnKey Businesses such as https://secure.freestores.biz/b.jsp?...freestores.biz , http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/index.aspx , http://www.amway.com/ , or someone who sells stuff on EBAY/Half.com and wants a very simple site to show off the product, An author who is using POD such as http://www.iuniverse.com/ or http://www.bookpublisher.com/ to publish a book who want a website to promote it, and these new slap something up Ezines (I can't post any examples as they are almost always Porn related and I can't find one that does not contain non-adult material easily however a tut on how to slap one together is here http://www.thesitewizard.com/archive/newsletter.shtml although you can use a free product called HTMLDOC http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/ or Star/OpenOffice or WP Office to make PDFs for free/included in the price of the WP and distribute these things in a nice printable more locked down PDF Format ) that are all the rage now a template makes perfect sense. Just as the Templates inside MS Publisher/Corel Family Pack/ MS Works/ Corel Print House makes sense for somone who wants to produce a simple flyer for their garage sale.

    Something that hasn't been mentioned here is that templates if they have a high enough degree of customization can be effective. Look at the Portal Sites in a Box such as http://www.phpnuke.org/ and http://www.xoops.org . In case you are wondering many sites use these two free portal in a box solutions to produce their sites. Slashdot is a PHPNuke site BTW as are many other sites.

    As for serious marketing and branding you are completly correct in your assumptions that 99% of the time these will not provide a very high ROI.

    I think most Bussiness owners understand this. Where Templates come into play is when the company, individual, or org does not have a budget or design skills to produce a pleasent page without using a template. I wouldn't really call this design using your definition though. As stated before this includes Vanity Pages, Educators posting Lesson Plans, Church Websites/Web pages, very small retailers and business, Small orgs, ECT. The larger companies realize that they will probably have to pay cash for a strong web presence.

    In case you are wondering there are SWF Authoring tools available for under $50 that include Actionscripting thus a lot that could have previously be done in Flash can now be done with these tools asuming the user had the skill regardless of that a user can produce a SWF now with tools costing them $0 as there are many basic free tools and online services (Flashtyper here at Flashkit is one such tool) . Keep in mind that Ming and Bukoo are free and uses PHP (MING) or ASP, PHP is free and ASP is either free or added easily for a very low cost, and you can get Free Web Servers to run off of a Free Server such as KF Server, Apache for Windows, IIS-included in XP pro and 2K, PWS -Only if they are using 9X, ECT, a Dynamic DNS provider, and a Cable or ADSL where the conection is always on along with the fact that tuts outlining how percisly to set up a templete maker/Text Effects generator is are all out there anyone can setup and sell/give away these services now. Also Swift Generator has always been very afordable and JGenerator is also free.

  18. #18
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    Probably the issue I am trying to focus on, and one that hasn't been mentioned at all here, is not so much the business reasons behind using a template - cost will in many cases mean that it is here to stay - but the ethics behind a design "professional" supporting this practice.

    To me it would be like an architect supporting one of those "land & package" housing developers, where the buyer gets to choose from 6 floorplans. While it's here to stay, it's not something I would support as a professional.

    Any feedback on this viewpoint?

    And scrote, the "narrowness" of the discussion is purely a result of the lack of replies. If anyone wants to add or mention another related area then that's what a public discussion is about....

    Yes, I'm an opinionated bastard, but I also respect other opinionated bastards - they're the ones that help drive any industry forward, 'cos things never remain "as is", and should not...




  19. #19
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if it's a question of ethics when it comes to supporting templates, or whether or not that denigrates someone to a substandard professional.

    I think there's also a big difference between *supporting* design templates, and simply recognizing that they exist, and choosing whether or not to take an active stance against them or get bent out of shape.

    Dave, I know you haven't been too fond of my analogies, but I can't stand boy bands because they're pretty much templates as well (change name, change an octave here, a few more highlights there), but when they're on the radio I just change the station and avoid it. I know there are 14 year old girls out there who love that stuff and don't know who Miles Davis is, but that's the way it is. I know some people utilize these templates and think they're getting a great deal; well, they're not my potential clients, they're not cutting into my business, and I have enough other stuff going on to pay too much mind to it right now...

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    2006: Thika, Kenya
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    955
    Originally posted by erova
    they're not cutting into my business, and I have enough other stuff going on to pay too much mind to it right now...
    No, at present it hasn't impacted on me personally either, but is that true for everyone? I am posing this question as a "design industry" issue, not so much just on a personal level. I believe that as a designer i have a responsibility to my industry as much as to myself.

    And with the boy band analogy, what would be your opinion, if you were Bob Dylan or even Damon Albarn, about them and their impact on the quality of the music industry?

    Not saying I know for sure, but just postng that question using your analogy...









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