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Aren't Pre-Designed Templates Ugly?

Clients come to me for graphic design services because they need to market their business. Some clients want a customized design that is totally unique and created just for them. But other clients may crinkle their noses at the custom design fees that are part of their web quote.

Design snobs won't design for these clients because everything must a unique design or else it's not "quality" design. I love to design, but it's more important that my clients get what they need, not what I want to give them. So if budget is a big factor in their project, I offer them the option of a modified template.

But then clients ask me, "Aren't templates ugly?" I want to debunk this myth! While it's true that the majority of templates designed would not be considered very attractive, the truth is there are designers out there who are putting out beautiful templates for HTML and CMS websites. With a modicum of modifications, these templates can give the impression of custom design without a price tag. Here are some examples from our own projects:

This is the template: i-Lunar
This is the site we’ve built with it: Possibilities Unlimited

This is the template: JSN Epic
This is the site we’ve built with it: Sheasby, Cho & Middleton, attorneys at law

This is the template: JC-Perth
This is what we built with it: The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management

While it's fun to do a custom design and see it get built and shared, many of our clients who do not have unlimited web budgets. It's critical for them to have a web presence that is usable, attractive and effective. We want our clients to have the tools they need to succeed in business, and sometimes template design offers a workaround that facilitates a successful, attractive site within the budget the client can afford.