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3 ways to design templates for your church

How to Design Reusable Templates for Your Church Staff

You’ve spent time designing a promotion, and it’s nearly perfect. But, you just realized each ministry needs the ability to include their own piece of information in the design.

You don’t want to lose the visual consistency of the project or the branding, but you need a way to allow for changes. Some way to create a template that can be easily changed by the ministry leader, without changing the design.

In today’s #AskRADIdeas Lindsay asks:

What are the best ways to design templates so different ministries can add in their own text? Right now we’re designing in InDesign then saving the template as a jpg and bringing it into word as the background layer.

3 Ways to Create Church Graphic Design Templates

1) InDesign

Part of the Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign is the best place to start when creating a template.

The process would look like this:

  1. Create your visual design
  2. Add text boxes with temporary text (Date, Time, Location, etc.)
  3. When the design is complete add a new Layer using the Add Layer feature (Window / Layers / Add Layer)
  4. Name the New Layer (Editable Text)
  5. Choose the text boxes containing the temporary text
  6. Drag them into the Editable Text layer
  7. Lock the Original Layer containing the design elements
  8. Share the InDesign file with your ministry leaders so they can make their own edits


2) InDesign and Adobe Reader

(idea from a Beth Moore study put out by LifeWay)

  1. Create your design in InDesign (see above: InDesign Steps 1-7)
  2. Turn off the Editable Text layer
  3. Save as a PDF
  4. Open in Acrobat Pro
  5. Add text boxes using the Tools menu (Tools / PrePare Form / Add a Text Field)
  6. Format the Text Field (Right click / Properties)
  7. Save the PDF
  8. Send the PDF to your ministry leaders


3) InDesign and Word or Publisher

  1. Create your design in InDesign (see above: InDesign Steps 1-7)
  2. Export the design as a JPG (File / Export)
  3. Open Word or Publisher
  4. Import the JPG design as a background image
  5. Add editable text boxes using the Add Text box options
  6. Send the file to your ministry leaders

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