Larissa here, writing on TJ’s blog. I am so excited about this new product I found. Since it involves Photoshop, it makes sense for me to be the one writing about it.

Today I’m going to talk to you about using Photoshop templates. Templates are a great solution for photographers who don’t have a lot of time to design their own stuff and for those not particularly adept at designing in Photoshop. There are several great sites out there with fantastic designs, and I’ve used many of them, but one in particular recently caught my attention… Design by Jenn. Her template designs are adorable, but that’s not what caught my attention the most. What really got me excited was her membership program. For only $25 a month, you’ll get a complete collection every month. The collection includes an album template, card templates, wall template set, paper set (in case you want to make your own stuff that matches), and novelty product template for something like an image box or iphone cover. All in all, it’s like $200 worth of product for ONLY $25/month! Plus members get 50% off past collections and templates too. Pretty sweet deal.

This membership program is fantastic for three reasons:
First, I get bored easily. I’ll buy a template, use it two or three times, and get bored of it. What I love about Design By Jenn is that I get something fresh to use every month. This completely avoids my frequent boredom issue.
Second, it saves me lots of time. I used to hunt and hunt online for templates. It would take me forever to find anything decent. and then there’s the whole new website ordering thing to deal with. I found a couple websites that I liked several designs from, but after 10 or so album offerings, they seem to have halted adding new products. Jenn has a huge selection, and with a new collection every month, I’m more likely to already have the style I’m looking for.
And last but not least, price. With the membership program I am saving TONS. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, templates aren’t cheap. With designs by Jenn I get a new collection at a bargain price every month, and I LOVE the 50% off discount she offers so members can purchase previous collections.

* Note that in the video, the company is referenced as DesignS by Jenn, but there’s no “s” in Design.

So, on to the negative points. I have very few complaints, but there are a couple things I think could be improved. First is the layer and clipping mask identification. Each clipping mask has a highlighted layer above it marking the place you’re supposed to drag and drop the image. This works great when there’s only one image on the design. However, when there’s more than one image in the design, it can get confusing figuring out which one goes to the “space” on the page you’re looking to fill. Jenn’s templates are marked with descriptions for the location. It’ll say something like “center left”. Other template companies have marked them with numbers instead. The actual clipping mask will have a number on it that correlates with the layer name. This is easier for me because it doesn’t require much thought, just matching numbers. Jenn’s layers force me to think about left vs right and top vs bottom. I don’t like thinking if I can avoid it, so I prefer the number method. However, this is only a minor thing I would change and really doesn’t make a huge difference. I got along just fine without numbers as you can see on my video.

Aside from that, the only other thing I have to say is that the signup process was a little cumbersome. I wasn’t familiar with the forum system of downloading so it took a little figuring out and getting used to. I wasn’t immediately gratified with a download the instant I sent my payment….instead I had to create my forum login and password, then wait for it’s approval. I’m not a particularly patient person, so that wasn’t my favorite system, but I did get up and able to download the freebies off the forum in only a couple days. So I suggest that you sign up NOW and not wait until you’re desperate for some new stuff. If you sign up now you’ll have all the busy work taken care of so getting your actual files will be faster and easier when the time comes.

To learn more about this great product, visit the Design By Jenn website.

6 Responses to “Suave Album From Design By Jenn Review”

  1. Nice article. I have used several photoshop based album layouts and there are always issues with any of them. I’ll check out Jenn’s website. Thanks.

    • TJ says:

      I know Larissa has been impressed so far. I’d love to hear your opinion of the templates after you check them out.

  2. I will check this out. I’m constantly trying to decide on templage purchases simply because I don’t want to give every client the same design but I can’t afford to buy tons of templates either. This might be a great solution for me.

    • TJ says:

      Larissa has indicated that exact same issue with not wanting to stick with just one template. Jenn does consistently good work, so it’s a system that works well for us.

  3. Chris says:

    Working with templates is easy but must fit the need of the customer first. If you have enough templates and if you can customize it, it’s a win for you (less time used) and for the customer (cheaper).

    • TJ says:

      Definitely – if you buy100 templates at a bargain, but don’t like any of them, it was a waste of money. Thanks for bringing that up.