Knowing how to use InDesign is one thing. Having both the time and the artistic skill to produce a professional quality, print-ready document is another thing entirely.
InDesign is part of Adobe’s design trinity, which also includes Photoshop and Illustrator. Where Photoshop is perfect for manipulating raster art, Illustrator is designed for manipulating vector art. In contrast, InDesign is the software you need to bring both of these kinds of elements together.
These elements can be used to create stunning, print-ready books, print magazines, e-zines, ebooks, flyers, and interactive PDFs. Unfortunately, designing these kinds of documents can be pretty time consuming.
How about using a free, professional-quality template instead? The following are the best free template sites we found online:
Even though you have to sign up for a free account (which takes one minute), Stock InDesign is by far my favorite place for free InDesign templates. The standard of design you’ll find here surpasses most premium templates anywhere else online. Take a look at this book design template, or this magazine design template as just two examples.
Within the folder for each template, you’ll find a read me file. Within this file, you’ll find links to any free images or free fonts you should download to make the most of the design. Many also include a short video as a very brief introduction to editing the document. If you know InDesign already though, this should be easy enough.
Best InDesign Templates
Best InDesign Templates has a range of both free and paid-for InDesign templates. Head over to their free section for a relatively small, high-quality selection. Many of these used to be paid-for templates. These range from catalogues and flyer-listings to magazines and calendars.
The sites own words explain the quality of some of the work you can find for free here: “A free product’s best work often scores better than a paid product’s average work”. Each of these documents is easily customizable, and usually ready for print (always check with your print company first, though).
CreativityCrate is the personal design portfolio of Angela W. Head over to the free downloads section for a choice of seven easy-to-use, professional InDesign templates.
Many of these templates come with multiple color schemes and are ready for print, including space for bleeding, and vectors included where necessary.
It takes a bit of scouring around the InDesign section of Design Freebies to find what you’re looking for, but there are many treasures to be discovered.
I’d also recommend visiting the site regularly, as other free design elements are always on offer. These range from free Photoshop and Illustrator templates to intriguing fonts and vectors. These will all serve to help you to produce ever more impressive designs within InDesign.
Blurb.com is a site for creating and printing your own books and magazines. Head straight over to their templates section and select “Templates For InDesign CC” for a host of professionally designed book and magazine templates.
Handle Branding has a few beautiful, free InDesign templates ready for you to start working with. Among others these include designs for books, magazines, flyers, and e-zines.
Other than a single image of each design, there’s hardly any information to help you make any choices here, but once you open the templates, the quality will be clear. Working with the designs is also straightforward.
Looking For Premium InDesign Templates
Understandably, the selection of free InDesign templates is rather limited. Quality designs take graphic designers time to create, and they normally want paying for it.
Therefore, if you’re looking for something very specific, you should be prepared to splash out to get what you want (almost all InDesign templates are below $100). The following sites are those I’d recommend for those paid-for templates:
- Envato Market– this is a huge marketplace selling anything design related. Their InDesign section is pretty small, but there are some very highly rated designs over there.
- Stock InDesign– as mentioned, the free section of Stock InDesign is incredible. Their paid-for section is just as good. You’ll find anything from photo-books to resume templates here.
- Stock Layouts– there’s an impressive array of designs on Stock Layouts, priced between $29-$99. If you’ll be using a lot of these templates, it might be economical to subscribe to the site.
- Creative Market– be sure to filer the templates to only show .indd files. There are currently over 1,500 to choose from, most of which look fantastic and reasonably priced for the quality.
If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, there are a couple of other options left open to you.
First, you could hire a graphic designer. I wrote an article recently on hiring an app designer. Many of the same points are relevant when hiring a graphic designer, too. You could use a site like UpWork or Dribbble for this.
Second, you could host a design contest on 99Designs or CreativeAllies. These sites are usually for smaller design projects, however, so you’d have to set a pretty impressive monetary prize if you’re looking for quality, multi-page designs.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways and places to find amazing InDesign templates to work from. The hardest thing will be deciding which design to go with in the first place.
Where else do you find free or paid-for InDesign templates? Do you like using them, or do you prefer to design you own documents from scratch? Let us know in the comments section below.