Creating a template for a vector based design applications


I’m the kind of person who most of the times doesn’t like to do things from scratch. The same goes with design projects. And even if I start from the empty workspace, most of the times, I usually start from creating guidelines and setting up a structure for the project. So, that’s why a premade template is a handy tool to start every design project with. In this example of creating a custom-made template, I’m using a vector illustration software named Inkscape.

Starting with the borders

I like to hide everything that stays behind the borders. Just because if there is no visual information behind the borderline then the image is just like it’s going to be when it’s exported. If the only thing separating my canvas and all that is left out is a thin line then, in my opinion, the view is a bit distorted. That’s why I like to create a separate layer to crop everything out. I can always switch the layer on and off if needed and no information is clipped or deleted. So, what's on that layer then? Just a simple rectangle with a hole in it. And the hole represents the visible area of the project.

Some guides including halves, thirds etc

The next thing what I want to see in my template file is some basic guides. But not your usual guides in form of a two-point line. I’m using plain objects as guides. For example, I have an object that is 3rd of a length of the canvas that I’m calling simple 3rd. The same with the half of the canvas and 5ths etc etc. Ar first it doesn’t make sense just to stuff your file with all those objects but there a times when you need to experiment with the blocks of a 3rd or 4th of the canvas and then it’s handy when you have those blocks just waiting for you to drag into a place, change the fill and do what’s needed.

Layer for golden ratio guides

There are no limitations to what can or can’t be added to the template file. I just thought that throwing in a guide for the golden ratio can be useful sometimes. You can add your own ratios or guides or measurements to follow.

Importing the brand colors

I’m leaving the layer of brand colors empty. But it’s there just to remind me to import the brand colors or brand guidelines into.


It’s always handy to have a place for notes. For that purpose, I’m just creating another layer where I write down the notes about the file or project. Notes are useful in cases when you have ideas about the project but not enough time to complete them during the working session. You can write down all the ideas on the notes layer and next time you open the document you know exactly where to pick up and what you wanted to do next.

This is how the template document looks like


Last update: 2018-10-08 (Y,M,D)

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