Photoshop templates are a great way of transforming your images instantly into something more eye-catching and professional-looking. Creating a vintage-style collage? Using a vintage PS template will give your photos that authentic aged look. Looking to improve a set of so-so wedding photos? Using a soft focus template will make them look pretty as a picture!
Here we share the 10 essential Photoshop templates every designer should have in their arsenal. Read on to discover how to give your photos the instant x-factor…
1. The Vintage Template
A vintage template is a nifty little tool to have to hand. You can achieve the authentic aged look in an instant, adding retro character to modern digital photos.
Using this faded photo template, you can add authentic-looking creases and ageing damage, as well as manipulating the color tone to create sepia-washed images that wouldn’t look out of place in a flea market or museum.
A vintage image effect is fantastic for all sorts of projects that require a retro-inspired style—book covers, social media, magazines, you name it—and it’s also perfect for adding that extra bit of desirable texture to photos to make them appear more hip and on-trend. Whether you’re looking for an authentic aged style or to emulate the aspirational feel of an Instagram filter, this is the template to go for.
2. The Watercolor Template
Painterly, artistic templates are perfect for softening harsh images—muting overly bright colors and giving photos a dreamy, ethereal look. If you’re creating images for game design, they look really cool, helping characters and landscapes to look dreamlike and slightly abstract.
This watercolor Photoshop template is my top pick—the effect is rendered in a very modern way, creating a sort of melt-away effect around the edges of the image that means it doesn’t need to be restricted to a boxy frame.
Try applying a watercolor template to full-color images with a strong central focus to keep the image strong and bold.
3. The Framing Template
Arguably the most useful template you’ll ever own, a good framing template will make creating mock-up images a breeze. These templates set your selected image(s) in a picture frame, in a domestic, office or gallery setting.
Particularly if you’re an illustrator, artist or photographer, a framing template will be a lifesaver when you want to sell your work online via shops like Etsy or Envato Market. A mocked-up image of your artwork in a physical space will help potential customers to visualise how your artwork is sized and would appear in a real-life setting—it’s a perfect tool for boosting your personal sales.
This stylish framing template sets your work in simple black frames in contemporary, minimal rooms. It’s a great way of making your images appear more aspirational and luxurious.
4. The Double Exposure Template
Ever wanted to make your photos look like something straight out of a music video or art exhibition? A double exposure template takes inspiration from a photography technique in which two photos are exposed in a single frame of film. The final result is incredibly unique and interesting.
While double exposure may now be simpler to achieve digitally, it’s made even more easy-peasy through applying a template. Aside from their popular use in music videos and cinematography, double exposure effects are ideally suited to more visually creative print media, like advertising billboards and magazine layouts.
This double exposure Photoshop template allows you to achieve the desirable image-inside-image effect instantly, and allows you to apply six different color tints to your images to create different effects.
If you’d like to find out more about how double exposure effects can be achieved in more detail, check out Kirk Nelson’s Taylor Swift-inspired tutorial:
Create a Taylor Swift “Style” Inspired Double Exposure Effect in Photoshop
5. The Comic Book Template
Comic book art is enjoying a resurgence across the design board, in part due to the widespread popularity of Marvel movies. A comic book Photoshop template takes your realist photos and transforms them into hand-drawn comic strips.
Bubbles, banners and pop-out typography set in Clementine add to the overall effect. Whether you’re creating a graphic novel and looking for a way to create illustrated images fast, or simply hunting for an effect that will add drama and interest to conventional photos, a comic book template like this one is just the ticket.
6. The Crystal Glitch Template
Ever wondered if there is a glitch in the Matrix? Well, whether you have or not, it’s no bad idea to have a crystal glitch Photoshop template up your sleeve.
This digital-inspired effect gives the look of distorting videotape or a bugged computer—it disjoints the image in slices and adds authentic-looking fluoro color spots to make an image look as if it’s on a dodgy screen. Perfect for adding a cool style to trendy, tech-focussed designs, like apps, magazines or webpages, it’s a really fun way of adding an edge to so-so images.
High-fashion photos or game-inspired illustrations will suit the crystal glitch look particularly well. My pick is this crystal glitch template that subtly disjoints the image and adds a screen-like wash of color for extra realism.
7. The Artistic Template
Sometimes you want your images to have that extra ‘wow’ factor—something really creative, special, and unique. Artistic paint-splash templates transform your photos into works of art, which make stunning additions to poster or flyer designs, but look equally striking alone.
This artistic Photoshop template can be applied to any photo style, but is particularly effective paired with simple, striking portrait photography.
The template adds an editable splash of color, and converts your photos to a monochrome format for added impact. Slight 3D finishes on the paint and a textured canvas sitting behind add to the realism of the effect.
This effect would look fantastic adapted to character designs—why not try teaming Sin City-style illustrations or photos with a blood red splash of color?
8. The Polaroid Template
A polaroid template adds instant retro appeal to any image, and is a great style for adding interest to family photos or portraits. Why not customise images as polaroids and upload them to social media for an old-fashioned take on an Instagram-worthy style.
I love this more creative take on a polaroid template. One image is distributed across scattered polaroids to create a very artistic, interesting effect. Depending on the mood and color-tone of the photo, it can look joyful and exciting…
… or brooding and photojournalistic.
With a choice of three surfaces—concrete, slatted boards, and aged wood—you have a lot of flexibility over the final result too.
9. The Soft Focus Template
A soft focus template is one of those PS tools that you’ll find yourself coming back to time and time again. Applying a soft focus to a photo is universally flattering, softening harsh lines and tones and bathing images in a soft glow.
This makes it the ideal tool for transforming wedding and event photos, or simply for adding a dreamy, ethereal quality to portraits, landscapes or vacation shots. Soft focus is a trick used by advertisers and marketers to make images appear happier and more aspirational, so it would suit promo materials too, online and in print.
This soft focus template allows you to adjust color hue without limitations, and apply the effect to both landscape and portrait format images, giving you a lot of flexibility.
10. The Color Filter Template
When it feels as if the whole world only wants photos that wouldn’t look out of place on Instagram, do you resist or give in? If you’re in the latter camp, you’re going to want to make a color filter template your new best friend.
Color filters subtly transform images into vintage-inspired, sunlight-dusted beauties without compromising on the original details of the photo. Not solely for use on social media, color-filtered images have seeped through into mainstream photography and graphic design, and you’ll see the style used across all sorts of publications and media.
As a result, having a good color filter template to hand is always a wise idea, and is really useful for elevating standard-quality photos to a more aspirational, lifestyle-oriented look (which commercial clients love).
This color filter template has a wide range of colors, which are easily combined using the opacity and blending modes, helping you to achieve flexible, unlimited results. The template also includes a dust filter and vignette effect, perfect for attaining that ‘modern vintage’ look.
Your Ultimate Photoshop Template Collection
Photoshop templates are a great timesaver for projects that require a quick turnaround, and you can also use them at draft stages when you or the client wants to experiment with different image effects quickly and easily.
This set of ten templates is a great foundation for building your template collection, some of which you’ll find yourself coming back to time and again (e.g. soft focus, color filter, vintage) and others you’ll be glad to have to hand when you need something a bit more creative and experimental (e.g. crystal glitch, polaroid). Combine an effective, striking template with stylish typography, balanced layouts and a complementary color palette, and you’ve got the dream team!
- The vintage template
- The watercolor template
- The framing template
- The double exposure template
- The comic book template
- The crystal glitch template
- The artistic template
- The polaroid template
- The soft focus template
- The color filter template