10 Insightful Takeaways from the Smart Template Community

Large audience attending SPICY talks 19

Every year we bring together some of the most forward-thinking companies in the world to discuss how they’re transforming their use of graphic design with smart templatization. They operate in many different sectors and come in all shapes and sizes, but they’ve all experienced great success implementing smart templates in their business.

At this year’s edition (#SPICYtalks19) in Berlin, our community shared some amazing insights on how they went about and what they learned in the process.

In my opening speech, I said it takes a village to shape tomorrow’s graphics. I consider myself a good neighbor, so I’m sharing a quick taste of what they had to say.

1. Starting simple

The possibilities and potential of smart templates are endless, and that can make them a little daunting to use for the first time. That’s why many members of the Smart Template Community - including the web design aficionados at Libris Systems - appreciate the need to start simple and build out from there. The success stories of our SPICY stars all start with a seed, a simple focus that takes the raw potential of original artwork and produces smart templates that retains the identity of a brand while producing packaging and marketing materials at a manageable scale. It’s when that seed starts to bloom into greater customer interest and greater ROI, that you really start to see how the community can Grow Together.

2. Scaling with ambition

For the Precision Marketing Group, CHILI publisher wasn’t just a starting point - it was a launch pad, as CTO Gary Howard explains in his review blog. Every business wants to grow and expand as demand increases, and for the team of marketing campaign specialists at Precision, utilizing the full potential of smart templates and smart artwork was a key ingredient. As ambitions grow and expand, so will the pool of marketing collateral and packaging designs on offer. A smart template tool enables a branding division, regardless of its size or goals, to seamlessly scale to meet greater volumes. And it can build to meet those more complicated customer needs without adding costs.

3. The power of promotion

Design agencies and packaging teams are always on the lookout for new innovations that make the creation and production of marketing materials faster, cleaner and more efficient. For Airbus, an international aerospace corporation with a vast marketing reach, CHILI publisher presented the opportunity to reduce production times and overall costs by adopting smart templates into their artwork production pool. By investing in a dynamic form of promotion across the business, Airbus is able to create smart templates at an incredible pace, opening up the opportunity to work with external agencies, creators and printers. Now Airbus can protect and promote its branding with simple yet effective changes.

4. Integrating for the win

For KAN design, and its Kadanza design platform, utilizing CHILI publisher was all about using smart tools to enhance strong brands. Modern marketing and packaging design are often multifaceted with myriad tools and platforms on hand, so smart templates need to be flexible and fluid right out of the box. Seamless integration is a must for the team of brand and identity experts at KAN design, utilizing the full potential of smart templates and smart artwork was a key ingredient. By offering a fully integrated solution, CHILI publisher can seamlessly embed into any brand portal with full customization and branding options as standard.

5. Adding value through templatization

For many design teams, long-winded manual changes to documents and collateral has become the norm, but those days are long behind the likes of the Precision Marketing Group and Dot It Restaurant Fulfillment. Both organizations come from very different backgrounds - one is a marketing agency specializing in campaign creation, while the other focuses on label solutions for the food preparation sector - yet both have found huge value in incorporating smart templates into their design process. By identifying new ways to enhance their brands through automation and templatization, both Dot It and Precision were able to communicate the true value of using smart templates in label printing and marketing collateral production.

6. Software needs face2face

Having a powerful new tool at your disposal is all well and good, but without the right kind of training, it’s not going to benefit anyone. For the printing specialists at Heidelberg, investing in the right kind of mentoring ensures the potential of smart templates can be fully utilized. Great software needs to be taught, and with the level of service CHILI publish offers, Heidelberg staff can ensure that its customers have full confidence in the latest updates and improvements offered through smart templates. CHILI publisher is an ideal companion for face to face training, and when paired with Heidelberg’s own customer support and in-depth services, the results speak for themselves.

7. Customize through self-service

Brandmaster is all about delivering digital tools that empower customers with its marketing engagement and brand management, so incorporating the smart template power of CHILI publisher is a match made in graphic design heaven. Smart templates are designed to both enhance and simplify the brand manipulation process, which is an ideal fit for the self-service focus of Brandmaster and its clients. Users can now customize and personalize their marketing materials and drastically reduce the time to market by adjusting all of their branded documentation with templatized updates. It’s self-service at a dual level, with CHILI publisher users and their own clients both reaping the rewards of such agency.

8. Iteration leads to growth

Design has always been an iterative process, and the same goes for the world of smart artwork creativity. From designing packaging that appeals to the ever-changing demands of a buyer to transformative nature of digital marketing, designers are constantly failing, re-evaluating and succeeding, but with smart templates those same designers can drastically reduce the amount of manual labor required to reapproach a document from the ground up. For the design teams at LifeArt, that cycle informs the very ethos of its personalized eco-coffins, and with the power of CHILI publisher at its fingertips, it can create tailored commissions that truly pay tribute to life itself.

Our designers get to focus on the larger scale priorities for ACS, and our users can self-service whatever they need

Jessica Berlin

Former Director of DAM, USA

@ The American Cancer Society

9. Proper planning & strategy

When the American Cancer Society (ACS) began working with CHILI publish, it had multiple marketing and design teams working in isolation, with extra manpower and creativity wasted on campaigns and collateral that were siloed from one another. With the introduction of smart artwork, the ACS was able to start properly planning out their marketing drives with documentation that was effectively branded. Teams could now share the same design pool and create messaging that was aligned with the charity’s messaging. It’s a strategy that hinged on having templates that could be adjusted and reworked on the fly, with these changes fully accessible and visible to every CHILI user within the ACS.

10. Consistent ROI

Regardless of the industry you work in or the service you provide, the effectiveness of your business comes down to how low you can keep costs while securing a growing stream of revenue. So when you invest in a new graphic design tool like CHILI publisher, you can be sure you’re going to receive a solid return on your investment. If you’re constantly having to rely on expensive agencies to design your collateral, you can follow the path of electronics giant Philips which made significant savings by bringing its design process in-house and adopting the time-saving power of smart templates.

Our CEO often says that you give to get so you get to give. I’d like to seize the moment to thank our partners and presenters again for the amazing support and top-notch advice they shared with the audience. We got more than we gave and that’s why our community is growing together. Stay tuned for more giving.

What is SPICY talks?

SPICY talks is the annual forum for the Smart Template community. The event is hosted by CHILI publish and welcomes customers, prospects, team members and influencers from all over the world. Business and technical sessions enlighten brand owners, printers, agencies and packaging from all over the world on the latest trends in graphic production.

What are SPICY stars?

SPICY stars are CHILI publish customers who agree to share their story with the CHILI community and the rest of the world. They elaborate on their initial struggle, how CHILI publisher helped them resolve the issue and what the results are, aka the impact of the solution on their business division or even the company as a whole.

How to start using Smart Templates?

Start simple and build out from there. The success stories of our SPICY stars all start with a seed, a simple focus that takes the raw potential of original artwork and produces smart templates that retains the identity of a brand while producing packaging and marketing materials at a manageable scale.


Cindy Van Luyck

Dec 4, 2019

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