Using Template Variations

What is a Template Variation?

A Template Variation is a format that has been added to a specific template. Within a Template Variation a designer has the ability to lock or pre-populate inputs with data so that authors cannot edit those preset inputs.

Template Variations

Template Variations have three jobs.

  1. Defining a height, width and export file type.
  2. Pre-filling and hiding selected inputs with data that authors can’t change.
  3. Giving teams access to different variations of the template.

See below for a few examples of how you can use Template Variations.

Crop Mark Variations Branded Document Themes Franchise Contact Details
The most widely used example of Template Variations in practice is for creating documents with Crop and Bleed and those without. To do this we would have 2 different Formats, an A4 - Print and an A4 - Screen. Within each we would simply have a choice input that shows or hides the crop marks. Some brands have specific visual elements for different brand segments. So we can create a system of Template Variations for each brand segment (ie. Leaderboard - Corporate, Leaderboard - Sales, Leaderboard - Marketing). Each of those formats can utilise their own visual elements via the Inputs, without relying on an author to set that. We can utilise Template Variations for a franchise system where each new Template Variation can have preset contact data so only pre-approved data is being accessed by Franchisees, but also it speeds up the process to market.

How do I add a Template Variation?

  1. Navigate to a Template’s repository and then to it’s Template Variations tab.
  2. Click + New
  3. Select a Format from the list to add it to your template

How do I lock or pre-fill a Template Variation?

  1. From the Template Variations tab select either one or multiple documents that you want to lock or pre-fill with content
  2. Click the Preset Inputs action
  3. Find the input/s you want to preset and either populate that input with content or simply lock the input (this will mean that the input is not visible or editable by an author).
  4. Save and exit the Preset Inputs page.

How do I set a Template Variation to a specific team?

  1. By default a new Template Variation is accessible by all teams. To adjust this click on the Template Variation/s that you wish to lock to a certain team.
  2. Click on the Permissions action.
  3. Click the check-boxes to set that Template Variation as accessible for those teams of authors.

Putting it all together

Let’s say I have a brand in Outfit which has three distinct brand themes. For each of those brand themes there is a corresponding team in Outfit, where authors are segregated by those teams. For a particular web ad campaign this brand would want a series of Template Variations branded with the specific brand themes for the specif teams. We would do this so that those authors in each of the brand themes aren’t creating collateral with the wrong theme. So how can we do that?

  1. First off within our template we would create an Choice input which handles the three different themes (in this case the choice is adding a class that sets a background colour).
<style>
  .corporate-theme .background-color {
    background-color: #007CC4;
  }

  .marketing-theme .background-color {
    background-color: #FEA200;
  }

  .development-theme .background-color {
    background-color: #008B3E;
  }
</style>

<body class="{{ brand-theme }}">
  <div class="background-color"></div>
  <div class="background-image"></div>

  <div class="content">
    <h1>Welcome to Outfit</h1>
    <div class="logo"></div>
  </div>
</body>

So the final product would look like this.

Template Variations Brand Theme

  1. We would then add the formats we want into our template. For this example our suite of ads comprises of an MREC, Leaderboard, Skyscraper and Half Page.

  2. This first set of Template Variations will be for our first team. We can select them all and set the Permissions to the first brand theme.

Setting permissions

  1. We can then, with the documents still selected, and click on Preset Inputs. Navigate to the Brand Theme input and select the corresponding Theme.

Presetting theme

  1. Finally, after saving our preset input rename this set of Template Variations to show that these have a particular brand style (ie. Brand Theme 1 - Leaderboard).

Setting Themed Template Variations

  1. We can repeat steps 2 - 5 for our other brand themes. Or we can select the existing Template Variations and click Duplicate. From there we can go and update the values.

Finished Template Variations

Final Note

Template Variations are the last step in the design process for an Outfit designer and it closes the loop for creating a template. Beyond this Authors identify Template Variations as Documents.

The rationale for the change in language is because it semantically makes sense for an author to call it a Document, but it doesn’t work in the reverse. What makes a document a document, is the inherent nature of its creation. A document cannot be added, it is created, however as designers we are not creating formats to a template, we are simply adding them.

Alas (sorry for the spiel) these Template Variations that have been created can now be accessed by an Author via Adding a Document.