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The non-techy Photoshop basics for customizing social media templates to fit your brand

By May 3, 2018October 8th, 2019Branding, Design, Freebies

I love social media templates. They help to keep your visuals consistent and create graphics for your social media feeds quicker. While I create most of my template files, you might want to buy a template pack that’s already done and just need minor customization. And that’s totally fine. Online marketplaces like Creative Market are full with awesome options that you can pick and customize to fit your brand. But for newbies customizing social media templates can be tricky.

One thing that’s common in many of these files is that they require Photoshop. And Photoshop can be a frightening beast for some of you, not without any reasons… because yeah, Photoshop is truly a beast! It can handle animation, a bit of 3D design and pretty much everything in photo editing. So I totally understand your fear. There are still hidden catacombs of Photoshop I haven’t discovered yet, even though I mess around knee deep in that software every day.

But what if I say, you only have to know about a few Photoshop features to start using it right today for customizing social media templates and blog graphics? Yes, it’s true! You can do it, girl!


You’ll see upon opening Photoshop for the first time, that there are a zillion little blocks (panels) and icons all over around your artboard. Some of them are quite straightforward, like the T icon for adding text, or the layers panel, to layer design element on top of each other.

Others can be more confusing, for example the pen tool or the Brush Settings Panel… Luckily, you won’t need most of them for customizing your social media templates. Here’s the list of what you actually will need:

  • The Layers Panel
  • The Character and Paragraph Panel
  • The Move Tool (shortcut: V)
  • The Type Tool (shortcut: T)
  • The Pen Tool in some cases (shortcut: P)
  • The Eyedropper Tool to pick colors in some cases (shortcut: I)

And you must know about these 3 special Photoshop layers:

  • Smart Object Layer
  • Shape Layer
  • Text Layer
  • And last but not least you must know how to create a clipping mask layer

That’s it. You can close everything else, and trust me, you’ll feel a bit more relaxed without all the other unnecessary gadgets.


Next up, I’m going to show you how to use these panels, tools and layers when customizing social media templates. In case you don’t have any templates yet but still want to practise, I made a sample of my most popular Instagram Story product available for free and you can download it below.

To be honest, this is my very first public tutorial video. I’m not the queen of video recording and editing (yet) so when I’m making some mistakes with the sound or crazily moving around with my mouse, please be patient. “Progress over perfection” as my idol, Marie Forleo says. I could tweek stuff on this tutorial for ages but then you’d never be able to see it. And for me, that’s much more important than total perfection.

Yay! Let’s get ready for some learning!


​Now that you watched the video, you might want to go ahead and practise customizing social media templates. If you don’t already have a template pack you’ve previously purchased, I have a good news for you: I’m sharing 3 template files from my most successful Creative Market product for free! Link for it is below.

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