How Do I Get My Project Into the Template Gallery?

Have you ever wanted to design templates for Heritage Makers? Do you have a great idea for a storybook, wrapped canvas, or even a calendar you want to share with others in the Heritage Makers Template Gallery? Now’s your chance! Once you have published your project, your finished project will be placed in your “Completed Folder.” If your design is an original creation and not derived from another template, you will find a “Submit as Template” button.


But, just because you can submit a template, doesn't guarantee it will be accepted into the Gallery. Here are few suggestions to help you get started creating your own successful templates. 

Basic Template Checklist

1.    This template is an all-original work and not a modification of an existing template.

Please do not submit a design if it is not your work or if it is derived from another template no matter how much you changed it. Designs can be inspired from Pinterest and other sites, but the design must have been changed at least 50% from the original posting. We do check all designs for accuracy and original content.

2.    This template DOES NOT contain songs, poems, or excerpts from works with a copyright held by another individual or organization.

You can use copyrighted songs, poems, and illustrations in your own personal projects but you cannot submit them to the Template Gallery. Templates posted in the Gallery are now considered in the “Commercial arena” and may not be shared or reproduced. The exception is that you are able to use excerpts from books and quotes from people if you give the appropriate attribution.

3.    This template contains art only from inside HM Studio or art I have created myself. It contains no self-purchased and uploaded art. It also contains only photos that are original to me and to which I own the rights. 

Templates may only contain art from the Studio Art Collections. You are free to download and use other digital art in your projects from outside vendors, but you may not submit them to the Template Gallery, as, once again, it enters the Commercial arena and may not be shared or reproduced. Copyrighted photos or images of copyrighted material, characters, etc., will make a project ineligible as a template. 

4.    This template has been carefully proofread for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Be sure to check for common spelling errors such as your _and _you’re, its and it’s, they’re, there, and their, and so on. Proofread carefully and double-check your spelling if necessary.

5.    This template does not contain photo techniques that cannot be reproduced inside HM Studio editor.

Do not use any tricks outside of Studio such as Photoshop color-tinting or Illustrator effects if you wish to submit to the Template Gallery. Users of Studio will become frustrated when searching our Studio Art Collections and not knowing where to find certain pieces. All effects and designs must be able to be replicated in Studio.

6.    This template does not contain personal identifying information such as phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, etc.

No personal information should ever be included. Use dummy text such as 123 Main Street or 555-121-2121.

7.    This template may easily be repurposed by others.

Is your template easy to follow? Is it clean and simple to use? Does it tell a clear story?


Tip: Do not submit templates without photos. No projects that use photo placeholders, in place of actual photos, will be accepted as actual photos help the client to understand the storyline. There is the possibility for templates to be photographed in some circumstances for catalog and other promotional purposes so we ask that real photos be used. However, do not use photos of others in your templates if you do not have permission. This is especially true when using photos of children, friends, or family members.

Design Checklist

There is no Design Checklist that can guarantee your templates are accepted into the Gallery, but there are many things that can keep your design from being accepted into the Template Gallery. Here are several:

1.    Are text and critical design elements far enough away from gutter on books?

The “gutter” is where the pages go into the binding in the center of the book. Please allow at least ½-inch of clearance on the gutter edge of the storybook.

2.    Is the font used for body text readable and at an appropriate size?

To check your sizing, go to View,  Zoom,  Fit to Screen, which will give you an accurate 100% viewing of your project.

3.    Are text blocks and items far enough away from the edges where the project will be trimmed?

At minimum, please allow at least ¼-inch of clearance around the edges of your project unless an embellishment is clearly meant to bleed (or hang) off the page.

4.    Are all photos rotated to read properly in your design?

If you have rotated a picture box and then dropped in a photo, the template user’s photos will then be rotated improperly when they go to drop in their images. Make sure that all your photos are rotated into the correct position BEFORE UPLOADING them into your account. 

5.    Are photos and text used in a large enough size to be “readable?” 

This is especially problematic with smaller-sized books. Once again, as you design, scale your project to 100% to view it in a realistic manner.

6.    Is there an overall design theme that is changed just enough per spread to be interesting but consistent enough to hold together? 

Templates are not popular if every spread is different. Either the style, embellishments,  papers, or the color scheme needs to have consistency throughout.

7.    If this is an “aligned” design, do margins and baselines match exactly?

To check this, go to View,  Rulers,  Show Ruler, to turn on your grid and see that everything lines up.

8.    If this is a “creative” design, do things read as groups with a primary focal point?

A creative design would be considered more of a scrapbook style where the elements are less lined-up. Photos may be at an angle but consistent elements, papers, and colors still need to hold the design together.

9.    For calendars, have I used the correct grids or built calendar pages correctly?

Are all holiday dates correct and names of months spelled correctly? We’ve found calendars to be especially tricky since there are so many points of data. 

Why Templates Are or Are Not Chosen

Have you ever wondered why some templates are accepted into the Template Gallery whereas others are not? We are looking for projects that are technically correct but even though your project may be correct according to our guidelines, sometimes we just have too many of one particular style, design or topic. There may be NOTHING wrong with your submitted template except that we have too many on similar topics or in a similar style, or it just may not be suited to our audience.


Tip: Always make a back-up copy of your project before publishing if you are interested in possibly submitting to the Template Gallery. Sometimes a wonderful design has just one little thing that needs to be adjusted before it can be accepted. If this is the case, we will email you, ask you to make the appropriate change, and resubmit the design. You can make the requested changes to your unpublished copy of the project, then resubmit it.

Please enjoy our nearly 10,000 templates currently in the Template Gallery and try your hand at submitting an original design. We welcome new ideas in Storybooks, Greeting Cards, Home Décor, crafting projects and more. Who knows? One day your design could be chosen to appear in our Template Gallery, too!

* Watch this video clip from our August 1, 2013 Studio U class with guidelines and tips for how to make great templates that can make it into the Template Gallery!*

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