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iWork Tutorial: Add your own unique style to your designs in Pages

Import your own assets into Pages to create a completely bespoke document...

If you don’t like the pre-installed templates in Pages, or if you prefer to make your own mark, an alternative is to import your own design elements. It’s really easy to do, and a great way to add your own personal touch to your designs. Following the recent revival for hand-rendered type and illustration, we’ve created our own elements by sketching them out with pen and paper, then scanning them into a computer and saving them. Don’t panic if you can’t even draw a stick-man though; there is a wealth of resources available online, such as clip art and textures – much of which is free. All you need to do is check the copyright if you intend to publish your project commercially. Here is everything you need to add your own creative flair to your projects.

1: Collect assets
Collect the assets that you think you may want to use first and save them into a folder on your desktop. We’ve downloaded this background from, a free photo stock site.

2: Blank template
Open Pages and select a blank template. Don’t be intimidated, it won’t take long to get up and running. Alternatively, select a template you like the look of and delete the elements you don’t like.

3: Add assets
There are two ways to import your own assets. The first is to go to the Insert drop-down menu at the top of the interface and select the option Choose, or use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+V.

4: Alternatively
Another way to add your own elements is to simply select it on your desktop and drag it onto the Pages template. Be careful though, because if you drop an element on top of another, it may replace it.

5: Sketching
If you have a scanner, try scanning in hand-drawn illustrations. If not, try creating them on your Mac using software such as Pixelmator. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it’ll give your project a personal touch.

6: Keep on adding
Keep adding your own elements until you’re satisfied with your design. Experiment with how they sit on the page, so that you create a balance. Think about hierarchy too – important info bigger.

Stock.xchng is a free stock photo site. It takes seconds to set up an account and you’ll have access to thousands of images.

iStock isn’t free, but it is cheap. Anyone can set up an account, all you need to do is purchase credits to download images.

Add graphic elements to your projects using fonts – Zapf dingbats is a good example – or download free fonts from

Create assets in software such as Pixelmator. It’s available to download on the Mac App Store for £17.99/$29

Click Image to Enlarge