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Design Interview: Creative Presets

by Margaret Penney | November 13, 2017

Creative Presets are a team of photographers and designers who create useful top-quality presets for creatives. Each set displays an eye for detail, a rich color sense, and flair for visual drama. The preset collections are market savvy and include options for most photo projects, from food to fashion and editorial.

Your catalog of work is lovely. How did you arrive at making presets?

We are a young team consisting of two photographers and a graphic designer working in different disciplines. In 2009 we founded Creative Presets with the intent to share our work tools like Lightroom Presets and Photoshop Actions and Overlays with all the graphic designers and photographers who want creative tools to edit their photos.

Can you tell us about your team? Where is everyone from?

Certainly, the group is formed by John and Chris, two Italian photographers living in the US, and a graphic designer Eleonora who lives between Madrid and Mexico City. The great thing about this team is that each of us has different creative experiences and influences, but we all make it available to create unique products.

You offer such a great assortment of useful and creative presets. Can you tell us a bit about how you come up with ideas for new sets?

Most of the products we produce come from the need to create something specific for a customer, based on the demands of our customers, we have developed tools that help photographers get quality images with less effort. With regard to creating presets for Lightroom it is very difficult to get the same result on different photos for this reason we always try to offer very versatile products, so the photographer will surely find the best preset to get a good result for his work.

What are some of your bestsellers?

Among our best-selling sets are HDR, Editorial & Magazine, and Cinematic.

Do you have any favorite sets, ones you really enjoyed making?

What I enjoy the most is creating overlays, as we photograph all the elements in the studio and then make them with Photoshop, very often it’s a hard but fun job.

Can you tell us a little about the process of making a preset? Do you work in Photoshop or Lightroom?

Sure, for the presets we work directly on Lightroom, based on the creative idea we need to develop, we are looking for the most suitable photos and create filters, then we test the filters on different photos and make some adjustments if needed.

What is your favorite aspect of making a preset?

My aspiration is to create products that are useful and that allow those who work with the images to get the most out of it in a short time. The best part is seeing how our users use our presets, often an image can become much more dramatic and interesting simply by adding the right filter.

Do you work full-time on presets or do you have other gigs?

It all started as a side job but having had a really good response now we do a 50% work on presets and 50% for other photo projects.

Do you have any words of advice for new photographers and designers?

More than anything I would like to share my current mantra; a quote by Bruno Munari, a famous Italian artist and designer, he says:

“To complicate is simple, to simplify is complicated. … Everybody is able to complicate. Only a few can simplify.”

In relation to the presets I think they are a way of simplifying a complex job such as post production.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

We are working to release new interesting filters, stay tuned!

To see more of Creative Preset’s work please visit their website or their Creative Market shop.


Margaret Penney is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Margaret is a teacher, designer, writer and new media artist and founder of Hello Creative Co.


Are you interested in stretching your photography skills? Sessions College offers a wide range of online photography courses as well as digital photography degree and certificate programs. Contact Admissions for more information.

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