As a graphic designer, you always have multiple ways of earning money. Honestly, you should establish multiple revenue streams, given how dynamic the world of designing has become. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by selling your designs online. Many online portals allow you to register on them and then put up your designs assets for sale. People who like your designs and wish to have them can download them at a certain price.
The commercial dynamics vary from website to website as some of them offer per sale income while some have a subscription model. The portals do charge a bit of commission for their services and infrastructure, but that can be just considered as a loss of profit. However, the amount they charge is not very high, so they become an attractive destination for graphic designers. You can choose to be present on multiple platforms so as to enhance your reach. While most of these platforms are generic, there are some who are focused on certain niches like 3D designs or mockup designs, or even website themes. Based on your designing skills, you can opt for the platforms from the list provided below:
Shutterstock boasts of over 100,000 contributors and an active customer base of more than 1.5 million people in 150+ countries across the globe. It is a very common name in the designing world, and this has its own pros and cons. The good part is that it has a huge traffic volume incoming and a lot of people to sell your products to. The bad part is that there is a lot of competition as almost every designer wants to get his product on this site. They have one of the best payment mechanisms, which makes the life of designers easy. It accepts photographs, designed graphics, illustrations, icons, and even video footages or short edited videos as inputs. You need to register and pass their validation. The good part is that you will be paid each time a user downloads your design. The downside of this website is that it is more extensively used for images and less for graphics and other design assets. Also, the selling price is fixed and is a bit high, which slightly lowers your chances of being able to sell the product.
As the name suggests, this website is an exclusive marketplace for designers. Their website is quite creative given its white theme and use of extensive use of pastel colors. It has separate categories for graphics, fonts, templates, actions, brushes, and almost everything that a designer would need. This allows the designers the freedom to choose their forte and upload them on the website. From the buyer’s point of view, this is good as only those keenly interested in the particular design assets will view their pages, increasing the conversion rate. Another advantage of the creative market is that there is no exclusivity lock, meaning you can sell your designs on other platforms as well. It has a network of 7 million users. As a designer, you just need to get validation on the profile and not on each design you upload. You also have the power to set your own prices, and the website provides a dedicated backend for you to manage your design shop. On average, designers can easily take home more than 70% of each of their sales.
Designhill is a good upcoming platform for designers to sell their products. The original website was started with the objective of providing designs to the clients. Anyone in need of getting designing done can set up their own competition. This will be notified to the designers, who then submit their designs. The client then selects the best out of them and pays them. The other side of the website is PrintShop, where you, as a designer, can set up your products for sale. This shop is not limited to just design assets; rather, you can transform them into tangible applications and sell them as well. This includes T-shirts, wall arts, bags, phone cases, and much more. But as a designer, you need not worry about the printing, that is taken care of by the Printshop team, and this makes the portal very lucrative. You can just let your imagination run wild and create fancy designs for your products without the additional headache of how they will be printed and delivered to the buyers. It has minimal interference in terms of product approvals and offers you good freedom for price control. Overall having a presence on Designhill is advantageous as one side can offer you designing projects while the other allows you to sell your design assets.
3D designing has taken the graphic designing sector by storm. It has opened up lots of avenues in terms of design opportunities and also creative expressions. Because of its third dimension adds a lot of detail to the designing and presents a more realistic feel to the final designs. At the same time, it is quite layered, and therefore dealing in 3D is a bit complicated. Turbosquid is an amazing portal that is helping designers by providing them readymade 3D assets and models. Be it a human figure or a car, or even a lamp, one can find all sorts of 3D models over here. This portal is a must-bookmark website if you are a 3D graphic designer. Started in 2000, this website has come a long way and established itself as one of the best 3D resource sites. It has its own network of sites and applications, and it allows you to sell your designs on these platforms as well. It has seven different packages for you to choose from with varied rates for affiliate and royalty rates. They take their role very seriously and also offer robust backend support to enable your sales.
5. Design Cuts:
Operating on a similar model of Creative Market, Design Cuts offers you a good platform to open up your design shop. Not only are they very close to the creative market in terms of selling procedure, but they also have a very similar look and feel. It would seem as if it is a spinoff site. The only change that Design Cuts has made is that it is not open for all. As a designer, you need to apply to them to open up the shop and your products. The bad part is that you need to submit a link to an already existing shop. This means that you cannot open your shop here if you do not have an existing shop somewhere else. The advantage of this screening can also be that only good selected designers will be able to set up their shops on this. This reduces the overall noise on the website and enhances the quality of the design products available. However, unlike Creative Market, it does not have very good navigation and makes it difficult for users to find what they are looking for.
6. Art Web:
A lesser-known portal that is covering good ground in the design marketplace is the Art web. Do not get appalled by its own website design and user interface; it offers good services from the backend. The good part about Art Web is that it allows all artists to create their own individual art websites. These are nothing but the design shop that other such portals allow. From the perspective of the product, it has widened its scope and covers almost every art form. This includes ceramics, digital art, drawings, glass, jewelry, etc. It is not a digital media exclusive website, and that can sometimes work against you. However, you can join instantly and for free. It offers a decent free website builder for you to create your own shop page and set up your products for sale. It also does not take any commission over your sales, so whatever you earn selling your products gets transferred to you directly. Technically it is very strong as it offers you analytics of your website. It also allows you to have your own domain name and helps in optimizing the webpage to look visually good and also for search engine rankings.
If font designing is your forte, then MyFonts is a perfect destination for you. MyFonts also spread the products you upload on it to its network partners like Fonts.com, FontShop.com, and Linotype.com. The application process, though not a simple one. Initially, they had opened it up for all to submit their fonts, but that took a toll on the quality of fonts on the website, and hence now the designers have to fill up a detailed form and submit their font designs. You also have the option of becoming an affiliate marketing partner with them. This can also be a lucrative income point if you have a good traffic-generating website or follower base. It allows the users to browse through the fonts using six different categories. But through search and other redirection indices, one can come across all types of fonts such as bold, strong fonts, calligraphy fonts, handwritten fonts, and even wedding fonts. Given the rising demand for exclusive fonts, this website can prove to be a very good selling point for designers who are looking to sell their fonts online.
The Template Monster has created a good name when it comes to website templates. It has been the go-to place for website designers and developers to look for HTML templates or WordPress themes. Over time, this website has included a solid marketplace for design assets also. Presently you can sell website templates, plugins, presentations, graphic designs, and even videos. The advantage of this website is that it already has a good reputation in the sector and this new marketplace has over 2 million network members. It has an approval system on a product basis which can be a bit of a hassle. But it allows you to tweak the selling price as per your choice. The commission rates vary based on the product, but they are higher than most other portals. Apart from the routine marketplace, it also offers opportunities to sell products exclusively at Template Monster and thereby earn higher revenue. Its author-driven pricing policy can be of advantage when you have made a good presence in the marketplace. Lately, it has added affiliate marketing on the website as well, apart from its MonsterOne package, which is selling like hotcakes in the designing sector.
Drawing inspiration from other marketplaces, Threadless has come up with its own Artist Shop, wherein you can upload your designs and start selling them. While the majority of the functioning remains the same, this portal has learned quite a bit from its predecessors and improvised on their mistakes. It offers fully customizable, SEO-optimized store pages wherein you can add your own logo and branding. Apart from its online store, it also allows you to sell your tangible designs on 14 different retails shops. Furthermore, it has a good feature that allows you to set up your product through a single file as their backend optimizes it for varied applications. Overall it is a good platform to have your presence on if you are committed to selling your design products online.
We have saved the best one for the last. Freepik has become the industry leader when it comes to design assets. It has kept a very good focus on just design products in terms of vectors, images, editable PSDs, and icons. In addition, it offers good filters wherein the users can opt for free or paid assets. Because of its market dominance, it presently has a network of 30 million users with over 85 million visits to the website every month. The best part about Freepik for designers and users is that it has kept the transactions very simple. You just need to signup and start submitting your designs for sale. In addition, it has a robust design community that can help you get more creative. Presently it has more than 13,000 designers who are actively selling their designs.
The above platforms can be good marketing avenues for your design assets. However, earning by selling your designs online is not as easy as it seems. You will have to be really patient as it will take time for people to notice your designs. Also, you need to keep a tab on the latest graphic design trends and keep pushing out new designs according to them so as to get more sales.