13 comments

  • Bryan KulbaBryan Kulba, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    It's good to see design getting cheaper because it can empower the people who can't afford to drop thousands into a website or an app.

    Even if cheaper sources are available, this won't stop some clients from paying for high-end output. It all depends on if a client values unique design or affordable design.

    Companies making expensive clothing don't sweat the fact that H&M/Target/Walmart sells similar clothes for a fraction of the cost.

    13 points
  • Account deleted almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I look at this issue like I do with stock photography. It's cheap, mostly everyone uses stock photos at some point a in their work. But most projects still require a shoot with a real professional. Stock photography didn't kill the photo industry so I don't see this happening to design either.

    3 points
    • Nate DunnNate Dunn, almost 4 years ago

      It may not have killed it, but could it have affected it? I am not so sure that most projects get a real professional even if they want one. The way that stock photos sites are populated, I can imagine that someone creating a site for their business is happy with a quick search and a quick purchase, instead of paying extra for a professional photography service they have potentially no knowledge about. And on that note, I can see that also being the case for design / development needs. But I think we need some decent stats / numbers to confirm these suspicions.

      1 point
      • Account deleted almost 4 years ago

        I agree, and of course it affected it. I'm sure that there are some photographers are not getting hired as much for gigs. I mean we are all guilty of using stock photos/footage in some form in our own projects aren't we? Why pay someone to shoot it when you can download an iPhone template mockup or stock coffee shop photo for that awesome new startup landing page. Sure, a lot of people are happy with using just that! What I meant by most projects is that there is still there is a ton of demand for higher end photography work out there that require professionals to shoot it. Advertising, celebrities, product photography, luxury, cars, etc... Not sure where to get you your stats but, that industry is def not dead. Real talent is always in demand. Thinking about how design is moving in this direction of cheap stock, off the shelf templates, I still don't believe our industry is in jeopardy. It's just proof that design itself is becoming more more coveted because its more mainstream. The higher end projects will always be out there.

        0 points
  • Phil PickeringPhil Pickering, almost 4 years ago

    I think the article is wrong to focus on the selling price:

    "These projects seem to have taken many, many hours of meticulous labor, and yet any of them can be had for less than US$50β€”an almost comically affordable price point."

    One of the examples the author uses, the Quantum HUD Infographic has sold over 1,000 times. After factoring in Envato's fees, that still leaves Pixflow with around $27,000 in revenue. And that's without all the usual overheads of a standard design studio or the cost of client interaction (meetings, invoicing, revisions, etc).

    Overall, Pixflow have made around $430,000 in revenue for 35 items on Envato.

    Not bad for "lower wage workers"...

    3 points
  • cliff nowickicliff nowicki, almost 4 years ago

    There will always be a market for the cheap stuff and granted, high quality stuff on the cheap.

    However, trying to design around something you found for cheap gets pretty restrictive when you're trying to build a brand. Its been in my experience that if you try to force an element into something that's not natural, disaster will follow. There may be some certain occasions where a quick something might work on the cheap. If you do try to pick up some cheap things and jam them into your projects, the people will know. It becomes unnatural and eventually fails.

    There will always be cheap people who will buy cheap things and try to mend them together as their own. There will also be the people who value the quality of good design at a price.

    2 points
    • George ChenGeorge Chen, almost 4 years ago

      Overall, I agree with you , but I think there's a difference between "being-cheap" vs. "on-a-tight-budget" though.

      i.e. I'd like to commission a photographer 2 days for a shot, but in most cases, both the budget and timing constrain that simply is not realistic.

      0 points
  • Vincent Le MoignVincent Le Moign, almost 4 years ago

    I liked this Khoi post, that put the finger on a worrying trend in design. To react to it, and share my thoughts, I wrote an article on Medium: Cheap assets. No cheap designers.

    1 point
  • Agusti FernandezAgusti Fernandez, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    I just left my remarks to Khoi and I thought on posting it here too:

    Hi Khoi, do you realize that the price you paid for that work, is possible because of the nature of the license, aka, not exclusive? It's certainly not about the lack of western creators, but the fact that a lot of people will pay those 50$ in order to be able to use the same template, making the same volume (or some times, a hefty bonus more) of revenue for the creator, than a freelance gig would ever do.

    0 points
    • Khoi Vinh, almost 4 years ago

      @Agusti: Yes, absolutely, I realize that the cost is for a non-exclusive license. I don't think that contradicts my point though.

      0 points
  • Vladimir GorshkovVladimir Gorshkov, almost 4 years ago

    No, design will just get less original. It's similar with cars, everyone can have a car now, but only few have really high-quality, original cars. =)

    0 points