Originally published on UXPlanet
Is the design too cheap or the bar too high? What design can you get for $29 today? It is a tricky era, confusing. We are not pushing ourselves anymore believing everything has already been invented. It is a privileged era where you already have everything when it comes to technology. You don’t need to invent anything new so you come up with bizarre inventions.
At times, you need to look back to see how far you have come, to see if there is any progress.
The Journey From $7500 to $100 Website
According to WebPage FX, in the years 1995 and 1997, making one website would cost between $7500 and $12000, depending on the design and functionality. If you look at the websites in the mid-90s, you fail to see both. The technology was not this efficient but the price? It was actually sky high.
Along the years, between 1998 and 2000, The cost lowered slightly and you could get a decent looking (not high end, mind you) website for $6000. During 2000 and 2004, the price lowered three times almost. During this era, a website would have cost you $2200.
After minor fluctuations over the years, now a website would cost you as little as $2000.
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But guess what, even this is inaccurate.
You can get a website in less than $100 if you take the matter in your own hands.
From $33K Logo to $50 Logo?
When it comes to logo design, it’s difficult to find how much a logo used to cost back then. There are some very old logos which were made for a few dollars, some even free — then there was Paul Rand who charged $33,000 for one logo. Microsoft ran a contest in their own company for the best logo. Nike paid $35 for their logo.
If there is one thing which we know for sure — it is the fact that logo design became more and more conveniently available over the years. Twitter bought their iconic off the internet.
From Graphic Design to UI/UX, Packaging, Communication, Web, Print, Interaction, Information…
The technology has not just quickened the pace — it has also changed the way design is sold. It has also made divisions in graphic design.
Before a designer was more of a multitasker — from textile, to print, to interior and communication— a graphic designer could do a lot of stuff together. Most of them were self-taught as well. As the industry progressed, we started seeing graphic design breaking into specialization: UI Design, UX Design, Web Design, Packaging Design, Print, Communication Design etc.
From individuals to marketplaces
Back then, if you wanted a design you would hire someone to do it for you. You know how it used to work — I don’t need to go into it. You would be investing in one person who will design everything for you. You are stuck with them even when you don’t need their services.
This was when people were going into the design field by scores because it paid well.
Now, we are looking at a marketplace. It is a completely different scenario: you can scroll through premade designs and portfolio and pick one you like. It has almost become like an FMCG product.
Graphic Design has become more accessible, there is more variety, more people coming up with new and newer concepts and selling them online.
From $$$ to $
When the stock is overflowing (basic supply and demand cycle), the prices go down. With so many design marketplaces, so many freelancing websites — there are people who are offering similar services in a variety of prices. The entire concept behind Fiverr.com is based on $5 services.
Today, to start a business and to have an online presence, you do not need to shell out thousands of dollars. This has not just made everything within reach, it has made everything way more affordable.
The design marketplaces have become so advanced you cannot just hire someone from any part of the world to design for you — you can buy a ready-made design from any part of the world in a few clicks.
Design marketplaces are coming up with ‘graphic packs,’ ‘font packs’ and whatnot. Selling for less than $30, these packs come with countless (somewhere between 30 to 70) fonts with commercial to complete licenses.
Here are top 5 design marketplaces selling fonts, graphics, branding kits, website themes and much much more:
Dribbble is Behance but advanced. It is for designers’ portfolio but users have molded it into a marketplace of sorts. You will need to look for it but you will find people selling designs, logos, fonts, UI kits and whatnot. Keyword: Search bar.
THJ is basically your one-stop-shop when it comes to design. The best part is their affordable bundles: $29 monthly bundle with 39 commercial license fonts and around 700 graphics, $7 bundle with 500+ clip arts, $18 bundles with more than 30 fonts and one graphic pack, $16 bundle with over 2000 graphics. THJ’s products are for designers and non-designers both which means user-friendliness is sky-high.
Canva is not just a software-tool with templates for making banners and posters. They also have a marketplace full of stock photos, icons, and ready-made templates. Its functionality and user-friendly design is perfect for non-designers.
Creative Market is exactly what the title suggests. They have $39 monthly packs with 72 products in it. You can buy fonts, graphics, templates, stock photos and icons on Creative Market.
Graphic River by Envato is similar to Creative Market. They have presentation templates, print and digital templates, icons, fonts and logos, web icons and mock-ups.
There will always be two (maybe more) different ways of doing things. The design world has evolved to such an extent — it has become a design market. Quality is there (always was, subjective to the era) but so is efficiency. Everything has become fast, way more accessible, and innovative.
Living in this day and age — what would be your practice when it comes to design? Traditional or non-traditional?