Designers are creators. Right?
But when you look at the Creator Economy definition, it seems that it has referred to content creators only.
Similar to content creators, designers are creatives who want to do their creative design work and get rewarded for it. Unfortunately, design and designers are treated as a commodity and there are very few ways of monetizing design work, compared to content creators.
This results in designer platforms that are client-first:
- The only way to monetize on Dribbble and Behance is the job board
- 99 Designs is farming out free design work
- Fiverr has “sort by price”
Where are the design-first platforms where you can monetize on your own terms?
I don’t know — maybe design is meant to always serve clients. And I got this whole thing wrong.
What are the options so we have more control over monetization as designers?
- Learn about business and marketing and do our own thing on our terms
- Join the Creator Economy and become content creators
- Start working on creating The Designer Economy
The Designer Economy sounds ambitious.
Even pretentious. But hear me out.
We can dream bigger than just getting a job in our favourite company. We can start our own companies that are designer-first. Partner with developers to create tools and platforms to make a living as designers and not get treated as a commodity. Leverage no-code to build products ourselves. Join Web3, where power is decentralized and you can earn based on contribution, not whatever your boss says.
The Designer Economy is coming
This happened to content creators. It will happen to designers as well.
It’s a matter of time. We can sit around and wait for someone else to do it for us. Or we can get started and design it for ourselves.