Are DIY Graphic Design Sites Hurting the Freelancer?

February 11, 2010

More and more, I’m seeing websites that give the layman the ability to create their own graphic designs.

In this day and Internet age, this type of home convenience exists in many other areas as well such as interior design, T-shirt printing, filing taxes and the list goes on and on. These sites offer an economical solution to a need that many have, but what is happening to the human worker?

I know the worth of my graphic design services, and you should know the worth of yours. Having a creative mind is something that cannot be duplicated by a DIY website, and any great graphic artist shouldn’t be completely scared by these types of developments. But at the same time, we must understand that people will use these services over hiring a graphic artist for logos, personal business cards and other services, especially when some of these sites are free of charge.

How to combat these types of sites? Well, first I would consider an alternative. Instead of thinking of the site as competition, ask how some of your designs can be considered for use in their selection. Somebody is making the designs and getting paid, that much we can be sure of. Shooting an e-mail to those involved with these sites might give you an answer that will surprise you. This can be a great opportunity to use your skills to reach a market that may have otherwise been hidden from you.

On the flip side, I would suggest doing one simple thing - continue to do what you’ve been doing, and that is making yourself the best artist that you can be every day. Find those design tutorials, read up on the design blogs and research your competition. Keep thinking outside of the box and coming up with ideas that will blow your clients’ minds and keep them coming back. When people see the value that comes from unique designs with a creative touch that cannot be duplicated, you’ll be sure to stay in business no matter who comes up with a cheaper or more simplistic process.

Valerie's picture

About Valerie Thompson

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

Well said... I completely agree. Instead of being discouraged by the DIY arenas, be encouraged to be stretched thinking out of the box.
There are a lot of different options open to people now, but the tools we graphic designers use far surpass what the DIY sites offer in individual creativity.
ALSO- I believe the people using the DIY's are people who would not normally be able to afford a graphic design artist..etc...etc. I think it offers GREAT opportunities for small businesses, and individuals to 'head out the door' so to speak with professional looking print.
I think the DIY's are GREAT!

Valerie's picture
Valerie January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

You're absolutely right Kelli. DIY design sites offer cost-effective solutions that many entrepreneurs and laymen will be more than satisfied with.

We designers should always be encouraged to use any competition as an opportunity to better and further our skills.

Brian's picture
Brian January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

Nice post Valerie - I totally agree that DIY's should be considered resources for opportunities, trendspotting, and competition research.

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