While design itself can never be a commodity, there is a trend with the growth of platforms that are starting to commoditise design. These platforms work by charging users a subscription fee and giving them access to extensive libraries of design material.
While there are obvious benefits to this, especially for people who need a quick graphic for an Instagram post, there are also huge drawbacks to be aware of. In this post, we explore the differences between commoditised and bespoke design services, discussing their benefits and limitations.
Commodities are products that the market values because of price points and not necessarily their brand identities. Traditionally, commoditised items traditionally were things like raw materials or resources, like corn – items that the market treats the same regardless of who produced them. If a product or service is commoditised conversations tend to be price driven.
Platforms such as Canva and 99Design commoditises design services. Designers have populated libraries on these platforms with all kinds of designs so subscribers can simply type a keyword and browse relevant graphics, images, fonts and other work to use.
People can access this material for next to nothing, which makes it a very good option for low-budget projects that can use generic design work. For more sophisticated projects and for brands that want to achieve true differentiation, Canva is severely limited.
These platforms work by stocking libraries with hundreds of thousands of designs, hoping that they cover whatever their subscribers require. But because design requirements are unlimited, it’s impossible for them to cover everything. Because the aim of these platforms is to satisfy the needs of as many people as possible, their designs are often generic. You also run the risk of using the exact same design as another company. Being mass-produced, the design work might not be of the highest quality. The designers likely spend very little time working on the designs because they are being sold very cheaply. While these platforms are designed with the beginner in mind, you may still struggle to use them if you have no design experience. This means that you may need to pay a graphic designer anyway, which could lead to you paying more in the long run.
This refers to design work that is created just for you. A bespoke design will be researched and meet your exact needs, by analysing your audience and customer profiles and producing something that works for your business.
When establishing brand differentiation, it’s essential to use bespoke design services. If you opt for commoditised design, you may very well end up using the same logo as another company.
There’s no substitute for bespoke design when trying to make an impact with your brand or penetrate a new market.
Experienced and talented graphic and digital designers can create and deliver strategic design across a wide range of media that is bespoke to your brand and your business, to help you communicate effectively with customers wherever they are. A bespoke design will make sure your potential customers know why your business is different – and why they should choose you.
Whether you’re looking for a new brand identity, want your website to persuade more potential customers to contact you, or need some innovative packaging design, you’re in safe hands with creative design professionals, with attention to detail and a high-quality end product.