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The Importance of Supporting the Design Community

Gisele Muller Sasso March 31, 2021 · 3 min read

A community is a social unit of any size that shares common values. I’ve been a part of the design community for over five years and I have to say that I’m always impressed with how much designers collaborate and help each other. My experience writing for design-related websites throughout the years has shown me some interesting changes in the community, the most being the growing support professionals give each other and the quality of work designers put out there.

The Free Stuff Entitlement

A while back I used to receive a lot of inquiries about freebies and people would often get mad when I shared things that used the “pay with a tweet” or “name your price” method. It was a time when designers collaborated with each other, but were always expecting free stuff in return. Professionals would share freebies with the community to get attention without worrying much about quality. The sense of community was always there, but the interest was a little bit different.

Changing Tides

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that the mood here has been changing. There’s a huge difference in comments, emails and requests. Resources that professionals share now are beautifully designed and, free or not, represent the body work of an individual and not just a random thing. Designers are beginning to notice that quality always wins over quantity. And the community learned that a free exchange is not sustainable because people need to get compensated. This process created the opportunity for professionals to make money by selling their work for those who needed fonts, vectors, PSDs, etc.
Many designers have begun to realize that it is better to support the community by paying for good stuff than to keep asking for freebies. Of course, you can still find amazing freebies out there, and even here at Creative Market we have our Free Goods of the Week, but remember that to keep designers motivated to create quality stuff, we need to show them our love and recognize that this is a job like any other, and that professionals need to get paid.

Keep it Going

Think about this concept as a pay-it-forward situation where the more you support fellow designers, the more resources they will create. This is not only a way to fuel the community, but a way to ensure its continued survival. Quoting Charles Eames, “Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” Now that we recognize the need for good resources, we can support the professionals who create the tools and resources we use to make our work a little bit easier.
Header image created with Workspace, and Eveleth

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About the Author
Gisele Muller Sasso

Web writer & translator! Communication, technology and web lover. ;)

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