Graphic design and the creative economy


The business world is constantly evolving and terms that have been popular for decades often fade and are replaced by new labels and phrases that appeal to the next generation. One term that has gained popularity over the past decade is “creator.”

Like ‘influencer’, it’s a concept that didn’t even exist 10 years ago, but is now part of the business lexicon. And while leaders of a certain age may roll their eyes at these kinds of job descriptions, the reality is that they’re here to stay and play a vital role in today’s economy. And for creators, graphic design is essential for long-term success.

Graphic designer and creatorphoto credit: Antoni Shkraba / Pexels

So, what is a creator, and why is it such an important role in today’s decentralized economy?

The rise of the creative economy

Until a few decades ago, people who wanted to create music, commercial art, videos and other content on a professional level had to be part of large organizations that had the infrastructure and tools to support their work. You only have to look at photos of recording studios from the 1960s and 1970s to see that making an album required hundreds of thousands of dollars in specialized equipment, which was clearly out of budget for even the biggest stars.

Today, best-selling albums are literally recorded in bedrooms on laptops, and musicians can sell their songs through platforms like Spotify and Apple Music without having to press albums and print CDs.

This shift is the essence of the creative economy, where power is shifted from organizations to individuals. Artists, writers and musicians can become their own brands and use social media to understand exactly who their audiences are and what they need to deliver.

The creator economy is an ecosystem that brings together vloggers, gamers, photographers and even startups to share their passion directly with consumers through digital media on a deeper level. That only democratizes the creation of contact, but it has fundamentally rewritten the rules on the business side of the equation.

Graphic designer

the pros

Successful creators don’t have to rely on “middlemen” in any aspect of their business. They manage their own social accounts, manage their own subscription services, create and sell their own merchandise, and even manage payments without the involvement of third parties. This level of control would have been unimaginable even ten years ago, but by 2024 the number of creators is expected to explode to nearly 400 million people.

The cons

One of the drawbacks of the creative economy is that it is extremely difficult to get through the clutter. There are literally tens of millions of songs on Spotify, which makes it difficult for new artists to get recognized and gain followers. That’s where a creative approach to marketing and branding is essential. And unlike 20 years ago, when a marketing agency would have done all the publicity and branding work, today the responsibility falls on the creators themselves.

Unfortunately, being a great musician does not necessarily mean that someone is a great marketer.

The good news is…

…that there are plenty of tools to help creators build their brands and monetize them. One of the biggest is the advent of professional design services that allow anyone from vloggers to fashion influencers to create high-quality brands that can compete and gain traction in the global marketplace. For example, a candle startup brand can create an eye-catching logo, labels for their products, merchandise to complement their core SKUs, and a strong digital presence.

You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to look like this! You don’t even have to be a full-time maker to build a top-notch brand. But with the right tools, creators can create designs they’re passionate about and compatible with major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Merch by Amazon, and personal platforms.

Graphic designer hard at work

take away

There is no magic button that turns a YouTuber into a global star or a musician into a household name. But by leveraging advanced tools to help them build their identities – and their businesses – creators, I have the opportunity to play in the same territory as big, global brands.

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