Graphic design has firmly rooted itself in the digital landscape, offering a wealth of opportunities for creatives to generate income from digital products. As a graphic designer, you're in a unique position to leverage your design skills, turning your artistic capabilities into profitable digital goods. Whether it's template designs, fonts, or how-to guides, there's a multitude of avenues where you can reflect your creative prowess and meet the needs of a diverse online audience.
1. Printable Artwork
Creating printable artwork is an exciting way for artists to share their creations digitally. If you're a photographer, illustrator, or painter, turning your art into digital files for sale can reach a wider audience online.
What You'll Need:
- High-resolution digital files of your art
- Online platform to host your store (e.g., Etsy, your own website)
- No shipping costs
- Unlimited inventory
- Ability to sell worldwide
How to Get Started:
- Prepare your art: Ensure each piece is in a print-ready format, typically a high-resolution PDF or JPEG.
- Set up your shop: Choose an online marketplace or your website equipped with e-commerce capabilities.
- Price your work: Consider factors such as the uniqueness of your art, the costs of production, and your target market.
Tips for Success:
- Use watermarks on samples to protect your work.
- Offer a range of sizes and formats.
- Include detailed descriptions and keywords for search engine optimization (SEO).
Presentation is key, so curate your online gallery with care to attract and retain customers.
When you're working on a digital product, mockups are vital in visualizing your design as it would appear in the real world. They help you and your clients get a clear picture of the finished product before it's made.
What is a Mockup? A mockup is a full-size model of a design or device, used for product presentations or other purposes. It's a step beyond a wireframe and often includes a more detailed representation of the product's appearance.
Types of Mockups:
- Digital Screens: For apps and websites, showing your design on different devices (laptops, phones, tablets)
- Product Packaging: Visualize your branding on boxes, bottles, or bags
- Apparel: T-shirts, caps, and other clothing items
- Printables: Business cards, posters, and flyers in situ
- Home & Living: Items like mugs, cushions, or wall art
- Choose a Mockup Generator: There are various online tools like Canva and Mediamodifier that offer easy-to-use mockup generators.
- Select a Template: Pick from available templates that suit your product type.
- Customize: Upload your design, adjust positioning, and alter backgrounds if needed.
- Efficiency: Quickly prototype and iterate on your designs.
- Client Perception: Enhance how clients view and understand your work.
- Promotional Use: Creates appeal for your design on social media, websites, and portfolios.
Use mockups as a powerful tool to bridge the gap between a conceptual design and the final product, ensuring what you create meets expectations and looks great in any context.
3. Photo Filters & Presets
Creating photography filters and presets offers you an opportunity to establish a brand in the digital product marketplace. As a skilled designer, you know that harnessing pre-configured adjustments can quickly bring a professional touch to images, while saving time and maintaining a consistent visual style.
Adobe Lightroom has become a popular platform for such products. You can develop custom presets that users can apply to their photos with a single click, achieving a quality look that resonates with your creative vision.
- Collections by Theme: Curate your presets into themed collections—think “Vintage,” “Urban,” or “Natural”—to target specific moods and settings.
- Easy Installation: Offer simple instructions for installing these filters and presets to make them accessible even for beginners.
Your presets should provide both versatility and ease of use, allowing photographers to apply them across various lighting conditions and photo styles. Offering mobile and desktop versions increases versatility, satisfying a broader audience who edit on different devices.
Your filters and presets aren't just tools; they're also your art, enabling others to see the world through your unique color-grading and styling lens. By selling these digital products, you help photographers enhance their work, encourage consistency in their portfolio, and expand their creative possibilities.
When people are selecting fonts for graphic design projects, they look for options that amplify their message with clarity and visual appeal. Each font carries its characteristics, from the clean simplicity of sans-serif fonts to the traditional elegance of serif fonts. That's where you come in – you can sell custom fonts to this audience.
To stay ahead of the curve, it’s useful to keep an eye on trending fonts that can add a contemporary feel to the work.
In the realm of online selling, the website is what makes that first impression. And as a talented web designer, you can sell this as a digital service. You can even turn it into a digital product business by selling website templates and themes. This can even include Shopify themes that you create.
6. YouTube Thumbnails
Creating an eye-catching YouTube thumbnail is essential for standing out in a crowded digital space. Thumbnails serve as the face of your content; they're the first opportunity to convince viewers to click on your video. And if you can create YouTube thumbnails that work well for CYT, then you've got yourself a digital service (custom thumbnails) or a digital product (editable thumbnail templates) to sell.
When designing, it's all about the visuals and clarity:
- Use high-resolution images or graphics that are visually appealing.
- Incorporate bright colors to make your thumbnail pop against the backdrop of countless others.
- Adding a human element—a photo of a person—can often increase engagement, making the image more relatable.
Creating templates is an essential time-saver across various industries. Whether you're a social media marketer, startup entrepreneur, writer, or blogger, having a set of professionally designed templates can significantly streamline your workflow. You can make templates for all niches to sell as digital products.
Social Media Packs: For instance, if you're targeting people who are aiming to enhance their Instagram presence, consider selling pre-made post and story sets. Typically, these social media packs include a collection of over ten templates that require minimal editing. They're perfect for maintaining a cohesive and visually appealing Instagram profile.
Facebook Ads: Crafting effective visuals for Facebook advertisements can be challenging. If you've honed the skill to design impactful Facebook ad templates, you're offering a valuable resource. Marketers often seek out high-quality templates that promise to drive results and align with their branding.
Digital Ads: Demand for digital ad templates, such as banner and wide skyscraper ads, is perpetual. Offering these in sets ensures that users can deploy them as a branded group, enhancing their online advertising strategies. Remember to provide these templates in formats such as .eps, .pdf, or .ai to facilitate easy customization for your clients.
When packaging your templates, it's wise to sell them in kits tailored for various purposes. Assortment offers versatility and appeals to a broader client base eager for professional, ready-to-use designs.
8. Stock Illustration Vectors and Icons
Stock illustration vectors and icons are valuable assets you can use to grow your digital products invenetory.
What are they?
Stock Illustrations: These are pre-made, royalty-free vector graphics that you can use in various design projects. They range from simple decorations to complex compositions.
Icons: Small, symbolic images used to represent concepts, actions, or objects in a graphically simple but clear manner.
Why People Buy Them?
- Saves Time: You don't need to create graphics from scratch.
- Consistency: They provide a coherent visual language across your product.
- Customization: Vectors are scalable without loss of quality and can be easily edited to fit your branding.
9. eBook Covers
An eye-catching eBook cover is a critical step in the ebook process. And you can sell these to authors. This can be done as a service selling custom covers, or as a product-based business selling pre-made covers with editable author and title fields.
10. Presentation Templates
Graphic design thrives on fresh concepts, and presentation templates stand as a vital digital product idea that you, as a professional, can sell. By offering well-designed slides, you enable users to craft presentations that grab attention and communicate clearly.
Imagine stepping into a seminar where each slide is a burst of creativity—this is the power of a top-notch template. Your job is to weave a visual narrative with engaging layouts, crisp typography, and relevant imagery that aligns with your client's brand identity.
Being a graphic designer, here's how you can create must-have templates:
- Aesthetics: Develop a cohesive theme with a consistent color scheme and fonts.
- Customization: Make sure users can easily modify your designs to fit their needs.
- Variety: Offer a range of slides, including: Slide Type Purpose Title Slide Kick off the presentation Agenda Slide Outline the main points Content Slides Delve into details Infographic Slide Present data compellingly Ending Slide Conclude and call to action
Professionals in all industries are on the lookout for templates that will keep their audience captivated. Your ability to produce stylish, fun, and functional slide decks isn't just a service—it's a game changer for presenters aiming to avoid the dreaded “death by PowerPoint.” Provide the spark with your designs, and let your clients bring their stories to life.
In the realm of digital creations, your expertise in graphic design paves the way for countless entrepreneurial ventures. Whether you're harnessing skills for designing striking visuals or crafting user-friendly layouts, the digital space is ripe with opportunity.
By leveraging these avenues, you’re not just selling products; you're building a digital footprint and a sustainable business. Your creative skill set is the foundation for a thriving online presence, so dive into the digital product landscape and let your designs pave the way to success.
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Rich Kainu is the founder and a main contributor to Deal In Digital. He has over 12 years of experience in digital product creation, sales, and marketing as well as content creation strategies..