As designers, we have access to various platforms that provide opportunities to showcase and sell our work. I have been a featured designer on Patternbank for a considerable amount of time.
I have been uploading designs since 2014.
This platform, in my opinion, has been a bit mysterious as you do not get much information regarding who is behind it. Doing some research, you can see that the main figure behind this website is Neil Elliott, Co-Founder & Director at Patternbank. There are some interviews you can find regarding selling on this platform, and designers have also made some YouTube videos, but in general, this platform could provide more information about why, how, and with whom they run it.
While some designers choose to distance themselves from pattern bank sites, there are compelling reasons why platforms like Patternbank can be a beneficial choice for designers.
Patternbank has a big community of designers, and following what others do can elevate the quality of work and create an environment where designers learn from each other, fostering growth and innovation. In the beginning, I felt the quality was better; however, during the last few years, I feel there is a bit of a lack of quality, but I still learn a lot about trends and what others are doing through this platform.
Contrary to the notion that pattern banks undermine the value of design, they offer a gateway for designers to reach a broader audience. Patternbank has achieved a very good Google position over the years, which is one of the reasons why I decided to continue submitting works to them. Some of my designs are shown on very good positions on Google with my name featured, so I believe this gives me visibility in general. I still have to think about some future strategies, though. Patternbank also provides accessibility to a diverse range of clients and projects that might not have been possible through traditional means. I have sold designs for kids, men and women's accessories, clothing, beach products, beachwear, swimwear, sportswear, accessories, and much more.
While it's true that pattern banks often require exclusive rights to uploaded designs, this exclusivity can be viewed as a strategic move rather than a limitation. Exclusive rights also contribute to a sense of security for designers, knowing that creations won't be replicated across multiple platforms without the designer's consent. I can always take down the design from Patternbank and then sell it elsewhere.
The critique of the compensation model for this site is valid, as designers get 50% of sales, but it's essential to consider the broader picture. For emerging designers or those looking to diversify their income streams, the platform provides an avenue to turn their passion into profit. For me, the decision to continue with this platform has been about visibility. I sometimes wonder if the price structure will decrease my value as a designer, but then I am reassured that the visibility in Google search is compensating for this. Choosing to be part of this site is not an act of giving away work for free; rather, it's a decision to leverage my skills and creativity in a dynamic marketplace. This site gives me essential information about current trends, and with their "trending now" posts, I can see what customers are looking for.
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