Hello pattern designers! As a result of some concerns that some students told me when they were starting my new One to One Course “Delifolio” (Create a professional and delicious portfolio), I decided to talk briefly about a topic that interests many designers, especially those who a) are just starting out in the Pattern World and are curious to know various marketing options for their designs b) are just starting to consider selling their patterns online, even if they’ve been designing for quite some c) never thought of creating a private portfolio on their websites.

We all know that the portfolio is the strongest and most important sales and promotion tool in our online life as designers (and also offline). Therefore, today I will talk to you about a portfolio variant with restricted access, so that you can evaluate if you need it to increase your income or if it doesn’t fit the type of activity you want to develop within Pattern Design.


To begin with, it is necessary to know that not everyone needs a private portfolio, i. e. a defined selection of designs that customers access with a password: everything will depend on who your regular customers are, or what type of business you want to have. That’s why including a private print catalogue on your website will be perfect if you work with companies that are looking to buy exclusive rights to your designs: this means that these clients will not accept that prints have previously been shown to the public, in any way – both physically and virtually – or even their competitors. For that exclusivity and privacy, they will pay much higher prices than clients who purchase designs through licenses (in this modality, a price is paid for acquiring a design but not buying the rights to it, instead they get a permission to use it, in a non-exclusive way, so many different customers will be able to use it without problems and without entering into any conflict with other buyers). So, if you have a majority of clients who demand exclusivity and you don’t care too much about limiting the promotion and public disclosure of your designs, the private catalogue will be a must; otherwise, it’s a job you could save yourselves, because a private portfolio takes time and needs to have certain specific characteristics for it to work well commercially.


Some designers decide to create a private catalogue simply because they don’t want the open exhibition of their designs, because of the constant concern of being “honored”. Through a private catalogue, they know perfectly well who they give permission to visit the catalogue and whether these people are “trustworthy”. The pros: there’s no need to worry about being copied. The cons: when a potential customer arrives on the web, he or she will no longer have the possibility of falling in love with the designs at first sight and, today, it is well known that the less time a potential customer loses while browsing, the more chances to make the sale will be. So, at this point, it will be essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of displaying and exposing the designs or “locking them up” so that they are not plagiarized.

  • Protection of designs against plagiarism
  • Control over the people or companies that access the designs
  • Added value of exclusivity that has a direct impact on the increase in the final price of the designs
  • Good impression and trust with companies that usually buy exclusive rights

Well, I hope this post has clarified and informed you about considering a private portfolio as a means of selling prints and patterns through your websites. In the following post I will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of having a public/open portfolio or catalogue of designs.

Have a great day and let’s design a lot!