Hello pattern designers! As I told you in my previous post, today I am going to talk about selling patterns and prints through an open catalogue on your web. This modality is a possible and useful variant within the ways of marketing our designs. But, I must also clarify that there are designers who work in this way and those who do not, and that will depend a lot on how they have structured their businesses and what kind of clients they want to target with their portfolios and designs.

MY OPEN CATALOGUE AND MY STRATEGY

In my case, I currently have my own open catalogue on the web, which functions much as an extension of my public portfolio; in this catalogue, potential clients can obtain extra information about the uses of some of my prints (those that I am interested in selling from my public portfolio, since there are other designs that I don’t sell) and some more technical details: identification codes, in what format the designed files are, the technique used to create them, etc. My goal, moreover, is not to expose a lot of designs, but to create a showcase within my website for my clients to approach a few, but well selected designs. These prints, when displayed and available for the general public, are sold through licensing; this means that if customer “A” buys the design “M” from me, another customer (“B”) may buy “M” but may not ask me to remove the design from my catalogue, as it will not be for his exclusive use. In this way, several customers “A”,”B”,”D”,”R”, etc., may purchase the same “M” design, without incurring any type of conflict between them. This lack of exclusivity (unviable for some customers and markets, but totally convenient for others) will be rewarded with a much lower price than private catalog designs, or designs that are made to measure. (Note: licensing does not have to be done ONLY through an open catalogue, in fact there are some designers who do sell designs with non-exclusive licenses through their private portfolios. If they include those designs there and not in an open catalogue it’s mostly because they don’t want to expose their prints very much. However, in an open catalogue it would be more logical to sell with non-exclusive licenses).

AN OPEN CATALOGUE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE

If you work with a clientele that asks for exclusive rights to their designs -this is more frequent in foreign markets or larger companies (in Spain), although there are also medium-sized or small companies that take great care of their image and demand it – an open catalogue will not be of much use to them, since having a private portfolio will be more than enough, as we discussed in the previous post. But if they don’t deal with these specific requirements, an open catalogue can also help them to provide more information on the commercial possibilities and uses of stamps (a service that could serve as a good guide for those customers who are not very well informed about the world of printing or who have little imagination to apply them, for example).

WHAT ADVANTAGES AN OPEN CATALOGUE WILL GIVE YOU
  • Greater possibility of getting better economic performance from the same design
  • Save time and work hours
  • Have one more space on your website dedicated to display your prints, more focused on sales
  • Provides more technical and commercial information on each design, which could help undecided or unsure visitors to purchase your prints
LAST THOUGHTS
  • Whether you’re using a private portfolio or an open catalogue, don’t forget to put watermarks on your designs to discourage plagiarism (you can also use any other resource that fulfills the same function).
  • The portfolio should serve to show the world what you are capable of doing at a graphic and visual level and should suggest the professionalism of your work as designers, so both in one way or the other (private or open), never forget to pour attention and quality in them.

Well, I hope this post has given you some information about this commercial possibility of our work, especially to those who had doubts or are just starting out in the world of Pattern Design.

Thanks for reading – as usual- and see you soon!