I’m torn about this new company Inkd. They are billing themselves as the first market for original print design. Their business model is similar to istockphoto.com. At istock you can be a contributor, purchaser or both. You upload your photos, illustrations or video files that get added to their database for user to search and purchase your file to use in their website, print piece, etc. Each time someone purchases one of your works you receive a bit of royalty for that image, so to speak, and that image can be purchased by hundreds of people. So you do the work once and you keep making a little bit of money off it. The thing about stock photos and illustrations is they get used in so many different ways, you may download a photo of some blades of grass, edit them in photoshop, turn them purple and make a surreal concert poster, while I may download the same photo for use in a brochure about my local environmental co-op. I really think thats the beauty about stock photo’s they exist and they become something else original and creative, most of the time.
With that being said I guess my main hang up with Inkd is that the creativity has already been done. Granted they are offering the service to contact the designer who made the file you are interested in purchasing, so that you can have them customize it for you, so I do appreciate that. But you may look at a business card design that you feel is just perfect for your company, but keep in mind that design may very well have been downloaded 150 times this month. That means there is quite possibly 150 other people out there with the exact same business card as you ( just with a different name and address.) Which makes that perfect business card, not so unique anymore.
I do think some of the work on there is beautiful, there are some really amazing designers on there with a lot of talent. And I also see this being a perfect outlet for those ideas sitting in a designers file that for some reason that last client just didn’t pick, after all you designed it already, why not make a few bucks off it. I see the benefit of this site to people who want a beautiful brochure but can’t afford a designer to create one for them. I just hope people stop and think about what they are getting with this service, vs the originality and customization of hiring a professional designer. After all not all designers, myself included, charge and arm and a leg for something unique and fitting for your brand.