In Design

Why BUY a Printable?


Why BUY a Printable When There Are So Many Freebies? & other FAQ • Little Gold Pixel

Why BUY a printable?

I’ve heard this question in various forms. Usually it’s not as blatant as all that. But the underlying supposition is the same: Why would I buy a printable when you give them away for free?

Oh boy, have I have been hesitant to write this post.

Why? Because I’m in the middle of launching my very own amazing shop. Because I’m worried that it’s an uphill battle to get people to see value in things. Because I know why, but maybe you don’t want to hear why. (Maybe this is my Jerry Maguire “memo” moment?)

But the questions keep coming up, so I think it’s time to address these concerns and hopefully put an end to them.

THE THINGS WE THINK AND DO NOT SAY (ahem, you complete me.)

Why BUY a Printable When There Are So Many Freebies? & other FAQ • Little Gold Pixel

FAQ: There are so many freebies online. Why would I buy a printable?

There are a lot of freebies in life, but that doesn’t mean that freebies should be the only thing in your life. Consider samples. In particular, shampoo samples. Shampoo companies don’t give away free samples out of the kindness of their hearts. They don’t expect that you’ll bathe yourself solely with free samples of shampoo for the rest of your life (although more power to you if that’s your path). No, they are simply giving you a sample of a product that they hope you’ll enjoy enough to pay for at full size.

I’m sure there are better analogies out there.

The point is: Yes, I give away some of my work on this site. Is it my best work? Ha! Not even close. Is it work I think most people would enjoy? Sure! Is it a way to get my name out there so that more people will know what I do and hire me for commissions/freelance and/or buy my premium work? Bingo, mister.

Why BUY a Printable When There Are So Many Freebies? & other FAQ • Little Gold Pixel

FAQ: OK, but buying a digital file is like buying air. What am I really paying for?

1. Artist’s Time/Effort

When you buy premium printables, you are paying for a combination of expertise, viewpoint and time. If you are looking at something and scoffing because you think you can do it better yourself, by all means — try.

“Modern art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn’t.”
Craig Damrauer

I personally have paid a pretty penny for artwork that I could probably replicate if given enough time, but nah. It wasn’t my idea. Another artist thought of it first and/or more beautifully than I did, and I’m happy to compensate them for their creativity.

2. Flexibility

This file belongs to you now to use for your personal projects.

Which means you can print it out at various sizes. Typically the file is created at a certain size for optimal printing, but there’s nothing to stop you from blowing it up enormous if you want.

You could even print it out, cut it into little pieces and make a crazy collage.

You could color on it with metallic markers and experiment to your heart’s delight.

You could mount it on wood and give it as a gift to a friend.

Why? Because you can print it more than once.

How fun is that? You could even print it out, place it in a frame and hang it on your wall. If you’re traditional like that.

3. Customization Options

Most designers will change colors or add personal touches (like names, dates) for a small fee.

4. Freedom of Print Quality

I love buying giclee prints. I love high-quality paper. I will even pay a large sum of money to get a limited edition of an art print that really speaks to me.

But you know what? Sometimes regular old printer paper will do the trick for a piece of art you are going to change out after one season, and you have that freedom if you buy (for a relatively smaller price tag) a digital printable.

5. Love of the Art

And, finally, you should buy a digital printable because you love it.

Plain and simple.

The art speaks to you. It’s visceral. It’s illogical. It makes you laugh. It motivates you. It fills that perfect void along your staircase. Whatever the reason, it’s MEANT FOR YOU. So buy it already.

Why BUY a Printable When There Are So Many Freebies? & other FAQ • Little Gold Pixel

FAQ: I don’t have the money for a custom/premium printable. Will you create XXXXX for me for free?

No. My premium printables cost you a couple lattes from Starbucks. And my custom design services start at less than a meal for two at California Pizza Kitchen. In other words, totally doable for any wallet.


Questions, comments? Contact me here.

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  • Anne D
    March 23, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I love freebies but am more than happy to buy a printable that I love or is perfect for a gift.