As a designer, filmmaker, or content creator, you should be constantly looking for ways to streamline your workflow and maximize your productivity. One way to do that is by having an arsenal of unique resources ready to go at any moment. I like to think of these as building blocks - individual files and graphics i can customize and stack together to create something new.
As someone who has worked with clients over the last 10 years, it took me years to realize that I didn't have to build everything myself every single project. I could create systems, have an "inventory" of assets, and adapt these building blocks to fit each project in a new way.
Here's some reasons why building a library of digital assets is valuable, saving you both time and money.
1. You don't have to start from scratch.
Creating a piece of content from scratch is a time-consuming process. With pre-made, high quality design assets, you skip all the the initial stages of creation and jump straight into the production phase. If you wanted to build a brick wall for a client you wouldn't make each brick from scratch, you'd have bricks delivered to the job site.
2. You free up time for other important tasks.
Your time is valuable. Purchasing ready-to-use digital assets frees up your time more important tasks like meeting with clients, managing your business, or just taking time off. You can spend less time on repetitive or time-consuming aspects of creation and focus on the work that actually requires your skills. Your design arsenal can be reused across multiple projects, saving you time on future projects as well.
Yes, you can oftentimes make design assets yourself, and you should make your own!
But there's also a lot of value in purchasing assets from other creators. Why spend 30 hours scanning, separating backgrounds, removing dust, and animating when you can purchase a pack for $20, $40, even $100?
If you breakdown the math - a $50 asset pack that takes 30 hours to make breaks down to $1.60/ hour of work. Which brings us to the next point...
3. You save money in the long run.
While purchasing digital assets does require some upfront investment, it saves you money in the long run. First, because it builds up you creative arsenal faster than you could on your own. But second, because many creators or digital asset libraries offer subscriptions and bundles that can provide even more cost savings.
For my own bundle - The Master Bundle - you automatically save 30% off the entire library. But you also keep that 30% off every future product too. When I announce a new asset pack, everybody who has purchased The Master Bundle in the past gets the same 30% discount forever. This way you can get in on the deal when The Master Bundle is cheaper and decide which packs you want to spend more on as they are released.
Skip the ones you don't want. Save 30% on the ones you do.
4. You stay up-to-date with design trends
Visual trends are constantly evolving, it can be hard to keep up with the latest styles and techniques. By sourcing creative assets from a range of companies and individuals, you're able to stay up-to-date with fresh styles without investing time in developing entirely new looks for yourself. You can also start to see where visual styles are moving to which can inform your own process and keep clients happy by being a leader in the visual language of the times.
There are tons of asset libraries and individual creators out there presenting incredible work. Consider using these digital assets and workflow tools to speed up your creative process and enhance your client work next time you have a project to complete. Not only does it benefit your own workflow but by doing so you also help support the creative community overall. It's win-win for everyone.