Why We Should Be Celebrating The Creative Industry's Transition to Owner-Driven Model

Creative professionals are now in control of their own work, and this is an exciting trend that should be celebrated. In the past decade, we've seen a shift from creative industries being controlled by a few major players to a more decentralized model where designers can sell their work directly to customers. Designers are increasingly creating and selling their own content, using platforms like Creative Market or the eCommerce section of Instagram to do so. This has many benefits; it gives them security on how their work is used (designers set the rules for how they want people to use their products), creates license opportunities (creatives get paid royalties every time someone uses something), and most importantly means they get full ownership over what they create.

There are many downsides to the shift from employed designer to content creator. Security being the primary. Designers who are not their own boss have the backing of a larger company, which can provide protection from copyright and intellectual property theft. The marketplace place model has many faults—The average commission for marketplace platforms is around 30% but this can vary. In turn, that means you will only receive 70% of the purchase price. That sounds like a pretty raw deal? Well, it gets worse with more and more copycat designers on these marketplaces. Your design can be stolen by someone else who's sold your work as theirs.

However, I think it is important that we protect this new way of working. There is a slew of new companies in tech looking to revolutionize various aspects of the design industry. These companies offer more accessible tools, pre-built templates, and the irresistible promise of simplifying and speeding up your workflow. Sounds great, right?

Image: Daniel Faro (2021)

'It’s important not to forget what got us here—listening and engaging with our customers and clients to truly understand the tools they need to run their businesses.'


These large companies are interested in securing content for their platforms. They offer a single payment to secure the rights of your work, but they want total control over it and can edit and sell as many times as they please. This is alluring because you may get one lump sum upfront, but this isn't good for us as creatives in the long term. It's easy to see a world in which we go from creating and owning our content, to become content providers for the same companies who have the power to take away our content and audience.

The past few years have been exciting for so many of you and for us at Studio Standard. But the work doesn’t stop there, it’s important not to forget what got us here—listening and engaging with our customers and clients to truly understand the tools they need to run their businesses, striving to create innovative and beautiful work and to support others in our creative community—whether collaborators or competitors. Finally, it's crucial for us to continue pushing the industry towards an owner-driven model.

It’s a privilege for us at Studio Standard to be able to share our perspective on the creative industry, and it is also an honor for us when we get feedback from you—our customers. The experience of being in business with those who are creatively driven has been one that I treasure.

1 comment

Love this whole thing!

Lisa October 15, 2021

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