Why our design assets are priced as a subscription service

By Matt Visiwig Matt Visiwig Portrait Aug 18, 2021

There are various ways I’ve seen design assets priced across the internet. From credit systems, single assets, bundles, subscription, life-time deals, etc. On top of how digital goods are priced, they all come with different licenses for use. Some restrict use to a single project, forcing you, the designer, to buy the asset multiple times if you want to use it for multiple projects or clients.

I ended up choosing a subscription model because the backgrounds we provide aren’t your typical downloadable assets.

Screenshot of SVGBackgrounds.com collection page

I built web-based software that allows users to customize backgrounds quickly in the browser and paste it right into websites without firing up specialty software, such as Illustrator. As soon as you download an asset, it stops being easily customizable. Therefore the software UI is a critical aspect of the product. Not only that, but every background requires time and attention to be customizable. The SVG code is also optimized, so users don’t have to think about the messy code blob that can result when exporting from vector based software. Especially YOU Adobe Illustrator. Lastly, improvements to the software and backgrounds have been needed over the years—it’s a living project—after all.

It has taken years to get SVGBackgrounds.com, its web-app and collection to where it is today.

The tool is built with web designers in mind

The other part of this decision is that I built this tool for web designers who build websites regularly. It’s convenient being able to quickly try out various backgrounds on an actual web page in seconds without a watermark or having to download, and prepare the file for the web. The product I’m continually building is not simply graphics, it’s a copy-and-paste web-based tool.

I’ve purchased plenty of graphics and assets for web design in the past from various online stores, and my least favorite part is prepping the file(s) for the web. Especially if you discover the assets wasn’t designed for websites.

Not to mention, the license was written with web designers and agencies in mind. No web designer wants to purchase the same graphics over and over. That’s why they can export unlimited backgrounds, for unlimited projects, for unlimited clients while they hold an active subscription. My business mentors and lawyer both suggested putting on a cap and maybe I will in the future. This decision stems from me being a freelance web designer myself, I didn’t want cumbersome tracking or to be concerned with when I can or can’t use the graphics. The less there is to think about, the better I can focus on delivering a website.

Pricing graphics compared to competitors

The last consideration is pricing. I believe $60 for access to a collection of 200+ backgrounds is a steal ($60/yr is the current price as of writing this post). Compare this pricing to comparable assets on iStockPhoto, you can only purchase 5 vector images for the same price ($12×5). While access on SVGBG is yearly, there is no restriction for the number of backgrounds and projects. After the year is up, you don’t have to take down backgrounds, you simply can’t add backgrounds to new projects. If you only have a single project, it might not make sense, but if you build at one website a month, this saves loads of time and is a great tool to have at your disposal.

One thing to note is the collection is growing. I have designed 25 new textures and 50 new patterns that I will be adding in the near future.

In summary

While there are many ways to price graphics, the subscription model made the most sense to me for SVG Backgrounds. The product is more than simply a bundle of graphics, it’s a service that makes iterating webpage design quick and easy. It’s built, maintained, improved, and priced, all with web designers in mind.

Matt Visiwig Headshot

Hey, I'm Matt , the creator behind SVG Backgrounds. I produce free and paid resources every month, sign up for alerts.

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