With such an abundance of marketplaces, deal services and whatever it’s kinda easy to get lost. Let’s make a pause and check some premium subscriptions — the smartest way to complete your toolbox regularly without any financial sacrifice.
As a designer, I always try to keep up with the fresh trends and follow all my favorite creatives to understand the industry better. You must be doing the same, right? Monitoring Creative Market & Design Cuts for the resources of decent quality or checking Medium for some inspiring news is a nice strategy to be on stream.
But when it comes to extending my assets library — for an exact project I’m working on or just to pack myself with fresh design in bulk — marketplace may be not the very best solution. I actually want this, this, this. Oh, and that, too. And I finally find myself with 5-6 items purchased, and with my card literally devastated by my greed. And I hate that.
So I’ve picked 6 most popular design subscriptions, which may provide you with the resources regularly and without any unnecessary financial victims — and I strongly recommend you to do so, too. ’Cause you may get a really eye-popping thing, but it may not be THE ONE. And subscriptions allow you to give a go to multiple items and finish by obtaining the desired result. So, er, all you need now is to scroll and pick the service you prefer (and willing to pay for).
Envato is a well-known design titan and subscription program pioneer, so they do deliver tons of assets and embrace a vast number of categories (over 580K items). Here I’m speaking about WordPress themes, various templates, add-ons, stock photos, fonts and even their courses Tuts+ you can download non-stop without any limitations. And that’s maybe the best point, as Envato Elements, frankly, delivers few hits and great authors and you may need pretty much time to find what you need. But if you ask me whether I’m going buy another month of their subscription, the answer will be YES. Unlimited downloads and an immense library do their bit.
Creative Market is first known for its marketplace, and all designers’ roads lead to it. And the teams’ subscription program, launched not so long ago is definitely a thing you should consider purchasing. With a higher price than the one for Envato Elements, this one offers highly-appreciated products from the authors whose names you know and whose works you already love. Sam Parrett, Lisa Glanz, Ian Barnard, The Artifex Forge, Julia Dreams and others are in, for instance.
If you feel already excited to check Creative Market PRO, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t do so, ’cause the assets are mind-blowing, and the service level is quite high. But give it some more time, and you’ll see even more Creative Market tops there!
The name of UI8 speaks for itself, and frankly, if you need a subscription to download your UI kits, wireframes and templates regularly, this one is the best option. The library grows constantly, and the support works smoothly — and it is always good to have access to the resources you will not find anywhere else. Such a paradise for a UI/UX designer. The only problem is the price, which is high (you must have already noticed, I guess). But since UI is the core content of the project your choice is pre-determined.
Well, there are two freebie blogs I passionately love and follow, and Pixelbuddha is one of them. You must know these guys, probably. They entered the industry as a quality-oriented design project, and their membership program, Pixelbuddha Plus, is to provide you with design stuff of estimable level across various categories: from add-ons and graphics to UI kits and icon sets.
The project is also pretty young, so the library is not as big as the one of Envato or Creative Market, and if you search for a monstrous number of items, it’s not about that. But if you want to discover one outstanding item after another, Pixelbuddha Plus is the best option — and, I hope, it will always be.
What hits the eye first is the price and the name of great Chris Spooner, who’s an outstanding design blogger — let’s act honestly and admit this thing. I personally follow his Youtube channel for great design tutorials, and I absolutely love them. And when I found out he had a membership, I signed up immediately — besides, the price is not so high! However, the library you pay for may not be exactly what you expect to get: there are quite a lot of stock items. And yet you can discover some nice brushes from The Artifex Forge or some vibrant graphics from Lisa Glanz, other categories (like vectors or icons) seem pretty poor. Of course, it’s up to you to decide, but I believe Spooner’s membership loses to Spooner’s blog, which remains a source to follow at all times.
These are awesome and irreplaceable if you need mockups all the time (you already know how important it is to showcase your works, and mockups are the most essential tool for that). I do hope that the guys from Pixeden are reading it, ’cause the product range they deliver is always composed of must-have items: text effects, icons, templates, but, again, they emphasize mockups, and I’m sure the Pixeden subscribers are ALL there for the mockups. The posts are regular, the items are always of nice quality, the pricing is rejoicing. Just give them a click, and you’ll see what I mean!
Okay, I may not have listed some other premium subscription services you’re using already — and if they are handy and worth the money you pay for them, don’t hesitate to let others try these out: comments are open for that, and everyone’s terribly hungry for new ideas you may share. Anyway, these 6 projects are the ones a designer comes across most frequently, and knowing a bit more about them before getting out the credit card is at least reasonable. Or not?