In this post I shared ways to find free design elements online. You can also check out my YouTube channel to find out how I put those bad boys to work - my videos are geared towards making stickers, but you can totally use the tips in any sort of design work your doing (especially making repeating patterns with Inkscape!)
Today I want to share with you how to save money on design elements you purchase and I'll be featuring various sites that I love
Through the artist's own domain
If you find a great digital element you'd like to use on a website like Creative Market, see if you can navigate through to their own website. A designer may have his or her own domain that will host more designs, different designs, different licensing, etc. A lot of the times, third party sites - Creative Market & Etsy, for example - charge for using their site to sell digital elements. The designer will add this cost in to the cost of the element they are selling in order to pay the overhead. If you head over to their personal domain/website, the hosting fees are often a lot lower so the prices of their products will be lower as well. I've seen designers offer something on their personal domain/website at 10% less than that of Etsy...because of the Etsy fees.
Additionally, you may find a more extensive commercial use license in included on their personal domain than that of a site like Creative Market. Creative Market offers 2 licensing options with different commercial use provisions. I've found the same digital design on a designer's personal website with a more comprehensive commercial license than what is on Creative Market. That way you're getting more bang for your buck.
Coupon codes through Etsy
I am giving this tip with one request - if you find yourself purchasing elements from the same designer, pay full price at least a few times. I am starting off this tip with this suggestion because, just like you, they put hard work into the elements they design and deserve to be paid the price they are asking for. With that said, you can find a lot of shops will have Instagram and Facebook pages that may offer up coupon codes. Use these to get a small discount on any elements you've been eyeing. If you have to go to a website and sign up for an email to get a coupon, do that too. Any penny saved is great! You may also find some designers may be offering older digital designs at a discounted price. You might be able to use a coupon code on top of the discounts already taken on the listings. This isn't too often but if a designer is just trying to clear room of things they aren't feeling anymore, you can get a great deal.
Consider purchasing a subscription
If you find yourself using a pay per download site, consider signing up for their subscription plans - if they have any. This way you are saving money on each download - I know I personally use Creative Market way too often to not consider their credit plans. Creative Market works a bit different - you buy credits and then get a bonus $$ amount at a certain level where as other services may have a monthly, quarterly, or yearly plan (like FreePik). You can also find a ton of coupon codes to save on various plans - I know on FreePik I see a 15% off for Shutterstock all the time! You may even be able to snag a free trial of some sites, just be sure to cancel before the billing cycle if you're not interested.
These are the three ways I save money on digital designs that I use in various projects. If you want some great elements to work with you're going to have to shell out some cash! I love supporting smaller artists so going through Etsy or through their own domain really ensures they are getting exposure.
How do you save money on creative design? Have any other tips?