One of the benefits of working as a graphic designer is the fact that you have endless possibilities. There are many different types of resources you can create and countless industries you can serve by designing vectors and illustrations as a Vecteezy contributor. This is also true if you’re working for specific clients as a freelancer.

However, just because there are endless possibilities doesn’t mean that you should do a little bit of everything. In fact, specializing can be much more effective than taking a general approach. It may seem like specializing or niching down will limit your options, but in many cases it will actually open up more possibilities.

The benefits of taking a niche approach include:

  • Stand out and position yourself as an expert – By specializing, you can brand yourself in any way that you choose. With the right approach, you’ll become the go-to designer for a certain type of resource, design style, or type of project. When Vecteezy users need a certain type of resource, they’ll look to you first.
  • Streamline your focus – If you want to maximize your skills in a particular area, you should focus your time and attention appropriately. If you spend a lot of time illustrating characters, you’ll get better at it. Of course, the same can be said about other specializations or niches as well. Master your area of focus and you’ll be well on your way to branding yourself as an expert.
  • Follow your interests – As a Vecteezy contributor, you’re able to choose the types of resources that you create, so you can always work on things that you enjoy. This can be a big perk, especially for those who don’t really enjoy designing for clients.
  • Increase your rates – If you’re a freelancer, you’ll be able to charge higher rates for your services when you’re viewed as an expert. Clients are willing to pay more to hire an expert because they know they’ll get better results than by going with a generalist.

Looking at a real-world example of specialization, Kanin Abhiromsawat is a go-to source for icons. 

There are a few different ways you can specialize as a graphic designer. Again, this applies whether we’re talking about your work as a Vecteezy contributor or client work that you do as a freelancer. There are opportunities in both cases, and the benefits exist either way.

Here are the basic options that you have for specializing or taking a niche approach to your work:

  • Types of resources – The most obvious way to specialize is to focus on a particular type of resource, or a few types of resources. It could be seamless patterns, icons, illustrations, backgrounds, textures, web design elements, or any number of things. If you’re doing freelance work, you could specialize in web design, logos, packaging design, etc.
  • Design style – You can use a consistent design style to create your own look (see the examples from Huza Studio below). If you’re doing client work, people will hire you because they love your style and want the same for their project. If you’re creating stock graphics, customers will come across your work and download many resources from you because the style matches what they’re looking for.
  • Industries that you serve – If you’re designing stock resources, you can specialize by serving clients in certain industries. For example, you could design a large collection of vectors with a theme like health, finance, business, real estate, etc. Freelancers can take a similar approach and specialize by serving clients in certain industries

Huza Studio‘s portfolio is filled with hand-drawn illustrations that maintain a very consistent style.

Huza Studio
Huza Studio

Tips for Finding Your Niche

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of specializing and some of the ways that you can niche down, let’s cover some practical tips that can help you to use this type of approach with your own work. Here are some things you can consider in order to help you find the right option for yourself.

  • Your experience – Your existing work might help to kickstart the process. Maybe you already have a collection of vectors that could be uploaded to Vecteezy right away. Perhaps you have a large collection of a certain type of resource already designed, like icons for example. In that case, following your existing experience may help to determine the specialization that’s a good fit for you.
  • Your strengths – Every designer has strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths can give you an advantage and make it easier for you to stand out. If you’re creating stock resources as a Vecteezy contributor, it makes sense to focus on the things that you do best. Maybe that involves designing a series of posters, illustrating characters and mascots, or creating other resources that match up well with your strengths.
  • Your interests – Obviously, your work will be more enjoyable if you’re able to include your interests. Think about the aspects of design or the types of resources that you enjoy creating the most.
  • Gaps that you’ve noticed – Some types of resources and certain design styles are extremely popular on Vecteezy and other stock marketplaces. But you may notice gaps where other styles or resource types are not well represented. It could be a design style that’s not done very well by other designers or a type of stock resource with greater demand than supply. Essentially, you’re aiming to meet the needs of customers by giving them what they want or providing better quality options. For example, maybe you choose to specialize in business card and brochure templates because you’re confident you can design better options than those that currently exist.
  • Consider the long-term – As you’re evaluating any potential specialization or niche approach, think about the long-term ramifications. The vectors that you design and upload to Vecteezy have the potential to earn passive income for years to come if they are timeless, but if they are based on a fad or a trend that is likely to change, demand could be shortlived.

Nadezhda Vinogradova‘s Vecteezy profile is filled with beautiful patterns, including many florals.

Nadia Grapes

It’s important to point out that as a Vecteezy contributor, you can choose a few different specializations or niches rather than limiting yourself to just one. For example, you could choose to specialize in seamless patterns and character illustrations. Many of our top contributors have a few different specializations, so there is no need to restrict yourself to just a single option. This approach still gives you the benefits of niching down as compared to having a portfolio filled with totally random resources.

Conclusion

Taking a niche approach is a great option for graphic designers who want to stand out. With millions of designers out there, it’s not easy to get noticed as a general designer. But by implementing the tips covered in this article, you’ll be able to specialize and brand yourself as an expert in a particular area. Take some time to think about your own situation and the niche approach that might be best for you.

Related: 9 Tips to Get More Exposure for Your Vecteezy Contributor Profile