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The Blank Slate: Designing for a Niche Market

The Blank Slate: Designing for a Niche Market

The thing I love most about being a designer is not knowing what your next job might be. I’ve worked on a project for a fishing lodge in Alaska and labels for Lego toys both at the same time. Being a designer can be an extremely versatile job. Who could get bored with such a variety of work?Over the years, though I’ve met several designers who believe in finding a niche market. Some artists are extremely successful designing exclusively for certain markets. By establishing yourself as a designer specializing in the real estate market or the music industry can be very lucrative. Suddenly you become THE person to go to for that type of work, and you’ve established yourself as the expert in that field. But some believe that it is better to be more of a “jack of all trades” and leave yourself open to work from different industries.

So this raises a question…

Should You Design for a Niche Market?

I’d like to hear from the community. Tell us if your a designer who has found a niche in a specific industry, and what your experience has been, or let us know if you believe that a designer should be varied in the skills and projects that he or she tackles.

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.

5 Comments

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  1. To each their own. Niches are great if you have really strong skills in that [market]. However, I do think that niches can limit growth and certainly challenges, that we need, ultimately making us better designers.

  2. I will answer your question with another. Instead of being THE person to go to for a specific niche, why not just be THE Jack of all Trades?

    You can’t survive in this fast growing environment when resources are easily accessible for anyone to learn.

    • Interesting point Jonathan… I still think there is something to be said for the designer who is specialized.

      For example, If two designers are up for a project in the real estate industry and one designer is specialized in that field, I think he is more likely to land the project if his portfolio is full of real estate work versus designer #2 who has a portfolio full of “all trades” type work.

      But I do agree that the second designer is more likely to land a project in any OTHER industry versus designer #1.

      It’s interesting food for thought.

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