Interview with Alex Dumitru from Designious
This week, I had the opportunity to interview Alex Dumitru from Designious. If you are not already familiar with Designious, they are a design studio that specializes in premium stock vector designs. The quality of their work is really top notch so it was really exciting to get to learn more about their business. Alex works mostly with the business side of the company so it was very interesting to gain some insight into how the other side of the design industry works. As always, I hope you enjoy this interview and when you’re done, I hope that you will visit Designious’ website, connect with them on Twitter, and of course purchase their products.
Alex, thank you so much for participating in this interview. As someone who creates designs resources, I’ve come to really admire the work that Designious does so it’s a real pleasure to get to interview you on this site. Can you start off by explaining a bit about your background? Where are you from? What is your professional background? How did you get involved with Designious?
Thank you for this opportunity Grant; it is a pleasure to be interviewed on your site. I am one of three owners of Designious.com, born and raised in Bucharest, Romania.
My professional background is in sales and IT, not so much in design. I opened my first business in 2005; since then, I have been involved in several startup businesses. The first business was a call center. It was a great experience and taught me a lot of things that helped me to run other businesses later on.
Can you tell us a little about Designious? How did it come about? How has your business evolved over time?
Designious was born November 2007 when my two partners and I decided to start a new company as a new source of income because the financial crisis.
At the time, we employed 4 people with experience in design and we started to learn about the design business. In the beginning it was hard. The first 3-4 months saw little in terms of income but as time passed, we started to grow as we gained new contracts.
The website was launched a few months later, when we already had a rather large library of vector elements and we thought to sell them as other companies were doing it. Some sales came in so we started creating new vectors especially for the website.
Now we are a team of 12 people working full time and we have a few others we collaborate with.
I have had some experience designing and selling design resources online and I will be the first to say how challenging it can be to stock and market a shop; especially given such fierce competition from commercial websites as well as sites like mine who give things away for free. What would you say is the most challenging aspect of running a studio like Designious? Do you have any advice for anyone considering setting up a shop of their own?
This is an extremely challenging business and the competition is growing every month. This year only I counted like 4-5 new websites that sell stock vectors and maybe more that give vectors for free. I think the hardest part is to convince the potential client that what you sell is better than what the competition has (free or paid). Another thing is to create something professional, that people need and will spend money on.
The design community could not function without the advertisers that support it. Designious consistently supports the design community through advertising. What impact has placing ads on design blogs had on your business? Do you find placing ads on design blogs to be an effective way of driving traffic and business on your site?
Advertising has helped us a lot in terms of generating awareness about our products in addition to increasing the number of visitors to our website. At the moment we advertise on more than 20 websites and blogs. Having banners on design blogs is definitely a good way to generate traffic if you can afford it.
Aside from advertising, what would you say is the best way to get the word out about your products? Do you guys use social media such as Digg or Twitter?
Blogging about it, giving away free samples, and search engine traffic helps a lot. We don’t really use a lot of social media but this is something we plan to work on.
Your vector resources are really top notch. Can you tell us a little about the team of designers that produce them?
We have 8 talented designers working for us at the moment that create the stock vectors for our website and work on the projects we get. Each of them bring different talents to the table but most of them are university graduates with relevant experience in both traditional and digital media. For example, one of them is a well known tattoo artist, another one has an impressive background in traditional media, another one is a well known street artist, we have another person who specializes in corporate designs etc. Everybody brings something to the table.
Beside the stock vectors they also do a lot of custom work even though we don’t have an online portfolio yet, we create all sort of stuff for other people.
Producing high quality vectors can be a tough job. What sort of qualities do you look for in your designers? Do your designers have a traditional art background or are they mostly self-taught?
First of all they need to have some sort of experience in design. Designious is starting to be a name in the industry and the standards are higher each day, but most of all we look for talent. If they have it, everything else can be taught.
Do you own a mobile device? If so, which one? How do you use it to improve your productivity?
I own a Nokia E65; I use it like a phone, nothing more.
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