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Posts Tagged ‘istockphoto’

Spotting the iStockphoto effect

In Design on November 4, 2007 at 2:34 pm

iStockphoto.com is one of those little secrets that people outside the web, design and photography worlds rarely hear about. Yet once you’re involved in this industry you learn to quickly spot pictures because frankly, they’re all over the place.

But we don’t mind – it’s a cheap source of images and graphic art for clients who are working to a tight budget, and it gives many artists and photographers access to new markets. Everybody’s a winner.

Well not quiet – while we cheerfully admit to where we get some of our images and graphics from, many rivals don’t. Most recently we saw one rival offering ‘custom’ Xmas e-cards for about £350 a piece. They would (we hope) have been bought on a less restrictive license than usual, but you’re still looking at a low cost item.

To show you, here’s one we did ourselves, in just five minutes. Not £350 worth of work. At all:

Xmas Card - on the cheap.

We could do about fifty in a day, at a cost of no more than about £100 plus our time. It’s even done in our in-house web-design style, which means there’s a pre-masked layout to work to. Easy-peasy.

Clearly, the road to success in business is more to do with marketing than fair pricing! Then again, I remember the realisation came that even if you could make a Coke rival product for 5p a can which tastes just as good, it probably wouldn’t outsell Coca-Cola, because people aren’t rational creatures when it comes to pricing. In fact, they’d be suspicious as to why it was so cheap.

I guess the same thing would apply to solicitors and the like, albeit in a slightly different way.  You go round to a few and they all offer to do the work for around the £150-£180 per hour level.  If one came up with a price of £20 an hour you’d immediately be worried as to whether they were professional or not, qualified, and so on.  Of course, the £150 an hour rate is going to exclude many people, so lawyers, rather than doing anything cheap, tend to get involved in pro-bono work instead.