What is a Design Team?

Design Teams, What Are They?
For the paper crafting industry, a design team is a group of creators and artists that are contracted to create projects using a crafting company’s products. Companies use design teams to help with the promotion and sales of their products. Products can be stamps, dies, design paper, ink, tools, embellishments, etc.


What are the advantages of being on a design team?
Many crafters would say getting free stuff is the best part of it as new products are usually provided gratis and far in advance of release so they have ample time to work on their projects. In addition, design team members are also usually offered a sizable discount on the company’s products during their design team term. Some companies also offer monetary compensation and/or affiliate credit for sales generated.

I have been on several design teams and I love the challenge of working with products I didn’t choose! I always have ideas for the things I buy but being sent something I may not love challenges me to think outside of my own ideas and work on design and technique and then I end up loving everything!

What are the responsibilities of being on a design team?
Responsibilities will vary by design team and should be outlined at the start. Typically, you will be asked to create projects using what is sent to you. They will tell you the number of projects needed, how the project is to be presented, (mailed in, YouTube video, shares on social media, etc.) the due date, and what, if any, other brands/products you will be allowed to use with what was sent to you. For example, if you are creating for a paper company that doesn’t sell anything but paper then you should be able to use other company stamps and dies to complete your project. If you are using stamps from one company, you might only be able to use dies and other products from that same company. All of these details will be communicated to you by the company once you have been accepted by a design team.

Keep in mind that a design team term can vary from being open-ended to being 6 months or a year.

How do I get on a design team?
Design team calls are done throughout the year. You can check company websites or check for design team calls on Facebook. You can also reach out directly to express your interest. Be sure to have examples of your work ready to submit with any application or inquiry and consider why you want to be on that company’s design team. They will surely ask this in the application process.

Design Teams not affiliated with a company
The paper crafting community has created challenges to inspire one another. There are crafty challenge groups on Facebook and crafty challenge blogs, as well as challenges and collabs on YouTube and Instagram. I ran a crafty goals collab for about 4 years on YouTube and I have been on the Show Us Your Sheetload Collab YouTube team since 2020. There are blogs with design teams, as well. The responsibilities for each type of non-company affiliated team will vary but the perceived stress is less because you are doing it for the fun and fellowship of crafters. Some companies do provide products to challenge blogs and their design teams but it is considered a more relaxed assignment than direct company-affiliated design work.

Photo: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay