Armin Vit is the cofounder of Under Consideration LLC,, which is technically a graphic design firm. But in 2015, Under Consideration LLC earned a meager $17,000 from client work: a number that Vit says is what most design firms charge for taking a single meeting.
Instead of client work, Under Consideration is known primarily as an influential network of design blogs and websites. The network specializes in both praising and roasting the latest design projects and brand identities from companies around the globe, as well as throwing the annual Brand New conference, a two-day event dedicated to corporate and brand identity.
So how do you make your money as a designer without client work?
It’s as a blog and event organizer that Under Consideration makes most of its money. In this video, Vit lays out his company’s finances, giving a rare view on what a designer-turned-critic can hope to earn at the top of his game.
In 2015 alone, Vit says, Under Consideration made $535,000, with the Brand New conference accounting for over $312,000 of that. And while that may seem impressive for a husband-and-wife company, at the end of the day, after all salaries and expenses have been paid, Under Consideration LLC is worth only around $28,000, according to Vit.
So why put this information out there? After all, “Designers don’t talk about money at all. You just don’t go there,” says Vit. But that’s at the expense of the entire field. “And how are we supposed to know if we’re valuing our work correctly if we have nothing to compare it against?”