January 9, 2003
Dynamic Graphics (DGUSA), a division of Creatas, has moved their Clipper and Designers Club
brands to an online site called Liquidlibrary.com .
Before there was Royalty Free there was clip illustration. This came in two forms -- books of
hundreds of illustrations that customers could buy for a fixed price and subscription services
that offered a package of new images each month making it possible for the graphic artists to
build a library of illustration. Clipper and Designers Club have provided illustrations by
subscription for in excess of 40 years.
This service has been delivered on CD-ROM for some time. It comes with a monthly magazine that
shows all the images that are on the disc. It is also possible to receive the materials in a
hard copy clip and paste format so a computer is not required to use the materials.
Liquidlibrary.com is an online service that rolls these two products into one, makes
everything available digitally, and changes the product mix by adding a lot of photography.
David Moffly, CEO of Creatas says, "Our market research indicates that everyone wants photos
(as opposed to illustrations). As we go forward we will be giving our people more and more
access to better and better photography." The January 2003 package was about half photographs
and half illustrations. All the photography in this product is wholly owned by Creatas.
It is important to note that the size of this segment of the market is significant and Creatas
knows a great deal about what these customers want and need. Moffly would not tell Selling
Stock how much revenue these products are currently generating, but based on other information
we estimate that it is in excess of $10 million annually. Moffly did say that his business
grew more than 50% in 2002 compared to 2001.
Subscribers who convert from their current service will receive a monthly creative package
with over 150 images, and have access to the exiting library of approximately 70,000 image for
additional downloads. The fee for this service is $125 per month which is about the same as
they have been paying to receive the monthly package on CD. Most subscribers are expected to
upgrade, but Moffly said they still have hundreds of subscribers who don't trust the web and
want CD's. "As long as customer want CD's we will supply them with CD's," he said.
The subscriber has a personal library and unlimited access to the images in it. This builds
month by month as each new package of images is added. In a year, for a fee of $1,500, the
subscriber would build a library of at least 1,800 images. Existing subscribers also get all
the images purchased within the past three years added to their online library so some
subscribers may have 5,400 images in their library to start.
If the subscriber wants to use an image that is not part of their personal library they pay an
additional $12.50 per image. The file sizes offered are 300dpi and equivalent to the full size
standards offered by other RF producers. DGUSA only offers one file size. If the customer
needs something smaller they will need to sample down.
In addition subscribers receive a 68 page monthly magazine that shows all the images added
that month. The magazine also provides information of interest to designers including tips,
tricks and tools they can use to solve problems. It also includes ideas and examples of how to
use the material supplied.
The monthly creative package will also include sound, flash and other animation as well as
Power Point materials. According to DGUSA's research the average subscriber does about 200
design jobs a year. They are churning material and don't have the luxury to spend a lot of
time looking for images.
Moffly points out, "It's a powerful tool for corporations to manage their content. It's a
uniform product, they don't have to worry about loosing CD's anymore, and they get one bill
every month for the service. It replaces the print and CD-ROM delivery mechanism with online
He said, "One insurance company has 40 licenses from us. They used to receive 40 sets of CD's,
but the CD's piled up and they had to keep track of which CD was where. They also needed to
keep the print catalog for easy referral to what was on the CD's. Creatives come and go and
sometimes the CD's disappeared. Liquidlibrary solves all these problems."
For a fee of $200 a month a customer can purchase an Unlimited Subscription and get FREE
access to all the 70,000 images offered. In this way they don't have to pay an additional
$12.50 for those images not in their library. Moffly says most customers don't take this route
and stick with the Standard Subscription of $125.
It is important to note that the other part of Creatas' business is the
portal which offers images from many RM companies and RF producers. Moffly says that
PictureQuest represents about half the Creatas revenue and DGUSA the other half. Moffly
acknowledged that approximately 60% of the PictureQuest revenue results from the licensing of
While Creatas has no plans to market the Liquidlibrary content on PictureQuest or to use
PictureQuest content on Liquidlibrary, they do intend to provide hypertext links to allow
customers to easily move back and forth between the brands.