Design's new address! Get your .design domain on May 12th!
Top Level Design LLC, which operates the .ink and .wiki TLDs, is opening the highly-anticipated .design TLD on May 12, 2015 for General Availability. With the buzz and pre-launch interest in this new gTLD, demand is expected to be strong.
So whether you have a creative portfolio or run an online business, getting your .design domain name tells people you are an innovator, disruptor, and someone who can’t help but create and make things beautiful. The word 'design' is synonymous with quality and for online commerce, adopting .design can add a serious boost to your personal and professional brand.
HEXONET recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Top Level Design's Andrew Merriam, Business Development Director. We would like to thank Andrew for taking the time to share his thoughts and insights on .design.
Why has “design” become such a buzz word recently?
Here in Portland, Oregon, my home base, the word design takes on a meaning of “high-quality,” “craft,” or, basically “well thought-out.” When you get clothes or chocolate or exercise routines by design, it means that someone put a lot of thought and care in how this was going to be used in the customer’s life. That’s where services and products are headed, towards personalization, and high-quality, enjoyable experiences.
I’m not alone when I point to Steve Jobs and the iPod as turning the world on its head; when everyone else was adding buttons to their walkmen, he took the iPod to the market with a single click-wheel. Suddenly, good design was no longer just about Italian fashion and New York architecture. Apple democratized good design and it has risen to prominence in every single industry. Product design, UX and UI design, graphic design, have become more important than marketing tactics when defining a brand.
Is there a specific type of designer you’re targeting?
I think our success will be thanks to the freelance designers and small creative collectives that are handing out beautiful business cards with their .design web address on it. That’s what I picture, a sharp individual handing a potential client a perfectly designed business card that leads to their .design website. Designers obviously care a lot about how they present themselves and their businesses, and a .design domain is an elegant and innovative way to tell their story.
.design is open to everyone, first-come first served on May 12, 14:00 UTC. One of the reasons we are so excited about .design is its broad application. I call it a horizontal-vertical, which is only somewhat tongue-in-cheek. The fact is that it is not a generic, horizontal TLD, like .web, but it has far wider application than other industry verticals, like .photography, which leads me to believe that many disparate industries will resonate with it. The word design itself and the idea of form and function is what ties together otherwise disparate groups like lighting designers, landscape designers, industrial designers; the list goes on and on.
A soft indication of .design’s success will be all the beautiful sites that will use our domain - I’m so excited to see all the great sites that pop up!
.design was the first of the highly contested TLDs to be resolved at auction. Why did you keep your paddle up?
We’ve been very interested in .design since day one, because it’s a great TLD on so many fronts. It just has such cachet as a word; it is meaningful; and it will look good and improve people’s branding. Still, we had to ground our interest heavily in data. It turns out that “design” is the single most popular word in the .com zone. So, there is simply no unique word as common as “design” when it comes to domains registered. It beats out “online”, “shop”, and “group” to be the most popular word. All of these other 3 words were also applied for as TLDs but I firmly believe that “design” is by far the most meaningful term of the group and the excitement around the space meant that our business would be adding a consumer benefit and an edge that is lacking from those other options.
… and of course, we are … Top Level Design …
What challenges and opportunities do you foresee for the .design TLD?
I think I’ve covered the opportunities quite well; it is a huge boon to branding and presentation and it will allow folks to not only clearly label their businesses but do so in a meaningful and elegant way. We are priced as a professional product and so it is our work to make sure that folks see .design as a professional, creative brand.
I’m a bit dismayed at the TLD fatigue I’m seeing from the industry, especially given that the best are yet to come. .design is the most heavily contested TLD to come out thus far; there were originally 8 applicants. Other great TLDs that will dominate the future market are still contested or making their way through the arduous ICANN process; I’m thinking .blog, .app, .art, .music, .shop. I think the fatigue is created by the glut of unexciting TLDs taking up registrars’ and commentators’ mindspace. Once the big new TLDs start coming out, we’ll all get a collective boost and have more firepower to evangelize to the general public.
Place your .design pre-registrations here: https://www.hexonet.net/de/preregistrations/design