As 2023 is coming to an end, I want to reflect on what happened, and where I’m at with Pimp my Type. Contentwise, I focused most on UI typography, some accessibility and UI design. Due to little client work, my income as a designer dropped significantly. With more free time, I focused on content creation and could increase my earnings here. In this article, I’ll share by how much along with other highlights and insights of the year.
My most challenging year
Financially speaking, 2023 was the most challenging year since I started my design business in 2007. I really felt the recession and my revenue dropped by 50% in the first three quarters, compared to the same period in 2022. There simply were too little design jobs, and if there were, a lot got postponed or shortened.
This really worried me, but it confirmed, that it’s wise to create other income streams next to client work. But it also gave me extra time to double down on Pimp my Type, which showed in my output. By now, things finally started to take off again, and I’m looking into a brighter 2024. Let’s hope it stays that way until I have a nest egg again 😅.
The YouTube channel grew quite a bit to over 5,550 subscribers (+2,106 this year), and my total views throughout the year doubled to 58K! I also feel I finally found my voice in front of the camera, and manifested a more dynamic style in editing, which you can see in the 8 videos, and 28 shorts I released. One of my favorite videos is this one.
Compared to 2022, I focused less on interviews and rather went live with five streams. I kinda found my groove with it and got good reactions, so I want to continue with these.
Font Fridays and Newsletter
This year, started with edition #100, featuring Shader Glitch. Also, Font Fridays got redesigned, and the 145 fonts strong catalog is now well categorized. This makes it filterable, and I also started to add font pairing recommendations to most features. Biggest “Thank you” to my cousin Stefan Grassberger, the best WordPress developer ever, and Nicole Arthaber, my intern who supported me in updating all fonts.
In total, I reviewed 46 fonts which were sent to 2,559 subscribers (+1,118 this year). So the mailing list grew quite dramatically, after I realized that I could more prominently integrate it. Linking sing-ups to live streams and webinars to the list also helped a lot.
I started on Patreon in January, and 19 paying members joined in total, of which 17 are active right now. I’m very grateful to everyone supporting my endeavors there! They ensure that my running costs for Mailchip are covered. 11 Font Friday video digest with additional insights got published, and I raffled ten amazing font families throughout the year to supporters. Many thanks to all the great foundries for their sponsoring. For 2024, I’ll also share links to cool fonts there, when I see them.
After it got renamed, I left Twitter, which was my favorite social media. I somehow replaced it with Instagram. I began to like posting silly stories and appreciate the direct messaging to casually stay in touch. My account has 1,240 followers now and a reach of 2,723 in the past 90 days.
I’m new to LinkedIn as well, with 801 followers and 263 connections, where my silly videos might be an exception in that environment 😅.
On TikTok I have 88 followers and 1051 likes. It’s still more of an outlet than a network for me right now. But I’ll continue feeding it 😉.
I had several smaller talks at local meetups and barcamps. These events are still the best to connect with people. But since I enjoy the big stage as well, my highlight was SmashingConf Antwerp. In a historic theater, I could go crazy on stage and edutian 600 wonderful people. I loved it!
Additionally, I guested on three podcasts and want to do this more next year. If you have any recommendations where I should apply, let me know in the comments!
Earnings in 2023
You can’t put Likes on your bank account, they say. Since Pimp my Type roughly takes up 40% to 50% of my work time, I want to generate income to make it more sustainable. Compared to 2022, I doubled my earnings, which already makes me happy. The biggest contribution this year were the online courses.
|Online courses (UI Fonts, Pairing Typefaces)
|2 Speaking engagements
|6 Coaching Calls
|Patreon (19 paying members, 17 active)
|Buy me a Coffee donations
|ILT Affiliate program
I’m already proud of this, but of course this is not enough to pay my living. So for 2024 I want to discover sponsorships for the YouTube channel and newsletter. If you know someone that would fit or if you’re interested yourself, drop me a line!
Overall, this year I had the feeling of stagnating, because of the lack of design jobs. But writing and reading this review now, I see that so much happened on Pimp my Type! So thank you for being a part of this! I really appreciate you sharing my stuff, your comments, questions, messages, and success stories. I read all of them and reply 😉.
For the next year, I want to focus more on accessibility. Also, a Font Friday anniversary is coming up, where I’m considering designing a poster with all featured fonts. And a quick email course with typographic basics is on my mind. As always, tell me your thoughts and what interest you, so that we will make 2024 an amazing year 🤩 in type.