Graphics, Photos, Videos

Envato Reveals: The Importance of Creating Diverse Content

Just like our Envato Author Community, our customers are a diverse group of people from all over the world. And they’re looking for diverse content that represents them and their communities.

As an Envato Author, you have the unique power and opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion. You can do this through the kinds of items you create.

Read on to find out just some of the reasons you should create diverse content.

Spoiler alert: it’s not just the right thing to do to help people feel accepted and seen—it’s also good for your sales.

What do the words ‘diversity’, ‘representation’ and ‘inclusion’ mean?

Diversity refers to the characteristics and experiences that make each of us unique. It includes our backgrounds, personality, life experiences and beliefs, ethnicity, gender, age, race, religion, disability, parental or marital status, body types and sexual orientation. 

Inclusion is when people are valued, respected, and made to feel like they belong, regardless of their personal circumstances or characteristics.

Representation is the way that media and society portray people with different characteristics. 

When we have diverse and inclusive representation in our content, we see the full spectrum of humanity on display in a way that values everybody. 

Author credit: askproject

Author credit: askproject

Why is it important to have diverse and inclusive representation on Envato?

We want our libraries to be reflective of the customers who use the items you create, and so do our customers. 

I would love to see more diversity in Envato’s imagery (photos & vectors). Specifically more Black or African-American people. I am based in Africa and we really need more images that relate to our local audience.

Elements Customer

How do I make sure my content is inclusive?

There is a difference between content that is diverse and inclusive and content that relies on stereotypes.

Inclusive content celebrates diversity of all kinds, whether that be age, race, gender, faith, sexuality, disability or body type. It acknowledges that all people are deserving of respect, kindness and joy, regardless of their minority status.

Take care when tagging people in your items. For example, if you have a diverse group of business people, try to tag all people (for example all races, nationalities or genders) and not just one or two out of the group. This will not only make your item easier to discover for customers, but also ensure that it doesn’t leave the impression that only certain people ‘belong’ in that scenario. 

Be mindful of drawing on stereotypes or caricatures to represent other races, religions or ethnicities. This could be seen as racist or insensitive and/or result in cultural appropriation. Please keep in mind that some historical symbols have additional offensive connotations.

I want more LGBTQIA+ content that isn’t directly related to Pride Month. [Stuff like] Gay couples appearing in photos. Drag Queens appearing in video templates. More diversity is always a good thing, and when we feel included, we are the most loyal customer base you could ever hope for.”

Elements Customer

Two men (one Black, the other caucasian) lying in bed holding their phones and kissing.
Author credit: monkeybusiness

How do I know that I’m using the right language?

It’s important to be mindful of the kind of language you’re using in your item names, tags, descriptions and previews. The most important thing is that you are sensitive to the possibility of causing offence.

Language and what’s considered ‘best practice’ changes over time. However, the best way to avoid offending people is to ensure you speak about people the way you’d like to be spoken about.

If you’re still not sure whether the language you’re using is acceptable, do some research about the kind of language that is preferred by the people from the group you’re referencing. 

Some other resources that might help include style guides from prominent publications or websites. Some organizations that have good information about inclusive language include Buzzfeed’s Style Guide or this more general Diversity Style Guide

Derogatory language

Derogatory language includes hate speech, swear words, overly sexual language, terms that are racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive, or any language that makes any group feel marginalised or ‘less than’ others.

We consider this kind of language unacceptable in all cases. Envato will remove your items from our platforms if we find that you’ve been using derogatory or offensive language. If you see any content on an Envato site that is disrespectful, please let our Author team know here.

No one can be perfect all the time, but we will always do our best to act in accordance with our values and ask that Authors (as valued members of our community) do the same.

Author credit: zamrznutitonovi

Top things to remember when creating diverse content

  1. Remember that diversity is broader than race and gender. Diversity includes age, body size, disability, religion, background, sexual orientation, religion and class.
  2. Challenge your assumptions to avoid reinforcing stereotypes. Do you automatically assume that a mechanic is a man and a nurse is a woman? Learn to challenge these assumptions. This will help you to avoid representing people in ways that are offensive or rely on stereotypes.
  3. Accept that there will always be room for improvement. We all make mistakes and there will be times when you get diversity and inclusion wrong. Take this as an opportunity to learn how to do better. 

Additional resources

Where can I go for more information about diversity, inclusion, and representation in creative stock?

  • Get more detailed definitions for ‘diversity’, ‘representation’ and ‘inclusion’ here and here
  • Learn more about the importance of diversity in creative stock content here.
  • Have a look at the Tuts+ Diversity in Design series here
  • Check out this guide from the United Nations on using gender-inclusive language in English.
  • Start a (respectful) conversation with your fellow Authors on the forums

Where can I get more information about Envato’s policies and expectations for me as an Author?

Illustration of a Black woman and a white woman both holding the hands of a white child.
Author credit: alexdndz

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