Ray King is our guest on today’s podcast. He’s the CEO of Top Level Design, the company behind the .DESIGN, .INK and .WIKI domain registries. They’ve put out a report about how some big brands are using dot-design domain names, and Ray joined me on Skype to talk about it.

Click on the player below to play the podcast, or download it here: 19:01; 11MB; MP3.


Ray explains that companies are finding the .DESIGN top-level domain gives them an opportunity to present a different facet to the design community, without distracting from their primary channel, which is usually on a .COM site.

“Most of the larger companies that are using .DESIGN are not using it as their primary site, but as an additional site specifically designed to speak to their design communities, so we all know to go to Facebook.com for the regular site, but at Facebook.design they’ve got a great site which has a bunch of content that is aimed at connecting with designers, and there’s kind of a recruitment angle to it also”

As well as Facebook, sites like airbnb.design, booking.design and uber.design have a similar recruitment approach.

Alternatively, some brands are using .DESIGN domains to manage their visual assets such as logos and share them with partners. These include dropbox.design, atlassian.design and etrade.design.

Still others are using .DESIGN domains for content marketing, including airbnb.design, npr.design, and again Facebook, which runs origami.design.

Top Level Design has been careful – and maybe a little lucky – in its choice of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD), and the popularity of the .DESIGN gTLD probably owes a lot to the inherent power of a well-chosen word. ‘Design’, he points out, is common to a great number of fields of endeavour, from construction to graphic art, to landscape gardening. Yet they all have that word in common.

And while some new gTLDs have been the site of defensive registrations by big brands, who merely register a domain and then redirect it to their main site, he’s pleased to see companies developing their .DESIGN sites in productive and interesting ways.

Click here to download the .Design Brand Report (PDF).

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