The Secret to Make a Living as a Freelance Graphic Designer

November 23, 2023
freelance graphic designer

Table of Contents

Every year around 25000 job openings are projected for graphic designers. Graphic designing has evolved as a prominent career option in recent decades. The technological sector has faced prolonged improvements which have resulted in the creation of scope for freelance graphic designers. 

Graphic designing is all about creativity. Graphic designers create visual treats with various design elements like shapes, textures, colours, lines, etc. The profession is demanded in almost all workplaces, especially in the marketing and advertisement domain. Graphic designing plays a major role in expressing a brand among its customers. 

Graphic designers may work at graphic designing firms or can freelance their services. A freelance graphic designer can directly serve his clients and enjoy the rewards solely. In this blog, we will discuss how to become and how to ease a freelance graphic designer. We will also cover the different types of graphic designers, the importance of a freelance graphic designer job, a freelance graphic designer’s salary and all the skills required to be a good freelance designer. So, let us get started by understanding how to become a freelance graphic designer.

who is freelance graphic designer

Reasons to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer

Create Amazing Designs

Designs are something that will be required forever. Simultaneously human creativity will be needed for graphic designing. Graphic designs are required in almost all industries. From websites and advertisements to packages and company cards, graphic designers will always be needed to amaze customers with their visual stories.

Work with Multiple Clients

Design skills are universally valued. You can work with any company in any industry, as graphic designs are needed by all. Be it a sports company or a car manufacturing industry, everyone needs a graphic designer to portray their brand through appealing designs and images. Besides, you can also freelance your service to multiple clients. This will expand your network and bring forth new career opportunities.

Limitless Career Growth

Dedicated graphic designers never cease to learn. They keep on refining and replenishing their skills and knowledge through every project they work on. Graphic designing is a creative field, it inspires you and builds your skills throughout your work. It’s a career of constant growth.

5 Steps to Become a Graphic Designer

If you are wondering how to become a graphic designer, here are the steps to become one.

Step-1 Research About Graphic Designing

The first thing that you need for becoming a freelance graphic designer is a good understanding of graphic designing and its principles. You need to diligently understand what graphic designing is, its elements, its uses, and the principles based on which it is to be applied. Having a good knowledge of these things will help you work efficiently. Graphic designing involves a lot of planning and creative thinking. You need to gain expertise in applying its theories in practical projects.

Step-2 Learn from the Course

A graphic designing course will act as a guide in the process. The course will teach you the fundamentals of graphic design and its components. It will be providing you with foundational to advanced knowledge and skills in graphic designing. Starting from basics graphic designing courses will also teach you through practical projects to enhance your skills. The course will be covering topics like technical drawing, color & forms, layout, and graphic designing tools & software.

You can find multiple course options, from scheduled academic courses to professional courses. There are also several online courses that you can enrol in. Based on your learning preference and schedule you can choose the best-suited ones.

Step-3 Get Acquainted with Graphic Designing Tools

Explore various graphic design tools to expand your knowledge ,skills and yourfreelance graphic designer portfolio. Generally, graphic designing software is used that enables users to create multiple designs with its features. Adobe Creative Cloud is the primary software that graphic designers use. Besides, you need to be familiar with other designing software too like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, etc as the majority of designs are created through these. You can refer to various user guides that are widely available or you can also watch tutorials for a practical training experience. 

Step-4 Do Projects and Develop Skills

Once you are familiar with graphic designing tools and principles, it’s now time to practice. You can practice making random designs or visuals. Or you can also recreate the logos of existing companies and assess how far it matches. Self-assessment is the key to success, the more you practice the more you get your hands on this software. You can also offer your designs to NGOs to test your skills and gain real-world experience.

Step-5 Create a Professional Portfolio

For any graphic designer, a strong and enticing portfolio is highly essential, especially the freelance graphic designer portfolio, it is a very crucial element for their career. Your portfolio will be the first thing that potential recruiters or clients will see. You can include the projects you did during the course or your projects. But while developing your portfolio you must ensure quality over quantity. Select those projects that define your potential, design skills, and interests better.

tips for freelance graphic designer

Types of Graphic Designers

Graphic designers are classified into different categories based on their work area and services. They are as follows:

1. Freelance Graphic Designer

Evident from the name freelance itself, freelance graphic designers run their own graphic designing business. They are their boss and manage, regulate, and control the entire business solely. Freelance graphic designers work on a variety of projects for various clients at once. This is more like a sole proprietorship firm.

Freelancing has gained popularity in recent times due to its flexibility. Freelancing graphic designers can work from anywhere and at any time. They have complete control of the projects, they can be selective regarding the work. However, as a beginner, they need to grow a strong client base. They also need to market their services and handle the administrative activities of their business.

Suggested Read: 7 Tips for Freelancers to Help You Succeed as a Freelance Professional

2. Agency Graphic Designers

Agency graphic designers are the designers who work under graphic designing agencies. They work with diverse groups of brands and clients. The needs of these clients vary as they are generally external clients who hire agencies for their projects. Agency graphic designers are more inclined toward campaign projects in the short term. Their work is fast-paced and involves working for multiple brands at once.

Agency graphic designers work with skilled professionals as colleagues thus they can observe the design processes and learn from them. Graphic designers who are new to the domain, or want to learn under specialized personnel, can consider being an agency graphic designer.

Stop hustling from 9 to 5. Work at your Own Pace.

Career as a Freelance Graphic Designer

A career in freelance graphic design proves to be a fruitful one. There is huge scope in the field of graphic design. No matter which type of industry it is, from the textile to the automobile industry, graphic designers are demanded everywhere. Some of the top recruiting industries for freelance graphic designers are Deloitte, Google, Infosys, Accenture, R.R. Donnelley, and more.

Graphic designers can also freelance their services to their clients. Many platforms provide freelance graphic designers the opportunity to render their services to various clients. Some of such popular platforms are Upwork, SimplyHired, Fiver, 99Designs, PeoplePerHour, and many more.

Also Read:
15+ Best Freelance Marketplaces and Platform

How to Become Graphic Designer without Experience

As a graphic designer, you can also establish a successful and prosperous career without any prior experience. Here are some tips that can help you become a graphic designer without any experience:

1. Internships

Internships are the best way of starting a professional graphic designing career. They serve as a great opportunity to gain real-world experience and skills. You can take up internships at agencies according to your interest. This will help you to get a deep insight into the actual working of such firms and will build your connections with various professional graphic designers. You can also work with NGOs or non-profit organizations. This will not only let you aid the community but will also build networks that can help you in your career.

Suggested Read: List of Top 12 Internship Websites in India

2. Contact Design Agencies

Keep a touch with your favourite designers or design agencies. Introduce yourself with your portfolio and work samples. You can also ask for an information interview to learn more about their work processes. Captivate them with your work so that they can reach you during any future opening in their agency.

3. Connect with Other Professionals

Stay in touch with your batchmates or professors of your graphic designing course. Your peers may provide you with future opportunities or recommend you for any opening. Also, keep in touch with professional designers through social media handles and share your work samples with them. They may provide you an opportunity if they feel you have the requiredfreelance graphic designer portfolio.

Freelance Graphic Designer Earnings

A freelance graphic designer can make a quite good amount of money if he/she possesses the necessary skills and have a knack for creating innovative and attractive designs. As a freelance graphic designer, you work independently, which means you got no supervisor to above you. This also means that there is no fixed freelance graphic designer salary that is paid by anyone.

But the plus point is there is no package limit on your earning. However, if you want to know what can be your estimated earnings then the answer is 3 LPA in India. This is quite good for a beginner, and as you gain experience and work with various clients you can charge higher as per your skills and projects.

Is Graphic Design a Growing Field

The graphic designing industry is witnessing constant growth. The demand for graphic designers is rapidly rising in the industry. Implementation of new technologies, systems, and designing software is resulting in the creation of demand for graphic designers throughout the industry.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics Report, the demand for graphic design professionals is likely to increase by 5% by 2026. There are constant growth opportunities for graphic designers, they can work in diverse industries and grow more as they gain experience. Graphic designing is indeed an astounding and rewarding career option. 

Dive in to our Freelancing guide, to learn strategies to find full-time/ part-time freelance projects to generate more income.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to be a freelance graphic designer?

Graphic designing is easy once you have acquired the necessary skills. The one problem that new freelance graphic designers face is right their freelancing contracts right, mentioning every term & condition clearly, quoting their price rate etc. However, with a few projects you will gain this experience too, and everything will become easier.

How can I learn freelance graphic designing?

Although there are several ways to learn about graphic designing, but starting from the basics is the best way. You can learn to become freelance graphic designer by following these steps:

1. Learn basics from free learning resources
2. Take up Courses and practice the assignments given
3. Start taking few freelancing gigs
4. Update your skills and start earning

How much a freelance graphic designer earns?

As a freelance graphic designer, your earning capacity depends on your skills and level of experience. But on an average a freelance graphic designer can make 3 LPA which will increase eventually to 8-10 LPA as years go by.

What skills do you need to be a freelance graphic designer?

Skills are the must thing that a professional graphic designer must possess. The set of skills that a graphic designer needs to do their work are:

1. Creativity
2. Knowledge of Graphic Designing Principles
3. Usage of necessary software and tools
4. Typography
5. Branding

How can I start freelance with no experience?

So many talented and hard-working graphic designers don’t pursue their dreams just because they lack work experience. But there are ways through which you can gain experience and kick-start your graphic designing career. These methods are:

1. Doing Graphic Designing Internships
2. Work for Designing Agencies
3. Connect with Professionals, and work under them

To read more related articles, click here.

Got a question on this topic?

Related Articles