If graphic design is your special skill but you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, consider freelance graphic design jobs instead of working 9 to 5pm for just one company. The range of projects that graphic designers can do varies greatly. Moving from a traditional job to a freelance graphic design job is a big transition. But it pays off in the long-run for many graphic designers. Because of the pervasiveness of digital design in just about every corner of today’s world, freelance graphic design is even an option for beginners.
What Do Freelance Graphic Designers Do?
From logo design, to website and color design to banner ad and email campaigns, graphic designers are part of the process. Whether businesses need a splash page, landing page, mobile app, or product brochure, a graphic designer or two will be part of the team.
The demand is unlimited. Any business or individual who wants to promote or sell something online or off, needs a graphic designer at some point in the process. Even many small business owners with the DIY mentality enlist the help of a professional graphic designer at some point along the way.
This kind of demand is great for freelance graphic designers. It means there are a ton of different types of jobs and work environments to choose from. With the right know how and some self awareness, you can land the perfect clients. The first step to landing successful graphic design jobs is to get clear about your areas of expertise and where your passions gravitate.
Skills and Software for Freelance Graphic Design Jobs
Graphic design is a specialized field. Like any other specialty there are skills and software that are more frequently used than others. Some of these skills and software you will be more drawn to or will use more frequently based on the type of design work you choose to do. As you plan your path as a freelance graphic designer, here are a few of the essential software programs you’ll want to learn more about:
- Web Development and Design software (Dreamweaver)
- Photo and Image Creation and Editing (GIMP, Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape, CorelDraw, Serif Affinity Photo)
- Desktop publishing (Adobe Indesign, Serif DrawPlus)
- Microsoft Office Software (PowerPoint, Publisher, Sway)
Showcase Your Work
Once you’re clear on the type of freelance graphic design projects you are best suited for, it’s time to prepare to showcase your work. Whether it’s a website or a blog, make sure you have a portfolio. Your portfolio should highlight your best work and showcase the outcomes of your best projects. Be ready to share your portfolio digitally in a moment’s notice and to distribute professional looking business cards that showcase your design skills. Make it easy for people to locate you on social media sites, your website, or blog.
Once you’ve got your work portfolio polished and ready for the eyes of potential clients, get busy networking. Today’s world has become so digital. There are so many different kinds of graphic design projects that need done. You never know who might need graphic design work or when. This is why it’s critical to network with other designers, company decision makers in marketing and sales, and even neighbors, friends, and family. Make sure everyone knows you are looking for graphic design projects and what type of work you specialize in.
Top Freelance Graphic Design Job Sites:
99Designs—This is a great site for freelance graphic designers who want to jump in and hit the ground running. Throw your hat in the ring for design contests, prove yourself to clients, and get feedback on how to improve next time.
Smashing Jobs—Owned by one of the most prestigious graphic design magazines. This is where you’ll find big name clients like Nokia, Amazon, and Sony. Competition is fierce with over four million users worldwide so bring your A game.
Upwork-great for beginners with over one million clients, hundreds of which have freelance graphic design jobs available. Create a free profile and let Upwork handle the details of payment transactions.
Krop—Those just starting as freelance graphic designers will find Krop to be a great resource for finding gigs.
Guru—highlight your previous work and take advantage of Guru’s job match function to ensure you review all the job postings for your expertise.
Elance—create a profile to browse freelance graphic jobs immediately for free.
Freelancer—Millions of available projects with an opportunity to put your skills to the test against other freelancers.
Other Sites to Find Freelance Design Jobs:
Just in case any of the above aren’t working for you, below are some additional places to find freelance graphic design jobs:
- Authentic Jobs
Gear and Equipment Used For Freelance Graphic Design Jobs
It is possible to do some graphic design work without having the best gear and equipment. But if you’re going to freelance, you won’t have access to corporate resources. Many freelancers start out resource poor. In fact, many freelance graphic designers strike out on their own without much equipment at all. But eventually, your business will plateau. And without additional resources, you won’t get those high-end better paying gigs. Plan your business budget to include phasing in the best gear, equipment, and software. Planning ahead will enable you to stay on top of emerging technology trends. It will also help you create top quality designs for your clients.
- A Quality Computer/Laptop (Macbook Pro or Surface Book)
- High-End Smartphone (for client communication and mobile design work)
- Interactive Pen Display (for design and illustration work)
- High quality compact system camera
- Calibrated Monitor
- Reliable Storage
- Variable Desk and Ergonomic Seating
- Interactive Sketchpad
With proper planning and persistence in networking you will find freelance graphic design jobs are plentiful. Digital design is in demand. Physical and print designs are still needed. The good news is fewer people have those skills. So, now is the perfect time to figure out how to put your skills and passion to work to create your perfect career.