A lot of people pledge to bring in a revolution.
But how many can swear of bringing it with a certain sense of beauty?
Welcome to the life of a freelance graphic designer!
Who is a freelance graphic designer?
Freelance graphic designers are self-employed designers who help companies, small businesses, or even professionals to communicate a specific idea by using engaging visuals.
These enchanting visuals are made via computer, or in some cases by hand too. They suffice the purpose of grabbing the attention of the consumers, engaging them via their graphics and giving them relevant information about a particular idea.
In short, a freelance graphic illustrator designs advertisements, brochures, magazines, or any other idea that needs to be communicated to the respective consumers.
Take a closer look at what exactly does a graphic designer do.
They not only design graphics and visuals but also advise their clients as to how to portray an idea in its truest sense. Everything ranging from illustrating an idea, deciding the color combination, the size of an image, text style, layout etc. are designed and suggested by a graphic artist.
Freelance graphic designers work on a project basis and move on once it is completed. They do not have fixed bosses and operate on flexible working hours.
Need for freelance graphic designers
A question may pop up in your mind, “Why do I need a professional graphic designer?” Another question you might think of is, “Why to hire freelance graphic artists when you can get it done by an experienced and permanent graphic design agency?”
There are certain points that need to be considered before handling an assignment in such cases. These are as follows:
Most such projects are assignment based. The frequency of the need for graphic designers is low. Whenever a need arises, clients contact a freelance illustrator who would fulfill the task according to the specifications given by the client.
Freelance graphic workers charge lesser money than the experienced and permanent ones. They mostly charge per assignment basis.
Companies and businesses do not opt for permanent graphic design firms because of lack of such work. This saves the cost of paying their salaries and other perks.
From where should you begin your Graphic Designing Journey?
Accessibility to this industry is not a major hurdle.
Anyone with pre-requisite skills and know-how about designing can enter and start undertaking work. Here are 10 essential skills every graphic designer should have.
But clients usually prefer top freelance graphic designers with a little experience and expertise in important software for designing.
But for the first timers, it is recommended to have a few pre-made samples and also if possible, gather assignments from family and friends to build an impressive portfolio.
Is graphic designing a well-paid profession?
Many people are lured towards a particular profession because of the kind of revenue generation capacity it has.
But the graphic designing industry is one of the creative fields. Along with that urge to earn money, one should also have an interest or like towards the trade and also should be well versed with the technical knowledge.
Coming back to the point, is the freelance graphics a well-paid job? The answer to this question is certainly not a definite one. There are a number of factors that need to be considered before coming to the conclusion:
- Country of residence
- Kind of assignment
- Financial need
But in general, if we talk about freelance designers, there are majorly 2 ways through which they charge their clients.
If the junior graphic designer has just stepped his foot in the market, he works for clients on per hour basis. Clients come with their respective projects, things to be incorporated, specifications etc. and hand it over to the designer. The creative designer estimates the approximate hours required to make that particular project. If the number of hours shoots up because of revisions that need to be made, the designer is compensated for this
When the freelance graphic artist for hire gains some experience and increases the number of clients, he starts to operate and charge on per project basis. This rate is dependent on the estimated time to be taken to complete a project, complexity involved, market worth of the designer and also his experience and finesse to do a particular task.
It is no rocket science to understand that in any field the start would be definitely slow.
The pay package increases gradually depending upon your quality, professionalism, your ability to work with complete enthusiasm and also persistence to stick around the circuit. This creative graphic design profession indeed has a vast scope in future as the importance of alluring graphics presented to the clients is increasing manifolds.
Pros and Cons of being a freelance graphic designer
Things cannot be purely black, or purely white. They operate in gray area. Similarly, with freelance graphics and design also, they have their respective pros and cons.
Like a freelance content writer, you have flexible working hours, no fixed bosses, no fixed offices. Along with this, you tend to be creatively satisfied with your job as you do a variety of things.
Extension to the same point is, you get to jumble between different projects. If you are feeling creatively exhausted from a single project, you can jump onto some other one.
Contrary to the above points mentioned, as any field would have it, surviving in the initial days is tough. As the graphic designing career option is blossoming amongst the youth, naturally there would be more takers also. More people attracted towards it, more competition.
As it is a creatively satisfying job, a number of revisions that need to be done can make one frustrated also. Clients’ demands, a lot of times, can be unreasonable and might not be in the purview of a graphic designer to fulfill it all the times.
So it is advisable for anybody stepping in the field to be technically skilled before starting.
Take a deep insight into the advantages and disadvantages of a freelance web designer to take a call for yourself!
Looking for inspiration?
While embarking on this wonderful journey of creating enchanting visuals, there are bound to be obstacles. To overcome them everybody needs their dose of inspiration to get things back right on track.
These are some of the people who have already made it big in the industry. Here are some of the famous graphic designers one must follow in order to excel like them.
Famous for creating the poster for the movie Jurassic Park, he is best known for his stunning book jackets. He has worked for notable publishing houses such as Alfred A. Knopf. Kidd has worked for writers such as James Elroy, Micheal Crichton and Neil Gaiman amongst many others. One of the interesting facts is while recreating creatures such as dinosaurs, he never imagined his logo for the park being used in the film as well. The T-Rex became one of the most notable and recognizable logos of 1990.
Visit his website: www.chipkidd.com
Learn more about Peter Saville
He is best known for his record sleeve designs for Factory Records artists – think Joy Division and New Order (Unknown Pleasures, Transmission, Blue Monday and more). Furthermore, he has been in this business for more than 5 decades now. Considered to be one of the greatest graphic designers, he did not stop at just creating sleeve designs.
In 2004 he became creative director of the City of Manchester; has worked with fashion’s elite including Jil Sander and Stella McCartney, and in 2010 he designed the England football home kit. At 61, he is still going super strong. Recently, he is collaborated with Clavin and Klein to design their new logo. Certainly, if somebody is looking to strike big in this playground, Saville definitely can be looked up to.
Visit his Website: http://petersaville.info/
If you have researched about world-famous ad agencies across the world, you surely have bumped into something known as Pentagram. Michael has been partners with them for over 27 years now. Adding to all this, having done branding and identity work for companies such as Benetton, Walt Disney, New York Jets, that won him many award accolades of the highest honor in designing. Apart from this, he is also a senior critic in graphic design at Yale School of Arts.
Visit his website: www.pentagram.com
Get to know more about Kate Moross in the London Olympics 2012
Creative director of Studio Moross, Kate is an art director and designer from London. She came onto the scene in 2008 with her trademark typography and energetic, fluid drawing style. Further, she has since become one of the UK’s most sought-after and successful designers, creating a myriad of album covers, magazine covers, branding videos, and even live visuals for One Direction. A very distinctive quality about Kate is that she takes inspiration from small things in her life. She does not read books, visit art galleries, follow anybody’s work etc. She believes that the greatest designs are created naturally and organically.
Visit her website: www.katemoross.com
You are probably living under a rock if you do not recognize the logo of Nike. Carolyn designed the wonderful logo with her beautiful hands. She designed it as a student at Portland State University in 1971 and was even paid $35 by the founder Phil Knight. The tick-like logo was seen as a symbol of positivity, but it’s actually the outline of the wing of the Greek goddess of victory whom the brand was named after. As Nike grew in the 1980s, Philip Knight gave Davidson an undisclosed amount of Nike stock.
Who would have ever thought that you would have the power to bring a transformation just by creating visuals and designs?
It is certainly not easy, to say the least. But some of the things common amongst everyone was that they were driven, inspired and extremely passionate about their jobs. These are some of the pre-requisites for this job to be counted amongst one of the greats. These great graphic designers simply did not work for assignments and client deadlines. Whatever they do is all based upon their inspiring spirit and the chase to excellence.
Tips to earn money as a freelance graphic designer
Keep one thing in mind. You would not be earning the same money that you would be earning in the initial years.
In the initial period, due to excessive workload and low-income people get bogged down. There are a few hacks though that would help you in sustaining in the struggle period of freelance projects:
Stock up graphics:
Many clients would be unhappy by seeing the design and might not approve it. Many of them will ask you to revise it or sometimes they will straight away reject it. Don’t put those visuals in the bin. Stock them up somewhere and use them in future. If you would not be able to use it directly, a few modifications here and there might do the trick. This would not let you feel burdensome and pay you the same dividends. Follow these tips for creating an effective graphic design portfolio and you are good to go!
Just show yourself everywhere. Use as many graphic design online platforms required to ensure your visibility. There are a lot of companies who hire design freelancers and act as middlemen between clients and designers. Moreover, they charge you minimum commission but ensure basic and reasonable pay for your work. Here is a list of 15 best freelance websites to find jobs.
Prepare random designs:
This is a step that would help you to build your graphic design portfolio. This might feel a bit tiresome at the beginning with no revenues visible against the work done. But, when you actually visit clients, you would have something to display and this might be your competitive advantage and cutting edge over others. The chances of them picking you over other freelancers would definitely increase.
Looking for some amazing examples? Check out these graphic design portfolios that hit all the right notes!
Do you think you have the skills to become a freelance content writer along with a graphic designer?
If you have the combination of these two skills, you are offering your clients an added value service making you stand out from your competitors. Check our post on a day in the life of a freelance content writer to know the scope, various online portals and other sources of inspiration to learn from.
Which platforms do you use to craft creative designs, find work and network with fellow graphic designers?
Do let us know in the comments below.