Freelance Graphic Design
Our Side Hustles Breakdown
Freelance graphic design is the art and business of creating visual content tailored to client needs. Ideal for creative individuals with an eye for aesthetics, freelancers in this field have the flexibility to work on varied projects, from branding to web design. With the digital age in full swing, businesses and individuals constantly seek skilled designers to enhance their online and offline presence.
- Stiff Competition: Many designers offer similar services, vying for the same clients.
- Client Expectations: Balancing client vision with design best practices offers various communication challenges.
- Equipment Costs: Updated software and hardware for professional designing can be pricey.
- Diverse Projects: Every client offers a unique design challenge with the opportunity to work with diverse perspectives.
- Creativity Unleashed: No graphic is the same as others, offering freedom to express and experiment with designs.
- Digital Evolution: There is always a constant growth in demand due to digital marketing trends.
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Graphic design is everywhere—from your favorite apps to that quirky coffee shop menu. That naturally means it has great potential, especially for someone who has a good eye for design.
But if you need some help to get started in this career, check out this guide to learn what it’s like to do freelance graphic design.
An Overview of Freelance Graphic Design: A Primer
Freelance graphic designing is one of the best lines of work you can do to have complete control over your time. It can be remote, creative, and deeply satisfying when you find the right clients.
It can also earn you serious income, and there’s a never-ending need for it in almost every industry.
That said, becoming a graphic designer at this level takes a lot of effort, good business acumen, and most importantly, you need the right combination of skills and knowledge, such as using design tools and an artistic side.
How Much Can Being a Freelance Graphic Designer Earn You?
The BLS reports that graphic designers earned almost $58,000 a year in May 2022, averaging $28 an hour. So, for example, if you’re freelancing 20 hours a week, that’s nearly $560 weekly.
Your graphic design portfolio, verifiable testimonials, and assets such as website and client communication docs have a huge influence on how much clients will feel comfortable paying you.
Expect some hard work to get to these numbers and earn this much consistently as a freelance graphic designer.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Freelance Graphic Design Side Hustle?
Starting a graphic design business primarily needs a reliable laptop at first. If you already own one, you’re ahead of the game with minimal startup costs.
Premium design programs like the Adobe Suite are the industry standard, and they cost around $50/month, but you don’t have to break the bank immediately. There are robust open-source or free alternatives available that can serve you well initially.
Having a website to showcase your work can also be a great indicator of how professional you are, which will also cost around $50 a month. Investing in courses like the David Carson MasterClass can also help you improve your skills but will increase your upfront business costs.
Where Can You Find Freelance Graphic Design Gigs?
There’s no shortage of freelance gigs out there, but starting a good freelance side hustle hinges on finding the right gigs and the right clients.
Here’s how and where to find top-quality projects and clients.
Independent Job Hunting
Looking for freelance work independently can mean more initial work but a much better return if you play your cards right.
A well-made website with Google ads, posting your work on dedicated Facebook groups, and having an active Behance portfolio are some of the ways you can kickstart your freelance career. But ultimately, networking is your secret weapon.
Directly approaching local businesses that align with your values, style, and personality with offers or inquiries is probably the best approach possible to generate leads.
Gig Economy Platforms
Whether going solo seems too intimidating or you’d like to diversify your leads, gig platforms are a great way to get graphic design jobs as well.
There are dozens (if not thousands) of platforms that operate by posting gigs for freelancers, but many of them can get you unconstructive work.
These are the top platforms to get started on:
- Fiverr: Known for bite-sized gigs, it’s a hotspot for diverse design tasks.
- Freelancer: A colossal platform that offers design contests and direct client requests.
- Upwork: Probably the most professional and secure freelancing platform, ideal for long-term contracts and bigger projects.
Why You Should Consider Freelance Graphic Design As a Side Hustle
A freelance graphic design career promises autonomy and the thrill of diverse projects. If you’re someone who values independence and has bulletproof self-discipline (or the space to develop it), freelancing could be for you.
- Autonomy Over Work: You can always choose a design project that resonates with your style, enabling you to really get in your zone.
- Flexibility: You set your schedule, decide your breaks, and design your workspace. Being your own boss lets you balance work and personal life.
- Endless Learning: You can hand pick new clients to always have new challenges, ensuring you’re always learning and refining your craft.
Problems With Freelance Graphic Design As a Side Hustle
While freelancing provides flexibility, it’s not for everyone. Some of the pitfalls might make a 9-to-5 much more appealing.
- Income Instability: Monthly paychecks aren’t guaranteed. The feast-or-famine cycle can be testing, especially if you don’t have resources to fall back on.
- All on You: From finding clients to marketing strategies, everything falls on your plate. It’s not just design; it’s business management, too.
- Difficult Clients: This will always be one of the trickiest parts of freelancing. If you don’t know how to detect and deter demanding or disrespectful clients, you’re toast.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Should a Freelance Graphic Designer Charge for a Logo?
Your graphic design rates can depend on your experience, skills, and even the complexity of the design.
Some freelance designers may charge as little as $50 for a logo, especially if they’re new to the industry. An experienced or well-known freelance designer can charge $1,000 or more.
What is the Most Common Service Offered By Freelance Graphic Designers?
A freelance graphic designer often helps companies develop or change their brand identity. Some common types of materials include logos, website banners, packaging and labels for eCommerce stores, social media content, and print design.