Freelance Graphic Designer Career Highlight

By | July 25, 2023
Freelance Graphic Designer Career
The freelance graphic designer career can lead to more exciting and rewarding job positions, like creative director, art director, and lead graphic designer.

This post provides exhaustive information on the freelance graphic designer career, including how to become one, the various opportunities available, and the benefits of being a freelance graphic designer.

How to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer

Here are some steps you can follow to become a freelance graphics designer:

  1. Acquire the necessary skills and knowledge

To become a successful freelance graphics designer, you will need to have a strong foundation in design principles, as well as proficiency in design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

You can acquire these skills through formal education, such as a degree in graphic design, or through self-study and online resources.

2. Build a portfolio

Having a huge portfolio is a must have in the graphic design field. It is a collection of your best design projects that you can present to prospective clients for them to be able to assess your skills and style.

As a freelance graphics designer, your portfolio will be an important tool for attracting clients and demonstrating your capabilities.

3. Determine your niche

While it’s possible to be a generalist as a freelance graphics designer, specializing in a particular area of design can make it easier to stand out in the market and attract relevant clients.

Consider what types of design you enjoy the most and where your skills are strongest.

4. Create a business plan

As a freelance graphic designer, you will be running your own business. It’s important to have a clear plan in place for how you will market your services, manage your finances, and set your rates.

5. Promote your services

Once you have your portfolio and business plan in place, it’s time to start promoting your services.

This can include creating a website, networking with potential clients, and joining online communities or forums related to design.

6. Continuously improve your skills

The field of graphic design is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest design trends and techniques.

This will help you to develop great and relevant skills and techniques that will give you an edge over your competitors and get you more clients.

What Freelance Graphic Designers Do

Freelance graphic designers perform various duties, including: creating design concepts, developing and producing finished art from rough sketches, preparing cost estimates.

See more of the freelance graphic designer job description.

What a New Freelance Graphic Designer Should Expect on the Job

If you are new to freelance graphic designing, there are several things you should expect to experience on the job.

The world of freelancing as a graphic designer can be both exciting and challenging, it is therefore important that you are well prepared for it.

So, here are important points to take note of in your preparation to start a freelance graphic designer career:

  1. Wide Range of Projects

Graphic designers who work as freelancers usually work on a wide range of projects for different clients across the world.

This diversity can be stimulating and allows the graphic designer to expand their skill set as they tackle various design challenges.

2. Interaction with Clients

As a freelance graphic designer, you’ll have direct communication with clients, understanding their requirements, and managing their expectations.

So, you will need to have effective communication skills and ability to understand your clients’ needs, to be able to give them great designs that they will appreciate.

3. Building a Portfolio

You may not have much work in your portfolio as a new freelance graphic designer to show to prospective clients, so it is important to start building your portfolio.

The way to go about that is to accept smaller projects or jobs with little pay.

When you have done this over time, you will have a huge portfolio to advertise your skills with to potential clients.

4. Finding Clients

One of the biggest challenges that new freelance graphic designers face is getting clients.

They will need to spend time and effort marketing themselves to potential clients.

They will also need to network and find opportunities to reach potential clients.

5. Freelancing Platforms

There are a number of good freelancing platforms that you can use to quickly and easily find new clients as a graphic designer coming into the industry newly.

They include Upwork, Behance, and Fiverr. You will be able to gain experience and obtain testimonials from working with these platforms.

6. Project Management

If you are coming into the freelance graphic design industry newly, then you should expect to be responsible for effectively managing your projects, time, and deadlines.

You will need to work on your time management and organizational skills to be effective in meeting client expectations.

7. Payment and Invoicing

Since you will be taking payments for your service, you will need to put in place an invoicing and payment system that works effectively.

The system should be clear and easy for both you and your clients to use, and should also help you to track your payments.

8. Continuous Learning

As a new freelance graphic designer, it is important to keep yourself knowledgeable on latest design trends, equipment, software, and techniques so you can be on top of the game in the constantly evolving industry that you are in.

You can achieve this by investing in continuous learning.

9. Handling Revisions and Critiques

In the graphic designing industry, customer feedback and criticisms are common, and they may be hard sometimes on the designer.

This is something to expect, however, don’t let negative feedbacks or criticisms weigh you down, instead use them as a learning tool to improve your work.

10. Self-Motivation

As a new freelance graphic designer, you have to be self-motivated, disciplined, and focused on projects you are working on so that you will be able to meet your clients’ expectations and deliver your work within deadline.

11. Income Fluctuations

As someone working as a freelancer, you should know that your income may not be regular; it will depend on the amount of graphic designer projects you have in a giving month.

It may be more in some months and less in others, so you need to plan your finances with this in mind.

12. Legal and Contractual Matters

In the graphic designing industry, legal issues like contracts and intellectual property rights are important subjects you need to learn about.

This will help you to protect yourself and your clients.

Freelance Graphic Designer Career Opportunities

Some of the major career opportunities a freelance graphic designer can explore:

  1. Creative Director

A creative director is responsible for overseeing the creative output of a design team or agency.

They work closely with clients to understand their needs and goals, and then develop and execute creative strategies to meet those objectives.

They also lead and mentor other designers, and work with the management team to set the overall direction and vision for the company.

2. Art Director

An art director is responsible for managing and directing the visual style and design of a project.

They work closely with the creative team to develop and execute design concepts, and also often manage budgets and schedules.

3. Lead Graphic Designer

A lead graphic designer is a senior designer who takes on a leadership role within a design team or agency.

They are responsible for overseeing the work of other designers, providing guidance and direction, and ensuring that projects are completed to a high standard.

4. Senior Graphic Designer

A senior graphic designer is a highly experienced designer who has advanced skills and expertise in their field.

They are often responsible for leading design projects and mentoring junior designers.

5. User Experience (UX) Designer

A UX designer is responsible for designing and improving the user experience of websites and digital products.

They conduct user research, create wireframes and prototypes, and test designs to ensure that they are intuitive and easy to use.

6. User Interface (UI) Designer

A UI Designer is responsible for designing the visual interface of digital products, such as websites and mobile apps.

They create mockups, wireframes, and prototypes, and work closely with developers to ensure that their designs are implemented correctly.

7. Brand Designer

A brand designer is responsible for creating and maintaining a company’s visual identity and brand guidelines.

They create logos, marketing materials, and other branded assets, and ensure that all designs are consistent with the company’s overall branding strategy.

8. Packaging Designer

A packaging designer is responsible for designing the packaging for products, including boxes, bottles, and other containers.

They work closely with clients and product development teams to create packaging that is functional, visually appealing, and on-brand.

9. Advertising Designer

An advertising designer is responsible for creating visual campaigns for clients in the advertising industry.

They may work on print ads, digital ads, social media campaigns, and other types of marketing materials.

10. Illustrator

An illustrator is responsible for creating original artwork using a variety of mediums, such as pencils, paints, or digital software.

They may work on a wide range of projects, including children’s books, editorial illustrations, and advertising campaigns.

Challenges faced by Freelance Graphic Designers on the Job

Some of the challenges faced by freelance graphic designers on the Job include:

  1. Finding and securing consistent work

Freelance graphic designers often face the challenge of finding and securing a steady stream of work.

This can be particularly difficult if they are just starting out and don’t have a strong portfolio or network of clients.

They may need to spend a lot of time and effort marketing themselves and their services to potential clients, and competing with other designers for available work.

2. Managing time and finances

Freelance graphic designers are responsible for managing their own time and finances, which can be challenging.

They may need to juggle multiple projects at once, set their own schedules, and handle all of the business aspects of their work, such as invoicing and taxes.

This requires discipline, organization, and good time management skills.

3. Staying up-to-date with industry trends and software

The field of graphic design regularly experience changes in design trends and technology, so designers need to stay current in order to remain competitive and deliver the best possible results to their clients.

This can involve investing in new software, taking classes or workshops, and staying up-to-date with the latest industry news and trends.

Major Benefits of Freelance Graphic Designer Career

Here are some benefits that a freelance graphic designer enjoys in their career:

  1. Flexibility

One of the major benefits of a freelance graphic design career is the flexibility it offers.

As a freelance designer, you have the freedom to choose your own projects and clients, set your own schedule, and work from anywhere you want.

2. Control over your workload

As a freelance graphic designer, you have total control over the amount of work to do. You can choose to take on as much or as little work as you want, and you can prioritize the projects that are most important to you.

3. Diverse range of experience

Freelance graphic design work allows you to work with a diverse range of clients and projects, giving you the opportunity to gain experience in different industries and niches.

4. Potential for higher pay

Freelance graphic designers often have the ability to charge higher rates than those working in-house, as they do not have the overhead costs that come with working in an office setting.

5. Opportunity to build your own brand

As a freelance graphic designer, you have the opportunity to build your own personal brand and reputation in the industry. This can help you stand out and attract more high-paying clients.

6. Independence

Freelancing gives you the independence to be your own boss and make your own decisions.

You have the freedom to choose which projects to take on and how to approach them, giving you a sense of control over your career.

7. Personal growth and development

Working as a freelance graphic designer can help you develop new skills and broaden your knowledge base, as you will be constantly exposed to new challenges and opportunities.


A freelance graphics designer is a highly skilled professional who is responsible for creating visual concepts and designs for various clients and projects.

They must possess strong technical skills, creativity, and the ability to effectively communicate with clients and team members. This post is helpful to individuals who want to learn all about the freelance graphic designer career.