If you’re studying graphic design or visual design (digital and web graphics) and fancy doing this as a career on a freelance basis, here are four points to guide you on the path.
1. What is a freelance graphic or visual designer?
A freelance graphic designer is responsible for a wide variety of design work such as print, branding and advertising. Graphic designers are sometimes referred to as visual designers if their work is focused on digital content, websites and apps. Much like any freelancer, clients will hire you as a graphic or visual designer if they need to solve a problem related to design and they are looking for the right talent to solve that problem. As a freelance graphic or visual designer, you’re in control and decide which projects to work on, which clients to work with, and how to manage your finances and paperwork. You also have the luxury of working from anywhere. Key to a successful career in this medium is developing your skills in graphic and visual design.
2. Do I need work experience before venturing into freelancing as a graphic or visual designer?
A good portfolio consisting of previous client work and testimonials is a sure way to win over new clients as a freelancer. If you have no work experience, start on passion projects aimed at the ideal client and the kind of work you’d like to do.
3. What are some of my basic start-up costs?
These days, an entry-level laptop and a good internet connection are all you need. There are free online design tools (such as Canva and Creative Cloud Express), job posting platforms (such as Upwork and Toptal) and sites such as Behance, Dribbble and Deviantart to showcase your work. You can also access various social media platforms to market yourself.
4. Who are my potential clients?
Your potential or targeted client group will depend on your skills and the services you offer. For example, if you mostly focus on branding work and have a portfolio to showcase your branding skills, your ideal client will be looking for a graphic designer to help with branding. This would apply similarly to design in the advertising sector or print media. Keep your ideal client in mind when creating your portfolio.