What It Takes to Be a Freelance Graphic Designer
A graphic designer always has the option of freelancing. Many small businesses hire freelance graphic designers to design their business cards, menus, brochures, fliers, t-shirts, and other visual materials. The primary reason small businesses gravitate toward freelancers over advertising agencies is freelance designers are more affordable - and freelancers don't push small businesses into long term contracts.
Here are the tools and procedures necessary to make it as a freelance graphic designer:
Computer, Software, and Printer
Research all available graphic design software programs and choose one that will serve as your primary program. This program should be as thorough as possible and encompass all of your basic needs. Additional software can be purchased later.
Have a computer that is compatible with the graphic design software.Invest in a high quality printer that is able to print a wide variety of media. Freelancers who can't afford this purchase in the beginning can opt to use a printing company until they can purchase a high end printer.
Assemble a portfolio to show prospective clients. Portfolio designs can include graphics created for past clients, or sample designs. Include a wide range of designs so clients can see your true abilities. Add to your portfolio as new designs are created.
Create business cards that are eye-catching and show off your talent. Hand them out to anyone you think may need your services, or to anyone who may know an individual who can use your services.
Advertise your business. Freelancers who want to work in their local area should place ads in neighborhood newspapers and list themselves in the business section of the phone book. Mail-outs should be created and sent to local businesses. The mail-outs should be professional, yet creative, and they should mention the services offered - menu design, business cards, logos, posters, advertisements, t-shirts, and so on.
Freelancers who want to target online business should set up a website that displays a portfolio of their work. Online freelancers should place online advertisements, peruse the Internet job boards daily, apply for projects, and make online contacts through forums and social networking sites.
Fees and Payment Options
Freelance graphic designers generally negotiate fees with clients on a project by project basis, yet all freelancers should have a general idea of what they charge per type of media producedor have an hourly rate they strive for per project type. This rate serves as the freelancer's guide, or base, and this is generally where negotiations begin. Freelancers must decide how they will be paid. Options include upfront payment, payment after product delivery, or half upon project acceptance and the remainder upon delivery.
All projects should be completed in a timely manner and meet the exact specifications of the client. After the project is complete and you've collected your payment, send out a thank you note to the client. Add the design to your portfolio and list the project on your resume.
Schools Offering Training Programs in Graphic Design
- Liberty University's online programs ranked in the top 5 of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility*
- 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level**
- No standardized testing if you meet admission requirements
- Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program
- Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned
- Online Courses
- Financial Aid
- Transferable Credits
- Full Sail University offers online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology. Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem solving.
- Full Sail uses the experience and knowledge gained from more than three decades of educational innovation to create an unparalleled online education experience that challenges and inspires our students.
- Learning at Full Sail has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas, and our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy with the aim of being the most people-focused education experience on the web.
- Through Full Sail’s multitude of online program offerings, students get: One-click access to instructors, Powerful collaborative tools, Interactive learning environments and Innovative curriculum.
- Full Sail's newest program is the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. Developed in collaboration with sportscasting veteran Dan Patrick, the goal is to provide students with real world experience both behind and in fornt of the camera.
- Online Courses
- Web Design and Development (BS)
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started
Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.
- Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
- Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
- Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
- Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
- Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
- Flexible Scheduling
- Financial Aid
- Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
- Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
- Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
- Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
- Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
- Financial Aid
Latest Graphic Design Articles & News
Designers to submit artwork to wine label contest
Graphic designers and artists are now able to enter the annual Artist Series Wine Label Design contest for The Capital Grille, and can submit their creations until October 7, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Graphic designers fighting against new design opportunity at Huffington Post
The Huffington Post has recently issued a contest, asking graphic designers to create a new logo. However, the winning individual will not be paid for their design - they will only be recognized by name, rather than compensation, according to AdWeek.