How Do I Start a Successful Graphic Design Freelance Business?

The demand for graphic designers is on the rise as mobile platforms and web-based and technologies become critical for commercial processes. Those who wonder what it takes to start and maintain a freelance graphic designer business will benefit from this article.

Business Basics

All entrepreneurs need to complete similar preparatory tasks. First, they need to formulate and complete a comprehensive business plan. This should include executive summary, management structure, financial overview and market analysis sections. Having a formal business plan is the best way to demonstrate to potential investors and clients that you are serious and prepared for success. Formulating the plan will introduce you to basic concepts, such as the differences between a business vision, purpose and mission. Be sure to establish personal and professional goals for your business. Conducting legal research will help you understand the differences between a LLC, partnership and sole proprietor. It’s important to know whether or not there are local or state licenses required to operate a self-employed graphic design business.

Consider a Specialization

Because there are so many independent graphic designers starting their own businesses, consider focusing your business services through obtaining a graphic design degree specialization. For instance, studying web design will give entrepreneurs a strong graphic arts foundation with ample knowledge of digital web design tools. These programs strive to find the right balance between intuitive artistic concepts and practical web design techniques. Learning web design will require students to master digital multimedia tools and knowledge of standard programming languages. Those who specialize in web design may find work in any industry that maintains an online presence. On the other hand, graphic designers who specialize in 3D modeling and animation will find work in the advertising, publishing, game arts and manufacturing industries. This concentration will blend theory and practice and expose students to standard 3D animation tools.

Get a Degree in Graphic Design

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that graphic designers must have a bachelor’s degree to find employment. Even an associate’s degree in graphic design will help entrepreneurs establish their business and produce quality work. Students are introduced to core concepts and skills through lectures, demonstrations and hands-on projects that require them to synthesize and prove their grasp of the basic elements of graphic visual communications. These degree programs teach students about the practices and principles of print media graphics. Most programs focus on exploring standard programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, which is used to shape and adjust lines, colors, textures and symmetries. Learning desktop publishing will involve industry standard programs, such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and PageMaker. Formally studying digital imaging will allow students to learn about logo designs, brand identities and marketing materials.

In conclusion, both students and independent entrepreneurs must build a professional portfolio that will be used to demonstrate competency in media arts, graphic design and web design. All freelance graphic designers will have a high quality work portfolio that contains four to six solid samples of various design work.

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