With a degree in graphic design, there are several job opportunities that graduates have with firms. However, some graphic designers choose to be self-employed, working as freelancers either alone or in teams for projects on a contractual basis. Starting out as a self-employed freelance graphic designer is hard without a place to start. Below is a list of several sites where graphic design graduates can find freelance work online.
Freelancers who specialize in a variety of design sectors, including advertising, graphics, illustrations, merchandising and packaging are all welcome at 99designs. Clients who need graphic designers for a specific project build a brief, and then the site releases it to its global freelancer network. Only one freelancer usually gets the job, but applying for projects is great practice for seeking work in the future. Additionally, winning projects helps new graphic design freelancers build their portfolios. The site also offers tools for them to improve their skills, connect with other freelancers for inspiration and expand their client base.
AwesomeWeb is a freelance website mainly for graphic designers, programmers and web designers. Every freelancer is reviewed before he or she is included in the search listing for clients to find. These clients are high-profile and seeking experts who can deliver quality work for their projects. AwesomeWeb continues to review each account by hand to maintain quality control. This means that a freelancer who deserves to work on a project because of his or her qualifications and skills is more likely to be hired. Although the site has expanded slowly, it offers personal customer support for clients and freelancers alike, and there are no hidden costs.
The Creative Group
This freelance service is a division of Robert Half, which provides professional staffing services. The Creative Group specializes in placing contract-to-hire, freelance and full-time professionals in marketing and other creative projects. The site has a filter for graphic designers to narrow their search for work according to freelance projects. The Creative Group has a large, expanding network of innovative, respected companies that need creative talent, so opportunities are frequently available. It also provides career resources such as
- advice for interviews,
- informative books and guides,
- online training,
- recommendations for portfolios, and
- tips for writing a cover letter and resume.
ProFinder is a relatively new service that LinkedIn launched in late 2015 to connect companies and talented freelance professionals. Although the service was limited to the San Francisco Bay Area during its pilot phase, it has quickly expanded to numerous major cities across the country. The information that LinkedIn members have in their accounts is used to fill in their ProFinder profiles. When LinkedIn members request services, ProFinder sends emails to the members with the most relevant expertise. Freelancers can respond to requests that they are interested in with short proposals, and the clients decide who they hire to complete their projects.
Upwork is the result of a merger between Elance and oDesk, and more than 10 million freelancers use it to connect to more than 4 million clients with open projects. Comprehensive freelancer profiles allow clients to find professionals with relevant experience and training. Members have the ability to talk with clients before accepting or declining work. They can continue their communication with clients while working on projects, giving them direct access to instruction if they have questions. Upwork also gives new graphic design freelancers the opportunity to build their portfolios while enhancing their skills and gaining on-the-job experience.
Although a majority of graphic designers work in studios, all it takes is the right computer hardware and software to develop designs. With this and a degree, graduates can use these freelance websites to attract clients who need graphic design projects completed.