February 1, 2018

what is freelance graphic design

In this article, we will discuss what a graphic designer is and something you should watch out for when you are picking a design professional. By the time you are done this article you will be well versed in what is freelance graphic design.

Let's dive right into learning about a profession I've learned considerably.

Learning what is freelance graphic design?

what is freelance graphic designGraphic design has been around since the 1922's. Communicating by varies forms of graphic, letters, or symbols has been around for ages going back all the way to Babylon.

If we move forward to today, modern society uses graphic design as advertising, marketing, and overall design. Everything in today's time is being built with a design in mind.

Take one of the most popular companies known to man, Apple. Apple's only popular because Steve Jobs had the vision to make the home computer sleek and sexy. Today iPhone's are one of the dominating phones around the world.

It didn't take graphic designers too long to learn that to make money they would need to start freelancing. In fact, many designers first start off in freelancing. This is a way to build a portfolio as well as get experience.

Other professions may have to intern but we are taught in school as designers that freelancing is our way of learning the ropes. Go out find a client with a problem and make their life better.

Let's find these individuals. Let's dissect what is freelance graphic design even more.

Where to find a freelance graphic designer

what is freelance graphic designFreelancing has become so popular by today's standards that it is almost impossible to not find a freelancer. There tons of websites that involve hiring freelancers.

We would recommend something along the lines of Upwork.com or freelancer.com. I would stay away from crowdsourcing websites like Fiverr.com or 99designs.com.

crowdsourcing is the thought that if someone has a project, a person can pay a regular price and people can submit bids in order to win. Problem is most of these bids come from poor countries across the world where $100 could change their life.

It's not at all recommend by me and any designer with any kind of ethics because it's taking your designs as free labor. If someone else lawyers, doctors, etc worked this way people would complain but because graphic design can be done anywhere, we get shit on.

Always remember, as a business you get with you pay for. I am not saying that someone who does a $50 logo is any worse than someone who charges $500 but you have to know that not all designers are created equal.

Is a freelance graphic designer worth the money

Figuring out if a freelancer designer will make you money or cost you money depends on you. Do your research and let's understand what makes one different from the other.

Here are some key points to watch out for:

  • Are you hiring a specialist or generalist?
  • Does this person have supporting skills for the type of project you are doing?
  • Will this person support you later down the road or offer support?
  • Is communication easy and hassle-free?

Are you hiring a specialist or generalist?

Every single project is completely different than the next one. If you had a heart problem, you would likely want to go to a heart doctor. If you have a problem with a website you likely want to go to a web designer or graphic designer but who is going to cost more?

The answer is the one who focuses. If your designer is quoting you an outrageous price, its because they are likely well skilled in that field. If that price is outside of your budget then you really need to consider the following.

Do I really need a specialist for this project? Can I get by with a generalist?

A generalist is typically someone who focuses on many different aspects of design. Sometimes these firms will do:

  • marketing
  • SEO
  • web design
  • graphic design
  • log design
  • branding
  • social media
  • app development

It's not uncommon to see this on a website firm's list of services. This is a common sign the freelancer is more of a generalist.

When learning what is graphic freelance design, it's important to understand this.

Does this person have supporting skills for the type of project you are doing?

This is a nice way of saying, does this person have any idea about my field or has worked with other people like me in the past? Sometimes, you can take a chance but work with an established graphic designer helps.

Once again this all depends on the project that you are trying to have the person do. You really need to drill down and find out but asking, do you have these skills.

Will this person support you later down the road or offer support?

This is another question I often see small businesses struggle with when they are hiring their first designer. You can't be sure that a person will be in business two or even three years down the road but you can ask.

If a person has a passion for graphic design and in freelancing, they will often support you years down the road. This bond between you are your designer is typically stronger than starting fresh.

The designer knows your likes and dislikes, they often study your business/project. All of these things make the process much easier than searching for a freelancer.

Is communication easy and hassle-free?

This one is pretty self-explanatory but either you and your designer vibe or you don't. I have completely refunded many clients who turned into "askholes" later down the road. They are often awestruck that someone has the balls to fire them in the middle of a project.

I consider this a win-win because they get their money back and I get my sanity back when they start demanding ridiculous things that I can't deliver. The client may not know it at the time and feel hurt but we just did not work well together. It's really not uncommon, not everyone gets along.

Things to watch out for

So we've discussed a decent amount about what is freelance graphic design. I wanted to spend some time on somethings you should watch out for.

It may seem pretty common to hire a freelance graphic design but below are some key things you should look at for at your first meeting.

Are they talking over you?

A freelance graphic designer first job is to interrupt the client's vision and make that a reality. If the person is talking over you, they are not listening which means, you are in trouble.

Give the designer a chance but if you notice they are making mistakes that you warned them about "don't use red" and they do it anyway. They did not listen to you and are only doing what they feel is best.

They agree with everything

A good freelance designer has a certain amount of small skills they can use to complete your task. Sometimes this can be pretty narrow and other times maybe it's something they have had experience in.

Either way, you need to learn upfront what this person is good at and what they are just okay with. Not everyone can do what they say they can. You can also ask, will you be outsourcing this.

A number of designer act like middlemen outsourcing work to cheaper, more capable designers who can't find work. Don't sell your job to a salesman, make sure that person is the designer or at least has design skills.

So what did you learn from what is freelance graphic design?

Hopefully, this article helped you learn some of the things you likely need to watch out for. Graphic designers are everywhere but you need to be smart about who you pick. I hope that this has helped you understand my field a little better than you did before.

If you are still searching for a freelance graphic designer I work over at BrandingPop where we specialize in logos, design, and web. If you are ever looking for a web designer, I have a post 4 questions you should ask before designing a website.

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