A freelance graphic designer creates designs for companies or clients. Freelance graphic designers are self-employed, enabling them to work for a variety of industries--from commercial to electronic to advertising to print. While freelance graphic designers can usually set their own hours and take on as much work as they wish, they also typically must manage tasks such as taking taxes out of their paychecks and paying for their own health benefits.
Many freelance graphic designers spend nearly as much time attempting to find projects as they do working on them. They must stay on top of the industry and find out where artwork is needed most, being aware of the latest trends (and what the competition is doing) at all times. Freelance graphic artists design everything from logos and letterheads for major corporations to menus for small restaurants. Most need to recruit their client bases, hoping that the clients return by providing them with their desired designs.
A freelance graphic designer must be very creative and understand how to promote herself and, more specifically, her work. She needs to be motivated, highly organized and resilient in seeking new accounts. She should have a basic understanding of math and how to manage money, since she is solely responsible for how much she earns. On top of those things, freelance graphic designers need to know how to use computer software related to their field, such as PhotoShop, Illustrator or CorelDRAW.
Aside from an ability to originate quality artwork, there are no set requirements for freelance graphic designers. Many have spent time as graphic designers working for a company or client before branching out on their own. Others merely put together a portfolio of artwork and send it out to potential clients. Either type of graphic designer usually has at least some training in the field, either from a technical or community college. Others possess a bachelor's degree with an emphasis on courses in computerized design, art, website design and in the case of a freelancer, marketing.
Jobs for graphic designers are expected to increase 13 percent during the 2008-18 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That is about as fast as average for all occupations. While the BLS provided no firm data for freelancers, their prospects may even surpass those who seek full-time employment, as freelance designers are often less expensive for companies to utilize.
Graphic designers earned anywhere from $9.71 to nearly $27 per hour in March 2010, according to PayScale.com. Freelance graphic designers are likely to fall into that range, depending on their experience and more than anything, the number of accounts they have secured.
- Photo Credit logo image by haruspex from Fotolia.com
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