Finding it impossible to get a job in graphic design

Hi, I graduated from uni back in 2007 and I tried for a year straight to get into the graphic design industry, but got nowhere so ended up getting other jobs to pay the bills.. after a few years I started trying again and managed to get some part time work designing for a print company, but after about 6 months the work for me there dried up as well.. Since then I've been travelling / living around Australia and left it all behind, again working in jobs I could get there and then while I was moving around. I'm now back in the Uk and want to give it yet another shot so I've built myself a website and advertised my freelance services on gumtree. I have had a few small design jobs from there and from a few contacts I made in Australia, but still nowhere near enough. I'm applying for jobs every week, I've had 1 interview in about 3months and I didn't get the position so I'm not sure if it's ever going to work out.. if anyone has any tips or links to a possible job in Brighton that I might of missed, I would appreciate it. Please check out my website and let me know what you think of the work. any feedback on my portfolio and approach is appreciated!! James Giles Graphic Designer thanks, James


Active Member
Hi Jim,

Firstly, it's tough out there at the moment, but you've got some decent work. Your determination will certainly count for something.

Here are a few thoughts I have on your website:

1. If you have any good photos of any of the design work you've done then put those up. Photos of actual printed work shows you know how to set files up for print and have done real life projects will real life clients.

2. I would say the combination of Cooper Black and Georgia is a little odd. Cooper Black feels fun, bubbly, like a retro party. Georgia feels like a novel or a classy restaurant menu. They are very different. Maybe try some different options.

If I was in your shoes then I would consider learning some more about website design. This will help you with your own site but also expand what you can offer. In my experience less people want printed work and more people want web work.

I hope that helps you a little. But remember that this is only my opinion. If we all did what everyone else is doing then the world would be a very dull place.



Well-Known Member
That's good advice above from Andy. It is tough out there - everyone (and I mean all businesses) are saying the same.
Are you networking with business people? Find a local group - and there will be a free one - and join that. People buy from people.
Drop a leaflet round businesses - if they don't know who/where/what how will they know to contact you?
I wouldn't advertise that you are cheap. Good value - maybe but cheap - no.
Thanks for the comments guys! All valid points. I wish I did have photo's of some of the print work Andy. I will definitely remember to do that from now on. Perhaps if I can't take a photo myself, I'll ask clients or their printer to take a pic once they have the work printed.. As for the font I can see what you're saying. I went for the retro fun look, but it didn't seem appropriate for descriptions and the about me info so I'll try some alternatives.. I took a short course on dreamweaver a few years back, but it was vey basic, I need to get onto that.. Kate, I have had another comment on the word 'cheap'.. People generally seem to be attracted to it. All my small jobs are people who are starting out and have a very low budget or just don't want to spend money. Not sure I'd have any jobs without it, but I'm not making enough money for my efforts either, so I will change it to good value.. does sounds more professional and quality. I'll increase my networking as well. Thanks, glad the actual work on there hasn't been mentioned as a problem!


Active Member
Hi Jim,

You should be able to ask your printer to send you a file copy. It might cost a couple of extra pounds but worth doing. That way you can take a photo and keep it as reference. I'd be pretty sure a client isn't going to take a good photo.

Another idea is to have a think about who your audience is. Are you trying to get an interview at a design agency or are you trying to get more clients for your freelance business? Try to taylor your site to the customer. Broadly speaking a client wants to see how you create great designs which help them make more money. A design agency wants to see slightly different things. If it's both then that's more tricky but maybe focus mainly on clients and have a "hire me" page. This might also affect your choice of typefaces.

Another thing I would say it only put up your absolute best work up there. You've got some decent work on there (I like the UHC logo), but I'd drop the R6R logo. I'd also move the Sinnott Green and P2M designs higher up. They look more professional and are getting a little lost at the bottom.

Lastly, check out this podcast: Graphic Design Podcast :: The Deeply Graphic DesignCast

They are currently doing a series titled "Portfolio Site Pro-Tips Series". It's perfect for the sort of stuff you're asking about.