Graphic Design as a Career


Hi everyone,

I've realised that I really do enjoy graphic design. I am a beginner and have basic knowledge in Photoshop and Quark Express. I think it will definitely benefit me to learn about other programes too but a big question lingers at the back of my mind which is:

Is becoming a self employed/freelance graphic designer a good idea with all the flyer/corporate design templates that are available to download free or so cheaply on so many websites? I have a way to go initially but after I have gained experience working for an employer I would eventually like to become self employed or become a freelancer.

Any advice will be more than appreciated. Thanking you. :icon_notworthy:
Hi bsugar and welcome. Graphic Design is certainly a rewarding pursuit if you enjoy what you're doing, but a very competitive industry to enter. If you're thinking of it as a career you really need to develop your style and get practice at appropriately responding to a brief set by a client, this can be done by taking a course if you don't have existing qualifications, or lots of hard work and practice, maybe you could start by entering design competitions on the Internet and building a portfolio. If you have something unique you can offer then that could be your USP, which could land you with work.

As for templates, there will always be companies out there who prefer to do things cheaply, but templates very rarely do the job as well as a bespoke piece of artwork, logo or website. There will be other companies who want their brand to extend beyond the aesthetic a template can offer, so will seek a designer.

Hope this helps. There will always be demand for a good graphic designer, so if you're good at it then build on your existing skills and give it a go :icon_cheers:
Hi Marktea,

Thanks for so much for that. Its all very useful information that I will use. At the moment I am at the computer at every opporunity that I can get.

I've never had eyestrain in my life but realised that I had it yesterday/today. :icon_eek: I really need to be careful. Never realised I could get so injured doing work like this. Lol, and I haven't even started yet. :icon_notworthy:
It all depends on your market. Some people only want to pay for template/clip art quality work, others want good design that is bespoke to them or theiir company (unfortunately they often don't want to pay that much for it either!)

Whether you become a graphic designer rests on whether you are good enough creatively and have the correct skills (software, print etc.) to come up with a concept from a client's brief and then deliver it in the correct form (printed document, file format etc.)

Finding a client will be the next difficult step if you have little or nothing for prospective clients to look at. Good work should lead to other good work, but not always.

There are no magic wands, no easy way ins as lots of good, experienced, young and old designers are already standing in line. Some find their niche doing the work they want and like, others do what they can to pay the bills whatever the brief of budget.