Talented Amateur has got some Questions


New Member
Okay so I am 16 years old and am quite good with designing and photoshop. I have quite a few questions to ask you people, and any responses or advice will be greatly appreciated.

1. Making Money
I have been searching the web lately for basically freelance work, but on a smaller scale with lower pay but most of all lower expectations. This is because I think I am quite good at designing and would really like to make a bit of extra cash from it. Over the past years I have made numerous logos, banners and signatures for people on (mainly gaming) forums and all without asking for anything in return. Well now I feel my skills are at least descent enough to make a bit of money out of.

So my first question is, does any1 know of any sites which allow people to post requests, but are aimed at the smaller companies or people and would be fitting for an amatuer to work from?

I am really only looking for small money, because I know my quality is not up to the standards of those who do graphics full time. But is this a good thing? I have heard that lower rates atract a lot of scams?

2. Copyright
Obviously now that I am looking into getting paid for my graphics I assume everything becomes alot more serious regarding copyright etc. I have heard some people say that they will "transfer the copright ownership over to the buyer on completion" or something like that. What does that mean? Or if I have made something for someone and they have paid me for it, can I just send them it and that will be the end of it?

3. Experience
At the moment I only know about photoshop, and I have used it for several years. One thing I have come across is people requesting logos to be in INdesign format? Do you recommend that I learn this program in order to successfully make money out of graphics? Also, I know photoshop is a pixel based program, and I assume that logos would preferably be made on a vector one, which is the best/most common vector program used to make logos?

Another note on the experience. I am planning to do something in the field of graphics or IT when I am older and will probably take something like computer science at university but I was wondering how much experience it is recommended that you have before going to university on the chosen topic. Becuase I consider myself to be better than the average 16 year old on photoshop but is that good enough? Also, will knowing too much about graphics and graphics programs before going to uni be a bad thing when you actually come to learn about it in class?

Hopefully you have read at least some of that and can give me some feedback :D

Also if any1 disagrees with anything I have said or anything I am planning to do and wants to give me some good advice I would highly appreciate it.

Thankyou very much ;)
I'll go through each of your points:
1. Good luck with finding work - that's what we all attempt to do on a daily basis, whether a student (studying design and trying to build up a commercial portfolio) or established designer that is doing it professionally.
There are many freelance design sites that allow small companies to request designers to work on their projects, but these are often oversubscribed allowing the client to get what they want for absolute minimum amount of money.
There are also design competitions where a brief is posted and the winner 'earns'/wins $250 if their logo is selected. Again, oversubscribed, but if you do enough of them then you may get probability on your side!

2. Copyright (in a basic nutshell) is the law that says you can't physically copy a piece of artwork/logo/painting/photo i.e you can't scan, photograph/reproduce it without permission from the owner/client.
Design right is something else. As a designer a contract usually spells out what is owned/transferred to the client once they pay the full amount for the work. It is usual for the designer to 'hand over ' design rights once they're received payment with or without a contract - it's your job, what do you want to do with a logo after you've designed it for someone else?
Contracts allow you to build in clauses that allow you to own any of the concept/development work leading up to sign off, which can potentially be re-worked for other clients.

3. InDesign isn't for designing logos in, nor is Photoshop! Illustrator, Freehand or CorelDraw(spit) are your best bet, creating vector work and not bitmapped/resolution-based files. What's the difference? I believe BossHog has sticky post on this subject on here.

IT/computer science isn't design or really the right way to approach a career in design.
Go to college, forget you know anything and just LEARN! Unless you've had formal design training already, your experience level is probably limited (no offence! what did I know at 16?)

Get yourself on a foundation course, try all types of art and design before specialising. Then you'll be better equipped at making choice between doing design or wondering about IP addresses and subrouters!
Thankyou very much pcbranding for replying.

Just a few questions about your post though.

1. Thanks for the insight, I have been searching high and low for these kind of websites (not the competition ones, just the request ones) and have found a couple but they are not really busy or have many recent posts. If you had any in mind I would highly appreciate you linking me to one or a few ;)

2. Copyright, does this apply to fonts too? I have been sticking to the standard ones lately such as arial because I don't want to risk using any others incase I get into trouble. Are fonts (free ones by the way) copyrighted?
Also you say about handing over design rights, how do I actually do this?

3. Okay, so I may just stick to things other than logos since I only have photoshop. Although, one positive of smaller companies making requests for small cash may be that they know what size they want it and so it will be need to be resized and so a pixel logo may be fine.

I said computer science only because I know I want to have a career with computers :D I am not set on design, but it does seem to be where my talent lies in the field of IT. And as for experience, I would definitely not say that I am amazing or any where near it at photoshop or design but I would say I have been using photoshop for roughly 4 years (I can thank my brother for that :D) on and off.

But then again I am quite good at Maths so I could go into programming etc. But anyway I have plenty of time to figure out my career choice.

My main aim right now is to see if I can find a website where I can put my skills to good use, and get a little extra cash at the same time (may seem a bit shallow, but hey I've got to eat :D)