Make more money as a graphic designer

Make More Money As a Graphic Designer

I know what you’re thinking. Whether you’re working as an in-house designer, or you’ve decided to go on your own as a freelance designer, it isn’t easy either way. You’ll find that a lot of companies and a lot of clients don’t want to pay you what you’re worth. This can be frustrating, especially after you’ve spent 40 or $50,000 on a degree in graphic design. It’s important to remember that how you carry yourself can have a big impact on your success. Let’s take a look at some things that you can do to help you make more money as a graphic designer.

Don’t work for free – Ever!

If you’re new to the business, or you’ve been around for a few years you’ll quickly realize that spec work will leave you poor in a hurry. There are many different forms of spec work. It’s important to recognize the different forms of spec work, so that you can avoid them and the disaster that they cause.

  • Not signing a contract.
  • Working in exchange for exposure.
  • Working in exchange for the promise of more work.
  • Working in exchange for payment later.
  • Working for friends and family.

If you avoid these different types of spec work, you have a better chance of being more successful. If you take yourself seriously, then your clients will, too. Spec work offers never go away. I’ve been in the business for a decade or more, and I still receive spec work offers on a weekly basis. Coming to terms with the fact that some just don’t appreciate the value of your work is just a part of our profession. Recognizing these types of people or businesses can keep you from having an empty wallet and a broken heart.

Continue to Refine Your Skills

Being a well-rounded designer can help you to acquire more types of work. Being able to handle print design projects, as well as web design projects can help you to take on more diverse projects, putting more money in your pocket. If you are good at writing, understanding copywriting and how to write sales copy can bring you more work as well.

Specialize in Certain Areas

The previous paragraph makes some good points, but it’s important to understand that you can’t be a jack of all trades and master of none. The best work comes from becoming one of the best in specific areas of our field. If you can do that, clients will come looking for you. If you continually knock projects out of the park in specific areas of design, a word of mouth will spread quickly about your services.

Stay up-to-date on trends

Everyone always wants to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to the latest design trends. When clients come looking for someone who can handle different styles and trends, it’s important that you understand how to deliver. If you can adapt to the ever-changing design trends and offer those in your services, clients will keep coming back. It is extremely important that you learn to evolve with our field in order to stay relevant.

Make more money as a graphic designer Attitude

Have the right attitude

The right attitude does make all the difference in our field, it just as it does in everything else. You have to have the confidence to keep people from jerking you around. Otherwise, you’ll waste your time with clients that will never end up paying you. Understanding when to send problem clients on their way and when to go after the good ones is something that will develop over time.

If you’re working as an in-house designer, this is just as important for you as well. It’s important to understand not to take just any old job. This could hurt your career more than you realize. Taking the wrong job may not only lead to your unhappiness, but it can lead to you getting fired. This could also lead to you not being able to get another job in our field without a lot of trouble. Not all design teams work well together. Finding the right company to work for will enable you to work on fulfilling projects that enhance your portfolio and further your career.

Making more money the practical way

I’ve covered the business side of things, as far as your business and relationships. However, there are also other opportunities for generating income as a graphic designer. Creating digital goods and selling them online is a great way to generate income.

Your Own Online store

With platforms such as WordPress and WooCommerce, you can create your own online store in a matter of days. With little know-how, you can create digital goods such as mockups, templates, and graphic files that businesses can use. Other designers may also buy these to fulfill low budget projects.

Selling digital goods in a marketplace

If you don’t feel like running your own online store, there are other platforms available. Graphic River, Theme Forest, Creative Market and other places online allow you to sell your digital goods. They may take a portion of the revenue, but they have a wider audience that actually comes looking for these types of products or services.

Join online service providers

You can also join different services online, such as People Per Hour, or Envato, where you can charge your preferred hourly rate in exchange for completing small tasks or providing specific services. This is especially good if you are great at specific tasks. You can offer to complete those tasks for a high hourly rate, generating a decent income when times are slow. Many of these sites allow you to determine whether or not you are available for work. When you have projects coming in you can disable these services, enabling you to focus on larger projects at hand.


As a graphic designer, there’s really no limit to the amount of money you can make. If you apply yourself, there is a wealth of opportunities available to you. If you know web design, you can build websites, including your own. Diversifying where your income is generated can help you to keep your income steady. This is essential for making it through the slow times. Do you have any tips you’d like to share on how to Make More Money As a Graphic Designer? If so, please share them in the comments section below.

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