Your Road-Map to a Freelance Graphic Design Career

If you are considering making a career change and branching out into a freelance graphic design career, how can you get started? If you have no graphic design training or experience, what do you need to do to add this to your repertoire of services offered? Looking to add graphic design to your list of talents? Here is a road-map to follow:

Start with Artistic Training

Whether through your local college or community courses, you need to get a basic understanding of artistic principles. While graphic design is largely digital, the same artistic principles apply. Art and design courses or training will give you the foundation for a better understanding of graphic design.

Follow with Digital Training

Graphic design requires an understanding of basic design software. If you don’t have this knowledge, you will need to gain it. Look at your local library for free or low-cost courses in some of the more popular graphic design programming. Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, InDesign, JavaScript, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe PageMaker are all software systems that graphic designers must understand. Once you know how to use the software and have a basic understanding of art, it’s time to learn the details of graphic design.

Consider a Graphic Design Degree

A degree in graphic design will give you a significant advantage as you look for jobs. If you already have a degree, adding graphic design to it may only require a few additional courses. While an associate’s degree or specialty training may help you land some freelance positions as you build your portfolio, a bachelor’s degree is often considered the entry level qualification for this field. Look into ways you can add this credential to your resume.

Build Your Portfolio

One of the best pieces of advice those looking for a freelance graphic design career can embrace is to build an effective, well-rounded portfolio. A strong portfolio is often the key to landing a freelance gig when your work is being compared to other designers. Take the time to apply what you have learned to build a portfolio that shows your range of talents.¬† If you don’t have clients, building a portfolio is challenging, but necessary. Consider items you can build for yourself, contests you can design for and non-profits you can donate your talents to as you build your portfolio.

Once you have the basic training and a solid portfolio, you are ready to enter the market and start promoting yourself. After landing a few gigs, and doing the job well, you may find that word of mouth advertising becomes one of your biggest assets.

Contact us today to learn more self employment advice as you seek to advance your career.

Hungry for more reading? Check out 4 Essential Skills for Freelance Graphic Designers.

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