How to Start a Graphic Design Business with Your Skills?

According to IBISWorld (2020), there were 16,823 businesses in the graphic and design industry in the USA in 2019. Moreover, the global graphic designers market size is over $45.8 billion in 2021. Truly, the graphic design industry is rapidly growing around the world hence, graphic design skills are in demand and also on the rise. Starting a graphic design service business is not going to be easy but having good graphic design skills is going to be a big help. If you already have graphic design business ideas, you just have to strengthen them and make the most out of your skills to make your ideas come to life and thrive in the graphic design industry.

What are the benefits of starting a graphic design business?

There are several benefits to starting your own graphic design business such as:

1. Potential to generate income from selling your services and products.

Needless to say, starting a graphic design business will help you generate income from selling your services and products online. It can give you a good source of money that you can use for further investments or taking your business to the next level. This income could also help your family or people you are supporting financially.

2. Creative freedom

For artists, creative freedom is very important and it is one of the guaranteed benefits of starting your own graphic design business. Having your own graphic design business will allow you to freely express yourself with your art without worrying about your superiors and bosses. You are the boss of your business hence you get to have creative freedom over your work and you get to decide what to do and how you turn your ideas into visuals. Creative freedom means being able to express yourself creatively without restrictions.

3. Having control over your own schedule

Another benefit of having your own graphic design business is being able to create your own schedule. Being your own boss, you get to decide when and what time you work on your projects. You have a flexible schedule so you can work anytime you want just as long as you get the job time. You get to choose what time you are most productive and start creating your design during those times. With your own graphic design business, you are not worried about coming late or being a burden to other people since you control your time and schedule.

4. Develop your artistic skills and create something unique that speaks to you.

Offering graphic design services in your own business means being able to hone and upgrade your

skills. You get to create something unique that ultimately speaks to you. You can design visuals that are your brand and vision. You get to develop your skills and grow as a graphic designer.

What qualifications do you need to become a self-employed graphic designer?

To be a self-employed graphic designer, you first need to possess the following qualifications:

1. Basic design principles

The first quality you need to have is the knowledge of basic design principles. Basic design principles include balance, contrast, emphasis, hierarchy, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity, and white space. These principles are prerequisites for you to have and master in order to know the most basic aspects of graphic design.

2. Typography

Aside from the basic design principles, you must have skills in typography. Typography includes the appearance, style, and structure of a text or copies in your visuals. It is the art of making the letters and text in artwork to be legible, visually pleasing, concise, and clear.

3. Color Theory

Color theory is a set of guidelines that graphic designers utilize to convey their ideas to people through the use of appealing color schemes and visual aesthetics. To be a self-employed graphic designer, you must have a knack for seeing what colors work best for your artwork, the colors that work well together, and the contexts such as human optical ability, psychology, and culture that can affect your color choices. 

4. Strong problem-solving skills

You need to have strong problem-solving skills when venturing in business, you may encounter several issues so you must be equipped on how to solve them seamlessly and efficiently.

5. Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Without a doubt, you must have excellent skills in written and verbal communication. Having these skills is one if not the most important as you need to write down your ideas in a compelling way and be able to communicate them effectively for everyone to understand. You will also need these skills in dealing with your customers and clients.

6. Time management

As a self-employed, you must always be able to keep track of your time and be able to manage it seamlessly so as to not affect your productivity at work. You must be cautious of your time and have a sense of responsibility in finishing your outputs on schedule.

7. Knowledge of using graphic design tools.

You cannot be a graphic designer if you do not have any knowledge of using graphic design tools. There are various tools that you can utilize to make design easier and faster. Such are logo background removers, illustration generators, pre-made design templates, auto infographic generators, etc. It is an important attribute to be resourceful and knowledgeable of various graphic design tools in order to create a smooth-flowing and streamlined graphic design business.

How to Start a Graphic Design Business with Your Skills

The following are ways to a graphic design business with your skills:

1. Identify Your Niche

First, you must identify who your niche or target market is. Being in business means knowing who your business is trying to cater to. Knowing your niche market means knowing what they need and providing them with your services. Your niche market could be businesses that specialize in health products, Gen Z’s who are active on Twitter and are huge fans of pop music artists like Taylor Swift or Katy Perry, or middle-aged businessmen who need help in creating graphics for their social media pages. Whoever your niche is, you have to get to know them in order to effectively give what they need and generate income from it in exchange.

2. Develop a Business Plan

Second, you must have a business plan. Business plans have several steps but to summarize them, you must first define your business and what it is all about. Second, you must know who your target audience is. Third, you must know the things that will impact your business. Fourth, you must develop a competitive strategy against other companies and lastly project your own financial performance for your business’ sustainability.

3. Get the Necessary Equipment and Software 

Afterward, you must have the correct equipment and software in order for you to start showcasing your graphic design skills and turning them into an end product. You must have a computer, a desktop, or a laptop that can handle your designing software and file sizes. Next, you must have the necessary software or applications that you will utilize in making your ideas into visual designs or media such as a remove bg tool that lets you remove the background of your images.

4. Create an Online Presence 

Being in the digital and social media age, you must have an online presence in order to attract more customers and clients. You have to put your work out there for people to know you. You have to put your contact information out in the public to let people know how they can reach out to you or communicate with you to avail of your services. Having an online presence allows you to build networks and connections with your possible customers and clients in the future.

5. Network with Other Designers and Professionals 

To kickstart your business, you must have a great network with other graphic designers and professionals in the industry as they will help you get your customers and clients that may need the line of services that you offer. Moreover, this network could lead you to more opportunities and allow you to grow your businesses efficiently. Lastly, your network could also enhance your skills in order to attract more customers.

6. Establish Rates for Services 

You need to determine the pricing of your services. You have to do research and know how much your services cost in order to survive in this competitive industry. You have to know your value and worth and let your graphic design skills speak for themselves. 

7. Start Advertising Your Services 

You must start advertising your services may it be online through your social media pages or websites or offline through your connections or promo materials such as flyers or posters. Making the public know that you have a business is the start of getting possible clients and generating income in the process.

8. Reach Out to Potential Clients 

You will need to reach out to potential clients to start having something to work on. This client will be crucial to you as you are just starting your business so make sure to make the best out of your designs.

9. Keep Up With Trends in Graphic Design 

You need to be updated on the current trends in graphic design such as new software or design trends. These trends will help you have an edge against your competitors and make you up to date with the current happenings which companies and clients like. Moreover, you need to be quick as trends usually come and go and you must be able to utilize them during the time that they are still relevant and have the hype.

10. Offer Additional Services to Increase Revenue Streams  

You can choose to offer additional services in your graphic design business. These services must also need to be in line with your skills and interests so you will not have difficulty in fulfilling them.

11. Protect Yourself with Contracts and Licensing Agreements  

You must be cautious with the contracts you are reading and signing. You must be wary of licensing agreements and not let yourself get taken advantage of. You must be smart and sharp in this competitive industry. Your contracts can ruin your hard work in your business so you must be extra careful in dealing with them.

12. Utilize Social Media Platforms to Promote Your Work.

Lastly, you must make the most out of all the social media platforms to promote your work. You can use Facebook and start creating a public Facebook page or community group. You can use Instagram and make your own account and feed. You can do it on YouTube and create your own channel. You can do it on Twitter, or on TikTok. Whatever platform you choose, your promo materials must showcase the best of your abilities to attract as many customers as possible. Social media platforms are free and cheap mediums you can use to boost your graphic design business.

Find more resources on – Best Photo Design and Editing Apps


All in all, starting a graphic design business with your skills is doable and can be made easy with passion and dedication. There are several benefits to having your own graphic design business that can surely motivate you to do the necessary steps in starting your business journey. There are also necessary qualifications you need to be able to start and thrive in this industry. Lastly, there are ways in which you can turn your graphic design business ideas into reality which this article discussed above.

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