How to Start a Graphic Design Career Online

How to Start a Graphic Design Career Online

A graphic designer is someone who combines colors, pictures, fonts, and texts to create unique visual images that convey information about companies, brands, or events.

What Graphic Designers Do

They create visual content to communicate brand messages. However, graphic design extends beyond establishing identity and brand recognition. It can be very effective at attracting attention and encouraging one’s audience to want to learn more. It also can be employed to produce visual aids that can better help businesses communicate ideas.

So, by applying visual hierarchy and page layout techniques, designers use typography and pictures to meet users’ specific needs and focus on the logic of displaying elements in interactive designs, to optimize the user experience.

These images are made either by hand or with online, computer-based tools and are usually memorable and easy to find and read.

The Advantages of Online Graphic Design

Graphic design is one of the best careers you can choose to pursue and achieve location and financial freedom because the job is digital. Remote options are plentiful and more businesses are opting to use the skills of a great graphic designer, today than ever before due to the demand for online presence. 

Is Graphic Design a Dying Career?

Contrary to what many people think, graphic design isn’t dying. Recent research has indicated that jobs for graphic designers are estimated to grow 13% by 2021, with the digital segment set to grow by an incredible 61%. Much of this growth will be specifically targeted at freelance designers with companies and startups looking for strong, reliable talent that is willing to work on-demand.

The Disadvantages of Online Graphic Design

It’s All About Deadlines 

It can be stressful to meet deadlines which is more like a 9-5 job.

Getting Started as an Online Graphic Designer

Choose a Profitable Niche

Below are profitable graphic design niches to choose from:

  • Logo creation Advertising
  • Marketing campaigns such as social media images. 
  • Web design and app development.

Name Your Graphic Design Business.

While there is a range of things you’ll want to consider when naming your Graphics Designing business, here are the three most important tips: 

  • Create a Tone and Personality in your Graphic Designing business Name.
  • Have timeliness in your Graphic Designing business name. 
  • Be appealing and relevant to your target audience. 

Double-check to see if the name isn’t already taken by doing a search online with your business name idea. A service like will search over 100 services to see if a name is taken.

This step is critical for Branding purposes. You’ll also want to have a social media presence on networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

All You Need is a Great Tool(s)

You do not necessarily need to study formally to become a designer, you just need to know your way around a great graphic design software(s). 

There are many companies that offer easy-to-use design tools, empowering you to create stunning, professional-quality designs even as a beginner. Some are subscription-based, some are free, or a combination of both. 

While free graphic design software won’t give you a plethora of fancy features like software such as Adobe’s CC or Affinity’s software, you may find that with the right combination of free tools such as Gimp and Canva, you can do almost any design job. You can easily get free tutorials on how to use these tools like a pro online. 

I personally use and love Canva. It’s more ideal for branding and saves time. So if you’re a graphic designer that helps with branding, then try Canva. They have a free version, but the paid version, which is as little as $12.99 per month will help you more. Canva does not only offer dozens of graphic design templates to choose from, it’s user-friendly. All you need to do is to add photos and freely customize your design to suit your needs. 

Find and Study Design Resources

There are lots of online graphic design courses that can help you hone your design talents, offered by universities, graphic design experts, and online course hubs like Udemy. These can help you succeed as a graphic designer. 

As you gain skills and experience, you become more marketable and can find more niche opportunities like front-end development or user experience  (UX) design.

Start Working on a Project

It is time to find your first graphic design clients. Where do you find graphic design clients? You may ask. 

Upwork and Fiverr

Set Your Pricing

The first common rule of thumb for setting designing rates is that the hourly fee for consultants and designers should be between 2 and 2.5 times the hourly equivalent of that work in a salaried role. The result of this formula is slightly more than two times the hourly equivalent.

However, as a beginner, you may start charging $40 / hour and just see how it works out. 

Create a High-Quality Portfolio Site

As a graphic designer, your portfolio is the “best self” you present to the world. It’s very important to write a killer copy for your portfolio. When you create a well-thought portfolio, you get the opportunity to demonstrate to potential clients what kind of work you can do, and your portfolio itself is a project you can use to showcase your skills.

Educate Your Potential Clients

There are many ways to educate your potential clients. Below are a few ways to choose from:


PDF reports


Email courses


Social media



Provide Proof and Testimonials

Testimonials are blurbs of praise that your clients send, expressing their honest opinions about the work you provide for them.

They’re like a product review, except the “product” is you or your services, and not an actual product. What a testimonial offers that your own copy can’t is a little thing called ‘social proof.’ This will help you to earn trust and credibility, and contribute to the success of your business. 

Deliver High-quality Projects on-time

As a graphic designer and online entrepreneur, your reputation is everything. If you become known as someone who can’t meet deadlines or deliver poor quality work, your entire business could be on the line. It is therefore important to ensure that you remain organized and deliver high-quality projects on time. 

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