If you’re the kind of person who appreciates a well-designed homepage on a website, then you’re probably a graphic designer at heart.
Whether it be an eye-catching Instagram post or a magazine ad for a local business, graphic designers use an artistic approach to compose engaging pieces of content that entice people to take action. And maybe you’ve been inspired by another designer’s work, which prompted you to find this article!
Don’t worry—if you have dreams of being a graphic designer, even if you have no experience—it’s a lot easier than you think.
What Does a Graphic Designer Do?
Before you download Photoshop and start amassing new clients, it’s good to understand what exactly a graphic designer does:
A graphic designer works in the graphic arts industry and uses typography, motion graphics, photos, and other design elements to create content for clients—particularly those in advertising and published or printed media.
On average, a graphic designer makes around $50,000 annually, but those who partake in freelance graphic design work stand to make a lot more. This is because, as a freelance graphic designer, you have the ability to set your own rates and work with a variety of clients, rather than being hired by just one company at a set rate. Now, you may be thinking that breaking into the graphic industry is tough or that you need a high level of skill to get started, but guess what? You don’t.
The only graphic design qualifications you need are a creative eye and a willingness to learn new applications and design methods. And above all, you need a solid plan to help you break into the industry.
Here’s a general outline of how to get into graphic design with no experience:
Build a Graphic Design Portfolio
Even though you may have no experience as a graphic designer, that doesn’t mean you can’t start building a portfolio of work that you can share with prospective clients.
For example, you can start by building your own designs and spec designs for brands or other companies you are interested in. Start by choosing five brands you love, and create five different graphic design assets for each one. These could be:
- Instagram posts
- A website homepage
- Product brochures
- Magazine Covers
Once you have the assets made, you can then share them with prospective clients and start picking up assignments!
Pro Tip: If you have limited skills in Photoshop or other high-end graphic design applications, Canva.com offers an easy-to-use platform that can take your graphic design skills to the next level. Check it out.
Don’t Be Afraid to Work for Free
With your new graphic design samples in hand, you can now offer your services to clients.
Now, keep in mind, that you are an amateur graphic design artist, so you don’t want to charge clients exorbitant amounts of money for a job. On the contrary, you want first to gain the experience of working with clients and creating design pieces on a deadline. So, rather than trying to get rich quick, don’t be afraid to work for free and build up your reputation.
Mainly, you want to volunteer your services or work at a cheap rate because you need to develop your creative style and skillset. On-the-job training is the best way to build confidence and learn through trial and error. But more importantly, when you start to work for others, you express your creative freedom, build your own projects and ideas, and bolster your portfolio with real work samples rather than specs.
After you’ve gained a few smaller clients or have built up your portfolio with real clients and designs, you can start freelancing on larger platforms that can bring you better opportunities.
Start Freelancing on Ndiwano
It can be hard to source graphic design jobs on your own, but with a freelance job platform like Ndiwano, you can create a profile and launch your graphic design business at your own pace.
Through different gig packages, you can create offerings to customers on a variety of tiers. For instance, you may want to consider lower price points at first to build up your reputation, and after you’ve accomplished so many jobs, you can slowly build your packages to a rate that’s commensurate with your work.
What’s even more impressive about Ndiwano, too, is the ability to continue educating yourself as a graphic designer through Ndiwano’s online courses. Learn from Ndiwano is a useful tool that can teach you new skills and give you tremendous insight into your industry. You’ll be able to learn new programs and enhance your business savvy as a freelancer, leading to more jobs and higher earnings.
Get Into the Habit of Being a Graphic Designer
Graphic designer qualifications are never out of reach when there are resources available to help kickstart your career as one.
All you need is a healthy perspective and the self-determination to develop your creativity. Experience will come as you keep progressing, but just as important as experience is getting into the habit of being a graphic designer every day. Take the time to design things for yourself, study others’ work you admire, network with other graphic designers online, and use Ndiwano to manage your work and get new clients.