Graphic design is a highly thriving marketplace. The recent rise of digital marketing has given a massive increase to the graphic design field. With the advent of various new design software, it is getting increasingly easy for people to take up graphic design. All they need is a decent internet connection, a computer system and lots of free time. This is why freelancing portals such as Upwork, Freelancer, and others are overflowing with graphic designers. Amongst all this, it is getting increasingly difficult for graphic designers to find good quality and high-paying jobs.
As a graphic designer, it always helps to have a long-term retainer contract. But these are not easy to get. Hence a designer always needs to be on the lookout for better opportunities, be it in terms of short-term logo design assignments or branding, or even digital marketing design support. Following are some good avenues for graphic designers to earn extra money:
1) Design Website Elements or Icons:
There are over 200 million websites on the Internet right now. Each website owner wants their website to stand out from the crowd and fetch them more visitors and more revenue. One good way of customizing their website is through using highly creative website elements or icons. This is where graphic designers can step up and deliver. You can start creating creative and trending sets of website elements and icons. It can be in the form of website headers, buttons, menus, and various icons. You can have your own website selling these elements or utilize third-party platforms like Freepik, Shutterstock, etc. Once you have a huge bulk of website elements and Icons ready, then you can create your own website and put them on sale over there.
2) Comics and Graphic Novels:
The demand for comics and graphic novels has been increasing over the last few years. As a graphic designer, you can make the most of this new trend. There are two ways to go about this. Either you can approach an already existing comics or graphic novels set up and provide your services there at a good cost. Or you can create your own comic or graphic novel. This will not be an easy task as you will have to figure out the characters, the storyline and keep coming up with new content. For creating the characters, you can use Illustrator. There are many other tools and software that can help you fast-track the creation of comic books. If things work out well, you can also set up your own team of illustrators, content writers, and marketers to make this into a profitable venture.
3) Designing Beautiful Colour Books:
According to Forbes, over 12 million adult coloring books are sold every year, making it a multi-million dollar industry. Along with children, the market for coloring books is opened to adults as well. More and more people are taking this up as a hobby. Creating mandalas for coloring is also considered therapeutic and is now recommended by many professionals. As a designer, you can add value to this by developing highly creative coloring books. This can be in the form of detailed mandalas, natural landscapes, or majestic animal kingdoms. From a design point of view, this task is not highly challenging; rather, it gives you a greater creative bandwidth to develop highly engaging coloring books.
4) Developing New Fonts:
There is always a demand for new and creative fonts. Gone are the days when people used to restrict themselves to Times New Romans. Now they want exclusive fonts for their designs. A lot of bigger companies are now getting dedicated fonts designed for their use. At this time, graphic designers have a lot of opportunities to exploit. You can start by tweaking existing fonts to create a set of new fonts or even create fonts from scratch. The good idea is to pick up various genres and create fonts for them, like fonts for Sports, fonts for travel, fonts for food, etc. There are many websites on which you can sell these fonts.
5) Developing Emojis and Stickers:
We all love using creative emojis. They have, in a way, changed the way we chat with each other. Every other day new keyboards are being released by developers that are loaded with fun emojis. For graphic designers, this world is highly unexplored, and therefore there is a lot of scope in it. You can play around with the simpler yellow color emojis or go after your favorite cartoon characters and make emojis out of them. One good way of designing stickers is to pick up trending topics such as current affairs, movie releases, or whatever is in the news. You can launch these emojis or stickers as packs or sell them to customized keyboard makers.
6) Printable Wall Art:
The global home decor market is seeing a good rise as it continues to grow over 20% a year. It has led to a revolution in the drop-shipping companies that are ready to offer you thousands of products for your home, including custom printed designs. One of the products that are high in demand is printed wall arts. This can be in the form of wallpapers or even framed art pieces. This demand is good news for graphic designers as they can express their creative sides by designing stunning digital art pieces. These could be in the form of movie posters, abstract designs, retro art, or even minimal designs that would enhance the beauty of homes. There are hundreds of such design websites where you can get registered and start designing printable wall arts.
7) Developing Amazing GIFs & Memes:
We are living in the decade of GIFs.They are getting more and more prominent in usage and acceptance. The growing demand fuels its need. But more importantly, making GIFs is so much fun. There is a common misconception that graphic designers work only on static images. That is far from the truth, as many designers are proficient with basic video editing skills. Photoshop also offers a good way of making videos. As graphic designers, it would be a lot of fun to work and earn by churning out GIFs and Memes. However, you can not do it just for your own fun. You would want to find a good source where you can convert your skills of making GIFs and Memes into money. There are a lot of websites and other digital platforms that you can explore for this purpose.
8) Create a Design Blog Website:
Today the majority of graphic designers thrive on design blog websites. These websites offer them insights into the latest trends in graphic design. They are full of knowledge as they include how-to or tutorial videos. Apart from that, they also house a lot of resources on them which come very handy to the graphic designers. It would be a good idea for you to get on the other side of the table and develop your own blog that provides these resources. You can either create your own website from scratch or use several available WordPress themes to develop the website quickly. You can divide the content into various sections like design inspirations, tutorial blogs, listicles about resources, latest design trends, and even put up your own designs for sale on it.
9) Teach Graphic Designing:
For senior graphic designers who have spent a good amount of time executing design projects, converting their knowledge into an engaging course is a wonderful idea. Given the pandemic and work-from-home routine, people are getting extra time to pick up several skills online. Graphic design is a highly useful skill that a lot of people want to develop. Hence the market and target audience are set well for you. You will need a certain set of resources like a camera or any other recording device and a good microphone. Your courses can vary from graphic design starter course to detailed courses on photoshop or Illustrator. Then you can set these courses for sale on websites like Coursera or Udemy and earn money out of them.
10) Create YouTube Channel:
One good alternative to graphic design courses is creating your own YouTube Channel. There is a lot of money that you can earn by creating good quality videos on graphic design. Again you will need a set of resources, but they would not be as demanding as the ones you need for creating an entire graphic design course. Your focus should be on creating small 10 minute videos, touching upon short graphic designing issues. It could be something like how to remove background from an image or how to design perfect fonts. Once you get good followers on your YoutTube channel, you can start running ads to earn money. Over time you can start reviewing products or software as that can be a good source of income.
11) Start Selling Merchandise:
If you are looking to expand your horizons beyond graphic designing, one good option is selling particular merchandise. Your designing skills will also prove to be quite handy in this. There are a lot of options for you to start with, like T-shirts, printable wall arts, and, most popular of all – customized products. There is a huge demand for these kinds of products. The Internet is flooded with websites providing such selling services. All you need to do is to sign up on these portals and start designing and selling your products. It can help determine the whole process and replicate it by creating your own website and creating your own merchandise. You may have to tie up with local vendors for this, but the profit margins will get really high.
12) Enroll in Freelancing Portals:
One of the best ways of having a constant flow of income is registering yourself on a good freelancing portal. One of the best ones out there is Upwork. There are many other platforms like Designhill, Toptal, Fiver, and others. For designers, there are altogether separate portals which you should make the most of. DesignBro, CrowdSpring, 99Design, Designcrowd, etc., are some of the good ones worth having your presence. You will need to set up a strong profile so as to attract more work. It helps to develop a good portfolio file to show to potential clients. Include the best of your projects in this. The good part about these portals is that they try to secure the payments for you. So you can rest assured that you will be paid for your work.
It is always good to have a variety of income sources, no matter what your profession is. For graphic designers, this is getting easier day by day as their demand is increasing. By making the most of the digital marketing wave, they can enhance their skills and widen their reach. By doing this, they can surely make some good money.