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Earn More As A Graphic Designer - Here's How!

Top 10 ways to earn more as freelance graphic designer

Graphic designers understand not everything is #000000 & #FFFFFF so here are some colourful ideas to enhance your income flow.


Grab a cuppa and settle in for a few tips from a design team in the business for over 27 years. You're talented, you’re smart, people like you and if you're not good looking, you know how to use photoshop! 


You may have been brow-beaten by clients who feel "exposure" is a form of payment and question the value you bring to the table. Whether you've have had a formal education or honed your design ability through real life experience you have a creative vision and bring high value technical skills to the table. 


Take heart designers and in the words of the iconic Tim Gunn, Designers, make it work! 


We've learned over the years that clients who question what a designer brings to the table may need to learn the hard way that their nephew using MS Word and sites like "fiver"cranking out cheap knock offs will never replace a graphic designer.  You bring the multi layered value of styling a brand one pixel at a time to visual and technical perfection. 


Much like the mechanic with a car that always needs work, we seem to forget the need to do be our own best representation of our style so here are some tips to build your business by building your own brand. 


      • 1. Build a website that showcases your work with curated pages of real life work you've done for clients. Don't have enough client work to showcase? New designers and those new to freelancing wont have a lot to show so get busy creating mind work for fictional dream clients.  We find that industry specific artwork and case studies lead to engagement as you give new clients confidence that you understand their specific needs. 

      • 2. Print Business Cards and carry them at all times, we met one of our first clients in an elevator and that business cards was all we had to engage them.  Design and print the very best business card you can afford - your investment will be returned with your first clients! Clubcard offers Canada's very best selection of business cards to fit every budget and every style. 

      • 3. Create your own product line! We've seen a massive rise in artists and designers selling their original designs with fine art prints, shirts, mugs and a range of products. We have several clients who supplement their income with fine art print sales at booths, on their own sites and sites like ETSY.  It's easy to create your own fine art prints at Clubcard 

      • 4. Become a reseller with Clubcard Printing - Clubcard was founded by 2 graphic designers in 1994 so who else would you trust with your designs? Reselling provides your clients with a full service from design to print with a 20% discount off our online price that you keep as a part of your income flow that adds value and simplicity fro your client's. Don't delay,  sign up today!

      • 5. Yard Sale! Turn the lemons of rejected client work into lemonade. That cool pitch you made may have flown over their heads but that doesn't mean you need to trash it. Creating stock templates let's you get paid every time your work is sold on stock image sites - read more on this

      • 6. Get local - Find local Business Improvement Associations formed to promote and support local businesses. Just about every neighbourhood has a business association and many have budgets to design and print everything from event fliers to street banners and annual reports. Becoming the designer of choice for these groups exposes you to the board of directors who are business owners as all of the small business owners in the area of coverage.

      • 7. Know your worth! Lowballing devalues not just your work but the work of all designers.  You bring talent and skill to the table and if a client can't see that - it's time to say goodbye. If you decide to reduce your bill or donate your time ato a cause you believe in be sure to send an invoice for the full amount you would have charged with the amount zeroed out or reduced.  Graphic designers charge between $75 to $300 per hour as of 2022 with $100 per hour being the current average. Here’s a great resource for determining your rate for design work

      • 8. Enter design contests. Here is a time when working for free can really pay off. Many communities ask for the design of logos, street banners and marketing materials via competitions, and in some case the winner recicves a stipend.  There are also Internationally acclaimed design competitions that can propel you to global acclaim like these

      • 9. Get listed on Google! Local searches for graphic designers will be your bread and butter but unless your website has amazing SEO or you are very new you have an uphill on your hands.  Here's a great workaround, create a Google Business Page. Check out this video showing you how

      • 10. Volunteer For A worthy Cause! One way to gain traction in your community is to offer your services to a charitable cause you believe in. Not only will you help that organization with your skills, you should get a good shout out on social media, the attention of the board of directors can parly into work beyond the charity. 

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