Talent in graphic design is highly sought after since more and more businesses are integrating online. Ever since the pandemic, businesses have learned the importance of online presence and graphic design is becoming one of the better-paying remote jobs around the world.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 3% increase in graphic designer employment between 2021 and 2031, with an hourly median salary of $24.38. In Singapore, graphic designers can make anywhere from $3,000 all the way to $9,500 per month.
Clearly, there is a demand for such services.
From creating digital goods you can sell online to teaching graphic design classes, the discipline of graphic design offers a tonne of opportunities to create an additional revenue stream. If you are looking to build additional income through graphic designing, here’s a full breakdown guide to get started.
10 Graphic Design Side Hustle Ideas
These graphic design side hustle ideas should give you a rough idea of what you can do and how you can start right away:
- Sell Printables and Digital Downloads
- Offer Design Services on Freelancing Sites
- Start a Print-on-Demand (POD) Shop
- Offer Social Media Design Services
- Sell Your Graphic Design Templates & Kits
- Offer Logo Design Services
- Sell Your Illustrations, Art & Photography
- Teach Graphic Design Skills Online
- Offer Graphic Recording Services
- Create YouTube videos to Grow your Influence
1. Sell Printables and Digital Downloads
One of the easiest side hustles for graphic designers is to create printable templates, social media graphics, icons, fonts, and other digital downloads to sell online.
Here are some ideas for you to get started:
- Printable planners, calendars, journals
- T-shirt and apparel designs
- Social media templates
- Icons and graphics
- Invitation suites
- Crafting templates
- Resume, menu, and stationery templates
The startup costs are low (you can even start for free!), and once your shop is set up, it can be a passive income source as buyers download your products automatically.
Focus on trending topics and keep updating your shop with fresh designs to grow your passive earnings over time.
2. Offer Design Services on Freelancing Sites
The key is to set up a compelling profile highlighting your experience, skills, portfolios, and reviews.
Next, you will need to offer gigs for services like:
- Logo design
- Business branding
- Web/mobile design
- Social media graphics
- Business cards
Price your gigs competitively and deliver great work to earn 5-star reviews. This will help you build a reputation and attract recurring buyers over time.
If you want to level up fast, take advantage of platform features like badges, accelerated delivery, and packages to stand out.
Just know that the current market rate for such services can go from $25 to $150 per hour or $50 to $3,000 per service. So price yourself according to and satisfy your customer needs.
3. Start a Print-on-Demand (POD) Shop
- Phone cases
- custom merchandise
All you need to really do is upload images to their catalogs and sell the products online without any upfront inventory costs.
Whenever an order comes in, the POD company prints a one-off item and ships it directly to the customer for you.
As the designer, you earn a commission on each sale.
If you would like to legitimize the business, you could also integrate your POD shop with an E-commerce platform like Shopify to run a full online store under your branding. Promote your products heavily on social media and let the passive sales roll in.
4. Offer Social Media Design Services
Nearly every business today needs help designing and creating content for their social media platforms to gain brand awareness.
With more people looking into social media, here’s what your potential engagements are:
- Instagram (1.4 billion active users)
- Facebook (2.9 billion active users)
- Tiktok (1 billion active users)
- YouTube (2.2 billion active users)
As a graphic designer, you can cater to this demand by offering custom social media design services. These include creating:
- Social media banners
More than 50% of graphic designer make the bulk of their income from social media. Businesses are willing to pay a good salary for expert trend grabbers in the field.
If you have what it takes, sign up!
5. Sell Your Graphic Design Templates & Kits
Pre-made graphic design templates are very popular with entrepreneurs, small business owners, bloggers, and marketing teams looking to create content quickly.
You can create templates for social media posts, ads, logos, flyers, newsletters, reports, presentation decks, signage, packaging, and more using programs like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Canva.
To value add to your services, you can offer the templates in layered formats so buyers can easily customize and make changes as required.
6. Offer Logo Design Services
Professional logo design remains one of the most in-demand graphic design skills.
Everyone from small startups to Fortune 500 companies needs eye-catching and memorable logos to build their brand.
You can offer affordable logo packages on freelancing sites or through your website. Make sure to showcase logo samples and client testimonials to establish credibility.
Provide different variations and file formats as deliverables. Guide clients through your logo design process from conceptualization to delivery for great results.
7. Sell Your Illustrations, Art & Photography
You simply upload your illustrations, photos, vector images, and other artwork.
Whenever a buyer downloads your work for a project, you earn royalties.
The more content you upload, the higher your chances of passive sales. Plus your work gets a lot of exposure to millions of site visitors.
But before you choose to venture into this space, do remember to read the contributor guidelines carefully since different platforms may have different standards and requirements to optimize submissions.
8. Teach Graphic Design Skills Online
You can create courses on topics like typography, color theory, branding basics, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Canva tutorials, logo design, package design, and more.
Promote your classes heavily on social media and keep adding fresh content to retain students. When done correctly, you can potentially earn substantial passive income from each enrollment while building your brand as an educator.
9. Offer Graphic Recording Services
Graphic recording (also called sketch noting) involves making hand-drawn visual representations of meetings, conferences, workshops, and presentations.
It is an emerging niche gaining popularity across many industries.
As a graphic designer skilled in visual storytelling and illustrations, you can offer your graphic recording services to corporate clients planning events and meetings.
Your job is to attend their sessions to create drawings summarizing key ideas, insights, and concepts in real time.
This provides great value to your clients for memory retention and engagement.
10. Create YouTube Videos to Grow Your Influence
Now if you have what it takes to teach and be comfortable on camera, why not start a YouTube account?
YouTube provides a platform to teach graphic design skills to a wide audience through free video tutorials. Your expertise could help attract fellow aspiring graphic designers and potential clients, all these while you’re growing your reputation and influence. I believe it’s a great win-win!
Dena Nguyen started her YouTube journey 5 years ago sharing her life experience as a graphic designer. By being consistent with her posting, she amassed over 80k followers on YouTube and teaches other how to start as a graphic designer.
By growing on YouTube, after being eligible for the YouTube Partner Program, you can consistently earn ad revenue from Google and possibly make other sources of revenue such as brand sponsorships and endorsements.
How to Launch Your Graphic Design Side Projects in 5 Easy Steps?
Are you excited to be a graphic designer?
As a graphic designer, creating a side business may be a rewarding way to:
- Express your creativity
- Grow your portfolio
- Of course, to make additional money
But if you are starting out this side hustle as a beginner, there are steps and measures you need to understand before embarking. These five actions will assist you in getting started:
1) Identify Your Target Market and Services:
Choose the precise graphic design services that you want to provide as a side business. Start with these easier graphic design side hustles:
- Print materials
- Social media graphics
- Website design
- Business branding
- Logo design
These services are currently in high demand and some of them do pay really well. You can promote your services through a freelancing platform or LinkedIn to see what clicks.
Determine who your target market is by industry, specialty, or particular design requirements.
You can better focus your marketing efforts and draw in the proper customers by being aware of your offerings and target market.
2) Develop Your Resume
Build a compelling portfolio to highlight your talents and skills in design. Provide a variety of work that demonstrates your proficiency in various graphic design fields. To demonstrate your skills, think about working on personal or fake projects if you’re just getting started and don’t have many customers. Ensure that your online portfolio is readily accessed by using a website or online services like Dribbble or Behance.
3) Create an Online Identity
Establish an internet presence to advertise your graphic design side business. Create a polished website that features your services, displays your portfolio, and has your contact information. Use social networking sites like LinkedIn or Instagram to showcase your work, interact with your target audience, and draw in new business. To show off your experience and establish trust, add fresh projects, case studies, and testimonials to your website on a regular basis.
4) Establish Your Procedures and Prices
Establish your price schedule for the various design services you provide. Examine industry norms and take into account variables like the project’s complexity, your expertise level, and the time and effort needed. Provide precise procedures for managing projects, communicating with clients, and onboarding new hires. To safeguard both you and your customers, draft contracts or agreements that specify the specifics of the project, the timetable, the conditions of payment, and the ownership rights.
5) Network and Market
Make use of networking and focused marketing to draw attention to your side project. Inform the people in your current network about the services you provide. To network with other experts and possible customers, take part in online forums, join design groups, and attend industry events. To increase your reach, think about joint ventures or partnerships with firms that complement yours. Actively interact with your target audience on social media by posting insightful articles, giving advice on design, or taking part in pertinent conversations.
Utilize Your Creativity to Make Money with Side Jobs
As a graphic designer, you may follow your passion, show off your skills, and make money doing what you love by creating a side business. You may create a lucrative side gig that works in tandem with your full-time job with commitment, a solid portfolio, and smart marketing.
The demand for talented graphic designers continues to grow rapidly. By starting a side hustle and leveraging your design skills, you can earn a substantial second income stream working on your terms.
The opportunities are endless no matter your skill level or interests. With a combination of freelancing, passive income products, and offering services, you can build multiple income sources over time.
Starting is the hardest part. Choose a monetization model aligned with your expertise and begin creating value for your first customers. As you gain momentum, keep expanding your services for more earnings.
With some consistent effort and smart strategy, your graphic design side hustle can blossom into a five or even six-figure business allowing you to earn more while doing work you love.
Can I do graphic design as a side hustle?
Absolutely! Many graphic designers successfully pursue graphic design as a side hustle. It allows you to explore your creative passion, build a portfolio, and earn additional income. Ensure effective time management and balance with your primary commitments to make the most of your side hustle.
How to earn passive income with graphic design?
Generating passive income in graphic design involves creating assets like stock graphics, templates, or digital products that can be sold repeatedly. Consider platforms like online marketplaces, where your designs can be purchased multiple times, providing a steady stream of income with less ongoing effort.
Can graphic designers make a lot of money?
Graphic designers can earn a substantial income, especially with experience and a strong portfolio. Factors like skill level, specialization, and the ability to market oneself impact earnings. Freelancers may set their rates, and those working in established agencies can also command competitive salaries.
Can you live off of graphic design?
Yes, many graphic designers make a comfortable living. However, factors such as location, experience, and demand for your skills play a role. Diversifying income streams, like freelancing, full-time positions, or passive income, can contribute to a stable living.
Are graphic design jobs declining?
the demand for graphic design jobs was generally stable. However, industry trends may shift, so it’s essential to stay updated on market demands and adapt your skills accordingly.
Why is it so hard to get a graphic design job?
Competition in the graphic design field is fierce. A saturated market and the need for a standout portfolio, relevant skills, and networking can make it challenging. Continuous skill development and a strong online presence can increase job prospects.
Do graphic designers have a future?
Yes, graphic designers continue to play a vital role in various industries, especially with the increasing importance of digital media. Evolving technologies may change the nature of the work, but adaptation and upskilling can ensure a bright future for graphic designers.
What are the disadvantages of being a graphic designer?
Disadvantages may include tight deadlines, client expectations, and occasional periods of high stress. The industry’s subjective nature may also lead to differing opinions on design choices, requiring adaptability and effective communication.
How do I know if graphic design is for me?
If you enjoy creative problem-solving, have an eye for design, and can handle constructive criticism, graphic design might be a good fit. Try taking courses, freelancing, or interning to gain hands-on experience and assess your passion for the field.
Why are graphic designers paid less?
Compensation can vary based on factors like location, experience, and negotiation skills. Additionally, the rise of freelancers and online platforms has increased competition, influencing pricing. Building a strong portfolio and effectively communicating your value can positively impact your earning potential.