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The Business of Graphic Design

Updated on June 27, 2011

In the beginning....

            Well I guess I should start with my history and my credentials in this first article. To start with I have an Associate in Multimedia, an Associate in General Business, and two certifications. The first is in Supervision and the second is in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship – always hate spelling that word, too many E’s. Anyways, that is my educational background. As per my other qualifications, I run my own freelance graphic design business; Vanderburg Graphic Productions (see the link below). This business was registered on May 15th, 2009 but has been in operation since late 2008. I have also run other entrepreneurial ventures on Second Life (Linden Research Inc.) since January 28th, 2008. Among those is a virtual version of my real life company. I have taken formal classes as well as informal research online on business and graphic design. With that being said, let’s move on to the first of hopefully many insights into the world of a freelance graphic designer.

The Owner of This Hub
The Owner of This Hub

How to get started in graphic design

            Let’s start with the basics to have a good small business you need four things; Low overhead (running expenses), a good idea, some experience in the field your entering (in this case graphic design), and capital to back the idea. Unfortunately when I started my business I didn’t know this and so I was a bit low on cash when I started out – and still am when writing this article. However, these four things still hold true. In the case of graphic design I recommend if you are going to be freelancing for bigger businesses then you will need a Bachelor’s degree. I am finding that out the hard way. That is part of the reason I’m writing this hub.

            Some of the other things you will need are someone or something to keep you motivated. In my case it is a drive to create beautiful artwork that will I feel will fulfill my true potential, or what I think is my true potential. It is also a good idea to take something your passionate about and combine or use those things to your advantage. For example, I am very passionate about artwork and computers. Therefore, I took those passions and found a field of work that combined both. I have found that Graphic design is more than just artwork it is a whole subset of the business world. It ranges from artwork to advertising to web sites to brand establishment. It is basically the back bone of an entire business even if you aren’t in the graphic design field with your business, With that being said, if you are in the graphic design business my experience has shown that you are going to have to work doubly hard as you will need to advertise your business as well as work for others if you are going to make any money.

            So is the quandary of the freelance graphic designer. You need to constantly be looking for work, networking and advertising all at the same time. It is a delicate balance between doing your own thing and doing stuff for others. The goal of business as I’m sure you may have heard is to make a profit, unless you’re a non-profit organization and even then you have to show some donations. It is a matter of balancing advertising with doing the work that the advertising gets you. I will cover the types of advertising and the ways you can bring in business in the next hub. Right now though I think that is a lot to digest for one hub. So remember it is all about getting your name out there and getting the work in as a freelance graphic designer. However, it is also about having fun while doing that.


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