Thinking of making money through your graphic skills?

I know a lot of people with creative and design skills — and many of them don’t know the many types of work they can do.

My goal in this list is to let creative people know the different kinds of design work they can do from home.

Let’s get started.

Why freelance graphic design jobs from home are becoming popular?

Design jobs have always been popular. It’s one of the most fun skills any person can have — and most discover this while young.

The problem is that we are sometimes limited by what we can see and what others share in our immediate circle.

For example, I know this one person who’s really good with drawing and Photoshop. But he’s stuck with the idea that the only work he can do is to create shirt/graphic designs.

Because of that, he limited himself to finding opportunities (and unfortunately, shirt/graphic design work is so saturated).

But back to the question. Well, it’s likely the same reason why freelance jobs in general are becoming popular nowadays.

Reasons I can think of on top of my head are the following:

  • The flexibility the designers have over their own schedules and work at their own pace.
  • The security, peace, and comfort that working from our own homes bring (I like this one the best).
  • The possibility of getting international clients — which translates to higher income and greater opportunities.

There are certainly more reasons here. But I’m more than sure that these three are the most important ones.

If you have something specific to add here, kindly let me know in the comments and we can have a discussion.

With the introduction out of the way, let’s proceed to the meat of the article.

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    Types of Freelance Graphic Design Work

    Here are the freelancing jobs and income-generating activities you can do related to graphics, design, and creativity:

    1. Logo Design

    Have you seen those videos and posts about designers redoing the logos of companies and someone sending them a message?

    Well, the need for logo design won’t go away, ever, since new companies and brands keep appearing while others are rebranding for the 426th time.

    A quick search on Upwork will reveal lots of ads on logo design:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to provide logo/brand idea
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to provide a logo/brand idea

    The downside to this though is the competition — including online software and tools made for designing logos.

    For this, here’s my advice:

    Approach this creatively. Don’t stick to simply submitting proposals and using freelance platforms. Send them your ideas directly.

    On the other hand, if you’re still learning, here are some resources that might help:

    2. Website Design

    When I changed my theme, it took me two whole days!

    The worst part was that I had to stick with my page builder of choice and blocks, which put a limit on what I could do (despite having a design idea in my head).

    If I could, I would definitely have gotten a website designer to rework my website and hire a developer to make the design a reality.

    Source: Envato Elements

    Technically, when you say website design, it actually refers to:

    The design of websites that are displayed on the internet — and usually refers to the user experience aspects of website development (rather than the software side).

    This means you need to at least know some design principles and how to use mockup tools like Figma or Adobe XD.

    Here are some resources that could check out to learn more about website design:

    3. Landing Page Design

    Unless you’re exposed to marketing and website development, it’s likely that you don’t know what a landing page is (even if you’ve heard of it before).

    Basically, a landing page is a web page created specifically to solicit an action from a visitor, such as submitting a lead form or downloading a white paper.

    Here’s an example of what I mean:

    An example of a landing page
    An example of a landing page

    Landing pages are different from regular website pages in that they’re designed for one specific outcome — and usually have a very clear and concise call to action.

    Since landing pages are vital in marketing and sales, companies would want to hire the best designers and copywriters for them.

    Anyways, here are resources you can check out about designing landing pages:

    4. App Design

    Would you want to use an app that’s so hard to understand?

    Well, app designers are here to make sure that such a scenario wouldn’t happen to their client’s apps.

    In freelance platforms, clients may use other terms, like UX/UI designer. But rest assured that they are looking for an app designer:

    A job post on Upwork looking for a UX/UI designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for a UX/UI designer

    App design is a little similar to website design and usually refers to the user experience and interface aspect of mobile apps.

    In fact, the tools and knowledge you would need are quite similar — design principles and design mockup tools.

    Here are some resources to see if you want to learn more:

    5. Resume Design

    If you have a knack for making designs out of, well, a boring resume, then becoming a resume designer could be a shiny new path for you.

    Because resumes help showcase experience and expertise, making the first impression works well.

    For example, if you’re a hiring agent, you would definitely take pause and look at a resume that looks like this:

    Infographic resume and cover letter
    Source: Envato Elements

    Now, searching for a client would be a little tricky. If you want to design resumes, I can see two ways here for you to earn money:

    • Use LinkedIn and upload your designs (and start posting some fancy posts to support your designs)
    • Become a seller and upload your resume templates on marketplaces like Envato or 99designs

    Here are resources that might help you with designing resumes:

    6. Marketing Paraphernalia Design

    Companies need a lot of materials for marketing.

    On freelance platforms, the job ad can use more general terms or go as specific as the exact thing they need like the one below:

    A job post on Upwork looking for a graphic designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for a graphic designer

    It wouldn’t make sense for them to hire someone for the brochure and another person for the flyers, right?

    On the bright side here, there are tons of work available everywhere — most of them are packaged with other deliverables as well like:

    • Posters
    • Flyers
    • Catalog
    • Menu
    • Invitation
    • Web Banners
    • Signage
    • Trade Booth

    Here are general resources you can check out to learn more about this:

    7. Book Design

    I learned about this work when I once applied to a company here in Cebu (for a different position) that has a separate department for book design.

    Never got the job — but I was always curious about it since I heard that employees there design a dozen covers a day.

    What many of those people didn’t know is that they’re being paid pennies compared to what the clients are paying to those offshore companies:

    A job post on Upwork looking for a book designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for a book designer

    The client who posted the ad above had a past contract like it and he or she paid the freelancer $85 for a single project.

    That’s a far cry from the measly $400 a month salary that offshore and BPO companies pay their employees for a dozen-a-day covers for a month.

    Back to book design, there are two likely paths that can stem from there:

    • Book Layout Design and Typesetting
    • Book Cover Design

    Here are more resources if you want to learn more about book design:

    8. Email Design

    I subscribe to a lot of websites that share good content — and I often wonder how some of them have beautifully designed emails.

    I’m talking about emails like the one below that I grabbed from an email design article online:

    An example of a great email design
    Source: Hubspot

    Tried different email marketing tools myself and I haven’t been able to design an email as good as those I have seen…

    Which makes me wonder, how do email designers do their thing?

    Well, here are some resources I found that might help:

    9. Icon Design

    Everybody knows what icons are, right?

    Icons are those little graphic things that we use to represent something and share online or use on a system or website.

    There are a few job posts for icon design like this one I found on Upwork:

    A job post on Upwork looking for an icon designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for an icon designer

    But if you ask me, it would be great too if you sell and upload your designs (icon packs) on different marketplaces as well.

    That’s because I haven’t encountered anyone looking for an icon designer, which only happens if the client needs a customized icon.

    Selling icon packs would seem a better idea if you have some ideas on icon themes that people might want to buy and use.

    Here are some resources if you want to learn more about designing icons:

    10. Infographic Design

    Designing infographics is a lot harder than I thought.

    I learned it the hard way when I tried designing one myself and realized that you also need some talent to translate words and information into graphics.

    No wonder there are some ads about infographic design on freelance platforms:

    A job post on Upwork looking for an infographic researcher and designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for an infographic researcher and designer

    If you want to try this route and you’re worried because of the number of tools and templates available online:

    Those templates and tools won’t be able to replace real designers since clients can’t simply replace the texts for those templates and hope the infographic makes sense.

    From my experience, I learned that the infographic needs to have the same vibe and atmosphere as the client’s business, which needs a more personal touch.

    Here are some resources that can help you learn this skill:

    11. Fashion Design

    This has been a dream of a lot of people, especially women. Technically, fashion design refers to the art of creating clothes and accessories.

    Although you can earn by selling your designs, you can also find clients that need fashion design services:

    A job post on Upwork looking for a show package designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for a show package designer

    Fashion design may include the following:

    • Technical Drawing and Tech Pack
    • Pattern Making
    • Fashion Illustration
    • 3D Garment Design
    • Full Design Process

    Fortunately, it’s not really that hard to find courses online on fashion design. I also learned that there are schools out there that offer this as a course.

    If you want to learn about this online, here are some resources you can check out:

    12. NFT Art

    While I’m writing the draft for this article (July 2022), the price of digital coins is falling like there’s no tomorrow.

    Despite that, the rage for NFT or non-fungible tokens is still as hot as ever.

    In fact, are you familiar with that fist-pumping toddler picture? Someone bought it for 15 Ethereum, which is equivalent to around $17,200+ today.

    Success Kid NFT sold for 15 ETH
    Source: Foundation

    Well, the good news is that you can design and create your own NFT art and mint your artwork to sell it.

    No kidding, from the designs I saw, you may not even need to be very good at digital art yourself (sorry if that was so blunt). Some designs look so trippy I wasn’t sure what they were.

    Anyway, here are some resources you can check out to learn more about designing NFT artwork:

    13. Architecture and Interior Design

    Ever seen pictures of aesthetic houses on Facebook?

    I once asked myself what I needed to do if I wanted to build a house that looks that good when I don’t have the expertise myself.

    Well, it turns out the answer is simple — hire someone online who can create the design:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create an architectural set
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create an architectural set

    While looking for a client online, you can also make money by making a blog or a YouTube channel on interior design and teaching others how to do it.

    I have seen plenty of videos myself to get an idea about interior design (though I haven’t set about doing it since my wife is a thousand times better than me).

    Here are some resources for you:

    14. Cartoons and Comics

    Do you have a talent for drawing cartoons and comics?

    I wish I had. Got a lot of story ideas that are so manga-like that I wish someone could draw them out of my head.

    It also seems that a lot of people need illustrators who are good at it too:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a comic-style illustration
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a comic-style illustration

    Although you can certainly offer your services online, I suggest you also start creating your own stories as well.

    You never know, your comics might be the next DC Universe or Solo Leveling. Got to take that chance!

    Anyways, here are some resources for those who want to learn this one:

    15. Tattoo Design

    Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about tattoos.

    Unfortunately, the only way you can earn (purely) online from tattoo design is by selling your designs online.

    The other way — as you can see from the job post below — is to offer your tattoo services online to get clients:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a tattoo artist
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a tattoo artist

    Drawing tattoos also became a little popular when Nas Daily had an issue with it here in the Philippines.

    In any case, designing and drawing tattoos seem to be a good income-generating activity especially when you get to ink high-value people.

    If you’re interested, here are some online resources you can check out:

    16. Presentation Design

    In all of my freelance career, I had two clients that tasked me with designing presentations.

    The first one, I was his virtual assistant. I started out editing his presentations and evolved into creating them myself.

    The other one, I help him manage his YouTube channels, and will sometimes give me small related tasks like the one below:

    Designed presentation for a client
    Designed a presentation for a client

    Looks basic, right?

    Well, I won’t deny that. But plenty of people out there are too busy to create their own presentations.

    That’s something you can capitalize on. The good thing? You don’t even need to create perfectly designed presentations.

    Here are some resources for you:

    17. Landscape Design

    The term landscape design has around 61,000 search queries in the US alone.

    What does that tell us?

    It means that a lot of people want to learn how to design their own landscape, search for landscape design ideas, or are looking for landscape designers.

    In fact, it seems that people are looking even at freelance platforms:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a landscape designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a landscape designer

    Unfortunately, I can’t say that there is a strong demand for landscape designers on freelance platforms like Upwork.

    However, the search query alone is a good indicator that this is a good niche. Creating a blog or a YouTube channel is a good alternative.

    Take note that landscape design can include the following:

    • Planning and Design
    • 3D Modeling and Rendering
    • 2D Drawings and Site Plans

    Here are some resources for you:

    18. Building Information Modeling

    In our old apartment, we had a neighbor who was a boss of a local construction firm.

    He asked me one time if there were any opportunities online that are related to his work, which is construction and building information.

    Well, there are plenty of them, like this one I found from Upwork:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a Revit families and BIM content
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create Revit families and BIM content

    If you’re not familiar with building information modeling, it refers to creating and managing information on a construction project.

    Specifically, it can concern the following:

    • BIM 4D Construction Simulation
    • BIM Online Training and Implementation
    • BIM Family Creation
    • BIM Coordination and Clash Detection
    • BIM 3D Modeling

    For more information, here are resources you can check out:

    19. Industrial and Product Design

    Though industrial design and product design are often confused, the reality is that they more or less refer to the same thing.

    Specifically, you can say that industrial design refers to designing products for mass production while product design is for unique product design ideas.

    Source: Envato Elements

    If you want to work in a local company as an industrial designer or a product designer, the company may require a degree or a certificate.

    However, if you can find clients online, you certainly don’t need a degree or a certificate. What’s important is that you can show your expertise.

    That means you need a portfolio where you save your designs and show them to potential clients.

    Industrial and product design includes the following services:

    • Concept Development
    • 2D Drawing
    • 3D Modelling and Rendering
    • Prototyping and 3D Printing
    • Product Manufacturing

    Here are some resources you can check out:

    20. T-Shirts and Merchandise

    Before I freelanced full-time, my wife and I started a little shirt design and printing services.

    I designed the shirt while my wife printed it through a third-party service at a mall. It went well while it lasted.

    The cool thing about learning how to design shirts is that you can find a lot of opportunities for it online:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a shirt and merch design
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a shirt and merch design

    On the downside, this is a pretty common skill that a lot of people have. That means you may also find difficulty landing a contract.

    For this, I recommend starting your own online business and selling shirts and merch instead. You can then run ads on Facebook and Instagram.

    There are a lot of tools out there, including print-on-demand services like Merch by Amazon or similar ones you can use locally.

    If you’re interested, check out these resources here:

    21. Jewelry Design

    Do you like to design jewelry?

    Well, jewelry design is an ancient art form that involves the creation of beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry.

    Surprisingly, there are ads on freelance platforms about jewelry design, like this one:

    A job post on Upwork looking for a jewel designer
    A job post on Upwork looking for a jewel designer

    As a jewelry designer, you will need to use a variety of materials, including precious metals, gems, and stones to create your pieces.

    You also need a knowledge of gemology in order to select the best gems for the designs.

    In regards to the actual skills you will need (aside from gemology), you will need to learn the following:

    • 3D Modeling and Rendering
    • Concept Design and Sketching

    Here are some resources that could help:

    22. Car Wraps

    Before this article, I would have never thought you can make money from car wraps.

    When you think about it, car wraps aren’t always about the best design. They are also used in marketing (like to promote a business).

    That’s probably why other people group it together with other marketing paraphernalia like in this post:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a car wrap design
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a car wrap design

    But to be fair, I don’t think there are a lot of job posts on this. However, it’s worth adding a car wrap design skill to your portfolio.

    In addition, you might be able to use it too to start either an online business that sells car wraps and stickers or an actual brick-and-mortar shop.

    Anyway, here are general resources you can check out:

    23. Vector Tracing

    Photoshop and other similar tools have advanced so much in recent years.

    Unfortunately, none of them can still do a vector tracing job as great as an actual real, breathing, tracer who uses Adobe Illustrator.

    That’s why we still continue to see numerous job ads related to vectors:

    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a vector illustration
    A job post on Upwork looking for someone to create a vector illustration

    There are a lot of opportunities for vector tracing out there.

    But if you want to become more lucrative, how about starting a YouTube channel? I have seen a lot of these videos and many of them are getting thousands of views.

    If you’re interested, here are some resources you can check out:

    24. Photoshop Editing

    The same case with the above item — a lot of people still prefer having a real person do image work.

    In this case, a lot of people are familiar with Photoshop. However, only a few are real experts in Photoshop editing.

    Here’s a sample job post on Photoshop editing:

    A job post on Upwork looking for a Photoshop editor
    A job post on Upwork looking for a Photoshop editor

    On the downside, you will have plenty of competitors, even if most of them are experts themselves.

    That’s because there are tutorials online that will teach Photoshop users how to do certain things in the tool.

    Well, you can also utilize this fact by creating your online tutorials as well. You don’t even need to say anything in the video or even show your face in it.

    Here are resources you can check out:

    FAQ: Freelance Graphic Design Work

    Here are common questions and their answers related to freelance graphic design work:

    What are the essential skills and tools needed for a freelance graphic designer working from home?

    There is a lot to cover here that deserves a separate article. But let me go over them quickly so you can have at least an idea of how to start.

    Here are the hard and soft skills you will need:

    1. Design software proficiency: Expertise in programs like Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), Sketch, Figma, and other industry-standard tools.
    2. Basic coding knowledge: Familiarity with HTML and CSS can be beneficial when working on web design projects.
    3. Time management and organization: Effective planning, prioritizing, and multitasking are vital to meet deadlines and managing multiple projects.
    4. Communication and collaboration: Strong written and verbal communication skills are necessary for interacting with clients and collaborating with other professionals.

    For the tools, it will depend on the type of work you want to do. But in general, here are the tools you should know about:

    1. Design software: Invest in industry-standard design tools like Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, or Figma.
    2. Project management tools: Applications like Trello, Asana, or Basecamp help you stay organized and track project progress.
    3. Cloud storage and file sharing: Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive help in sharing files and collaborating with clients.
    4. Communication tools: Utilize platforms like Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams for effective communication and collaboration.

    How do I create an impressive portfolio to showcase my graphic design work?

    One good trick to look at this is to think that if you were the client, what would you look for in an impressive portfolio?

    With that prompt, you may have a lot of ideas already like:

    • Diversifying your projects but making sure that you’re putting the most relevant, best ones first to the opportunity at hand.
    • Applying personal branding right into the portfolio design and presentation to reflect your brand, style, and identity.
    • Make sure you have a responsive, easy-to-navigate website or portfolio that’s available for online viewing.

    How do I set my rates and negotiate fair compensation for my work as a freelance graphic designer?

    This actually depends on the work you want to do, where you’re coming from, what’s your experience level, etc.

    So I reckon you’re simply here to get some ideas on how to price your services. Well, here are methods you can apply:

    1. Decide on the pricing structure first — whether you want to charge per project, per hour, or on a retainer basis.
    2. Check industry rates first just to have an idea of how much others are charging (though you’re not obliged to charge lower than the average).
    3. Some don’t apply this as well. But clients like it when you factor in the complexity and scope of the project.
    4. On the other hand, you must always be open to negotiation. If you find the investment lower, maybe you can ask for a commission or something.

    Over the years, it’s likely that your rates and even the pricing structure you use will change — and that’s fine.

    If you have more questions related to freelance graphic design opportunities, kindly let me know in the comments.


    Alan is the founder of Work Pajama and other sites by Content Growers. When he's not writing here, he's busy helping clients generate more qualified leads and increase sales by educating readers with strategic content and writing blogs.

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