There are plenty of jobs for graphic designers across many industries, particularly in marketing and advertising. However, not every graphic designer is meant to become an employee—some want to start a business out of their craft, often because of the creative freedom that being your own boss provides.
If you want to take the same path and create your own business, here are some of the best business ideas for graphic designers that you can consider:
1. T-shirt customization
Opening a T-shirt franchise is one of the best ways to utilize your creativity for a profit. With a T-shirt printing business, you can offer customers exactly what they want, from the design down to the quality of the garment. You don’t need to team up with a T-shirt printing company—you can handle everything from the design and printing to the packaging and delivery.
More than that, you can also tap into artists who want to print their own designs onto T-shirts and other business owners who don’t have the equipment or facilities to print their own apparel.
Graphic designs look great on screens, but they can look even better on physical prints. Apart from selling digital prints, you can also sell physical prints to people who want physical copies of your artwork.
For this type of venture, you can either seek a printing company that can print out your work in the highest quality possible or invest in a high-quality printer to print your art yourself. Similarly, you have to find the best type of paper to print your designs on, depending on the price points you’re targeting for your business (since quality largely determines price).
3. Freelancing and commission work
Freelancing and doing commissions are two of the most popular ways to earn money with graphic design on your own time. Although freelancing and commissions may mean the same for some people, they are slightly different. With freelancing, you usually work with clients that run their own businesses and need to outsource a graphic designer. Usually, freelancing design work involves working on marketing materials, such as logos, social media posts, headers, and website imagery, among others.
On the other hand, commission work usually involves private individuals who want custom graphic designs for their own pleasure. Some commission graphic designers to create custom art pieces for their clients, while others commission art to spruce their social media profiles.
Either way, setting up these kinds of businesses can be tricky. For one, you have to establish credibility to attract clients. And usually, the best way to do that is to build an impressive portfolio showcasing your best work.
4. Selling art to interior designers
Interior designers make up a viable target market for graphic designers specializing in art made for interior design purposes. While any type of digital art can be hung on a wall, there are certain types of designs that interior designers look for when in the market for when designing a space.
For example, some interior designers specialize in minimalist styles, and they often look for minimalist art to fit the space. Frequently, it is not easy to find art that matches the vibe that their clients are looking for, which can call for custom art. Aside from traditional art, many interior designers also reach out to graphic designers who can create custom pieces for the style they are looking for, be it minimalism, post-modern, contemporary, and more.
5. Customizable templates
Selling templates is one of the best ways to create passive income. You can create designs for all sorts of things like invitations, social media posts, ebooks, posters, PowerPoint slides, and more, then sell them to business owners and individuals who don’t have the time or the skills to create their own designs.
6. Courses, webinars, and e-books
Graphic design is not easy to learn, and for many people, it takes more than just YouTube tutorials to master the craft. Thus, why not make money by sharing your knowledge through online courses, webinars, e-books, and other educational materials? Aside from helping others learn graphic design, you’re also expanding your credibility in the process, which can come in handy when you venture into other types of money-making approaches in the future.
As you can see, there are countless ways you can make money through graphic design. However, finding the right venture to pursue is not always easy. With that in mind, consider your skills, designs, experience, and business goals first, then choose the right approach to make money from your art.