6 Great Tips to Make Extra Cash Money as a Graphic Designer

There are many ways to make money as a Graphic Designer and several of my previous blogs speak about the more conventional and direct ways of selling designs and templates over the internet as well as taking advantage of Design Crowd or Designhill, a useful point of call for business owners and consumers looking to acquire work and a graphic design platform for designers to earn, contribute, work and share their designs. Remember though, the world of graphic design is a demanding sector in that you need to know what to do, (i.e. the knowledge to be able to actually create designs and use Adobe software), but you need the skills to use it to its full capability and meet the requirements of your future clients. We at Blue Sky Graphics offer courses for beginners or intermediates levels and anyone wanting a career change.

For Graphic Designers these days there are truly multiple streams of ways to make money on the side. Working as a Graphic Designer is especially suitable for anyone looking for flexi hours or freelance working patterns. Bearing in mind that the average Graphic Designer Salary in the United Kingdom is £24,211 doing extra work can result in anywhere from a just little more side cash to an additional average of £15,000 a year for those of you dedicating more time . It’s a profession well-suited to freelancing and requires competent time management and self-perseverance. If you are still looking for new ways to get some extra money for the creative things we do, I’ve got some solutions that don’t involve having to solely navigate the sticky and sometimes demanding world of taking on traditional client work.

This blog is all about other less traditional and innovative ways to make extra cash as a Graphic Designer.

Here are our 6 Great Tips to Make Extra Cash Money
as a Graphic Designer:

graphic design courses

TIP 1 Make physical products

Personally, I’ve seen people get quite successful at creating merchandise and branded designs for companies who use them for their own marketing and promotional purposes.  Try spending some time working with various print companies and learn about the process they do and then try it yourself on a small scale at first or just watch YouTube videos. You can design stickers, posters, postcards, pens and pencils, stationary, and letterpress card designs and have them physically made. Website like Alibaba.com enable freelancers and small sellers to source suppliers where you can order relatively small quantities of merchandise products at competitive rates- these can be personalised with your own work.

Physical goods can be quite demanding, but there are a lot of people who have made their work a passion by creating physical things.

Tip 2 Make Money from historical memorabilia.

That’s exactly right there is considerable money to be made in old archives and historical prints and  designs, so by resurrecting old sketches, layouts and prints, you can be trendy and market to a modern day consumer or customer- think Liberty of London and just how successful their prints are not just in the UK but around the world!  Here are some legal things to think about when using existing prints:

Getting a phone call at some point from some annoyed copy written artist who never gave permission to reproduce work is not fun and neither is getting into trouble with the law of the land, so first ensure you have the permission to use your old work even if it was for a client and you produced it – you may still need their rights. If a client has exclusive rights to your prints legally then there is little that can be done but maybe provide inspiration for you to make a new print or design.

One tip going forward is that when negotiating terms of business with potential clients retain your own rights for your work or for non-exclusive copy rights, at least for some of your prints that aren’t directly related to the clients identity such as a brand emblem or a logo for instance. Sell paper copies and colourful prints of your old creations.
These make great wall art, especially in offices.

If you have a healthy and committed following on your social media, reach out and promote!

Tip 3 Make Money from Fiverr or Start your own e-commerce store

A digital service marketplace and a great crowdsourcing site is what the guys at Fiverr essentially did for Graphic Designers (the good ones and the not-so-good ones and to anyone needing their services. Today, more and more people are making money online through doing work for clients on an international scale and Fiverr is a platform that helps them do it. Work or Gigs (Fiverr terminology) can costs as little as £5.00 although work can cost a lot more and so your price is your own decision. If you decide to offer your creative love to Fiverr, then you may well benefit from earning a handsome income on the side or even as a primary source of work.

The income can be attractive as there is a mix and match add-on options with additional extras and you could create a nice side business for yourself.

Do offer a service that you are passionate about as the choice of work and skills offered on Fiverr is as innovative and diverse as the city I currently live in and Fiverr is a great place for out-of-the-box thinking. If you’re highly involved in a topic and can present a service for it and if you think other people might benefit from one of your skills, then you’ll probably find an appropriate category on Fiverr.
The service is offered by the Seller (Graphic Design Freelancer) and bought by the Customer or employer. A great benefit of this channel is that you can choose to work as much or as little as you want. You can always pause your Gig if you’d like a break giving you flexibility too.

Tip 4 Sell Digital Files Online

Creating a signature piece of digital work is certainly one good way to get a name for yourself especially in a plethora field of Graphic Design agencies and a labyrinth of Graphic Design networks. People and businesses will buy rights to use your image-to-be and you can make a passive income for years after you’ve designed the image. Try making your own work and create fonts, images or textures, which can be marketed and sold online. There are a few ways to sell these images such as joining a marketplace like iStockPhoto by Getty Images, Shutterstock, or Graphic River to name just a few of the many spaces available but be prepared to pay for this service (usually a percentage of your sales or you can sell it on your own site. Joining a marketplace offers you a built-in customer base and all the technology for purchasing and downloading. Specifically, for fonts, I recommend that if you’ve decided to make your own font then you should approach a font retailer such as MyFonts, a font foundry like YouWorkForThem, or a ‘hybrid’ company like HypeForType that sits somewhere in between the two. My favourite is YouWorkForThem which has been doing font and stock media licensing since 2001, and according to their website nobody does it better. The other option is to have your very own website where you can run your own business, optimise products and services and sell your files for all the profits. Your website will ideally need a checkout facility and the good news is there are various e-commerce stores you can include like Shopify, Squarespace as well as shop front Podia. You can use this store to market, sell and advertise your product offering or service and take care of the monetary transactional side of things too. If you sell digital products on your own site, you keep every penny, but you also must promote it yourself (marketing costs) and figure out the technology to sell the products (fulfilment and shopping costs), but that’s not much of a barrier anymore because with the rise of start-ups and companies like eJunkie and Amazon marketplace it has become more straightforward.

Tip 5 Build Your Graphic Design Agency

Like any business there is money to be made where there is a need or demand and that need requires fulfilment and so too with Graphic Design Agency. There is significant money to be made for designers who can lead a group and operate a studio and that can fulfil tons of client work.
Remember when you become a design agency and employ other designers, you now are both a part of a team. but also, the one who profits from the work of others under your leadership and brand. Using an example from London, one of the capital metropolises of the world, with 9 million people, there are very many agencies that have been opened such as lawless London and ShopTalk London,  a design studio, improving the relationship between people & things and these are contumely opening with the ever present demand in Graphic Designers.

When starting an agency, you need to wear your business hat and perhaps begin with a partnership. Working collaboratively on client work may just be the spark that moves you both up in the design world.
Graphic Design agencies tend to have a USP (unique selling point) and generally tend to work towards creating a set of identifiable values or brand image and this is achieved by employing designers who share a similar style to their own- the key is uniformity. The idea here is to develop a reputation for designs that are uniquely your company’s, that help to put companies in the public eye with designs and briefs.

Your brand portfolio relates to your business or agency and can be attributed to your business, even though your name may not be on them. Your agency could perform set work for companies like creating a tailored package where you make their logo, branding identity and overall brand package. You could be designing a logo for a cool new start-up that you really like the concept of, working on adverts for the national press or international lifestyle magazine, animating videos with your clients brief or even illustrating ostentatious PowerPoint presentations

TIP 6  Have the family and neighbours over and throw your own private gallery.

So much of what we do as designers happens online. Take a step back and think about experiences people have.
What are some of your best experiences?
Where were they?
Chances are you may remember events you attended or places you have visited.  People you’ve met at those places. Want people to know more about your design studio?
Why not have the neighbours or friends over showcasing your hard work!

We hope you have found benefit in these tips to make extra money as a Graphic Designer and needless to say,

If you have a little extra time in your week, think about selling work on the many crowdsourcing websites or take advantage of one of these great sites to facilitate you making that little extra dough on the side. These sites attract Graphic Designers who want to earn money, find limitless clients and build their own freelance businesses.

Getting started

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If you think that distance learning can really jump start your graphic design career as a freelancer or hobby, or In-House Designer, then you should sign up today. Our courses are very affordable and within 10 months you will be a pro using InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Start your distance learning online course now and see a dramatic difference in your creative journey.

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