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Become A Freelance Web Designer

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Working As A Freelance Web Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Freelance Web Designer Do

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Duties

Graphic designers typically do the following: 

  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project
  • Use digital illustration, photo-editing software, and layout software to create designs
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Graphic designers combine art and technology to communicate ideas through images and the layout of websites and printed pages. They may use a variety of design elements to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Graphic designers work with both text and images. They often select the type, font, size, color, and line length of headlines, headings, and text. Graphic designers also decide how images and text will go together on a print or webpage, including how much space each will have. When using text in layouts, graphic designers collaborate closely with writers who choose the words and decide whether the words will be put into paragraphs, lists, or tables. Through the use of images, text, and color, graphic designers can transform statistical data into visual graphics and diagrams, which can make complex ideas more accessible.

Graphic design is important to marketing and selling products, and is a critical component of brochures and logos. Therefore, graphic designers, also referred to as graphic artists or communication designers, often work closely with people in advertising and promotions, public relations, and marketing.

Frequently, designers specialize in a particular category or type of client. For example, some create the graphics used on retail products packaging, still others may work on the visual designs used on book jackets.

Graphic designers need to keep up to date with the latest software and computer technologies to remain competitive.

Some individuals with a background in graphic design teach in design schools, colleges, and universities. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Freelance Web Designer

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. Candidates for graphic design positions should demonstrate their creativity and originality through a professional portfolio that features their best designs.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 320 postsecondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes with programs in art and design. Most schools include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and website design. In addition, students should consider courses in writing, marketing, and business, all of which are useful in helping designers work effectively on project teams.

High school students interested in graphic design should take basic art and design courses in high school, if the courses are available. Many bachelor's degree programs require students to complete a year of basic art and design courses before being admitted to a formal degree program. Some schools require applicants to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability.

Many programs provide students with the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of their designs. For many artists, including graphic designers, developing a portfolio—a collection of design ideas that demonstrates their styles and abilities—is essential because employers rely heavily on a designer’s portfolio in deciding whether to hire the individual.

Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional associations that specialize in graphic design, such as AIGA, offer courses intended to keep the skills of their members up to date.

Other Experience

Graphic designers often gain their initial experience through internships. It provides aspiring graphic designers an opportunity to work with designers and experience the design process from concept to completion while completing a design program.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally available through software product vendors. Certification in graphic design software can demonstrate a level of competence and may provide a jobseeker with a competitive advantage.

Advancement

Experienced graphic designers may advance to chief designer, art director, or other supervisory positions.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Graphic designers must be able to look at their work from the point of view of their consumers and examine how the designs they develop will be perceived by consumers to ensure they convey the client’s desired message.

Artistic ability. Graphic designers must be able to create designs that are artistically interesting and appealing to clients and consumers. They produce rough illustrations of design ideas, either by hand sketching or by using computer programs.

Communication skills. Graphic designers must communicate with clients, customers, and other designers to ensure that their designs accurately reflect the desired message and effectively express information.

Computer skills. Most graphic designers use specialized graphic design software to prepare their designs.

Creativity. Graphic designers must be able to think of new approaches to communicating ideas to consumers. They develop unique designs that convey a recognizable meaning on behalf of their clients.

Time-management skills. Graphic designers often work on multiple projects at the same time, each with a different deadline.

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Freelance Web Designer Career Paths

Freelance Web Designer
Web Developer Consultant Marketing Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Consultant Product Manager
Product Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Developer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer Senior Software Engineer Product Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Marketing And Creative Director
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Principal
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Web Design/Development Project Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Web Design/Development User Interaction Designer User Experience Designer
User Experience Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Web Design/Development User Experience Designer User Experience Manager
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
User Interaction Designer Senior User Experience Designer Creative Director
Chief Creative Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
User Interaction Designer Senior User Experience Designer Art Director
Designation Marketing Director
5 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer Senior User Experience Designer Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Marketing Writer Senior Copywriter
Creative Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Graphic Designer Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Freelance Web Designer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Web Manager 2.6 years
Media Designer 2.6 years
Marketing Designer 2.5 years
Freelance Designer 2.5 years
Lead Web Designer 2.3 years
Web Specialist 2.3 years
Visual Designer 2.3 years
Digital Designer 2.2 years
Web Producer 2.1 years
Web Designer 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Freelance Web Designer
Web Designer 12.0%
Internship 6.2%
Cashier 2.8%
Volunteer 2.3%
Designer 2.3%
Top Careers After Freelance Web Designer
Web Designer 12.8%
Internship 2.7%
Webmaster 2.6%
Designer 2.3%

Do you work as a Freelance Web Designer?

Freelance Web Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

55.4%

Female

35.6%

Unknown

9.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

10.0%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.8%

French

10.6%

German

7.4%

Mandarin

5.9%

Italian

5.3%

Chinese

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%

Korean

4.3%

Arabic

3.2%

Cantonese

2.7%

Portuguese

2.7%

Russian

2.1%

Polish

1.6%

Romanian

1.1%

Malay

1.1%

Turkish

0.5%

Dutch

0.5%

Shan

0.5%

Cree

0.5%

Khmer

0.5%
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Freelance Web Designer Education

Schools

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

9.8%

University of Phoenix

9.1%

Savannah College of Art and Design

7.9%

Academy of Art University

7.5%

New York University

6.8%

Full Sail University

6.6%

School of Visual Arts

5.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.1%

International Academy of Design and Technology

4.1%

University of Central Florida

3.9%

Fashion Institute of Technology

3.9%

Art Institute of Atlanta

3.6%

Portland State University

3.4%

Pratt Institute-Main

3.4%

The Academy

3.2%

Temple University

3.2%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.2%

Art Institute of California - Inland

3.2%

American InterContinental University

3.2%
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Majors

Graphic Design

27.0%

Computer Applications

13.3%

Computer Science

9.0%

Fine Arts

6.8%

Computer Information Systems

6.1%

Business

6.1%

Communication

4.8%

Information Technology

4.4%

Design And Visual Communication

4.3%

Marketing

3.2%

Photography

2.0%

Psychology

2.0%

English

1.7%

Graphic Communications

1.7%

Animation

1.6%

Digital Media

1.3%

Entertainment Business

1.2%

Education

1.2%

Computer Engineering

1.2%

Journalism

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.0%

Other

17.1%

Associate

14.3%

Masters

10.7%

Certificate

6.9%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Freelance Web Designer

  1. Company Website
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Html
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design and organize advertising/marketing materials, along with redesigning and creating company website.
  • Utilized WordPress and Adobe Photoshop to develop an informational/product website.
  • Developed a product used as an outlet for unique expression and creativity by hand coding with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.
  • Designed websites based on client specifications using HTML, CSS, WordPress, JavaScript, PHP, among other technologies.
  • Used client's Chicago skyline graphic and company logos to create website design.

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Top Freelance Web Designer Employers

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