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Article: 12 Steps to Make Money as a Graphic Designer

12 Steps to Make Money as a Graphic Designer

In this digital era, the development of the internet multiplies significantly. There have been so many pros and cons about whether the internet is really beneficial for humans' lives or not. However, as creative, we observe that the internet offers tons of benefits that make our lives a lot easier, including making money.

There are many professions that can earn money by using the internet, one of them is a graphic designer. If you are an expert or have amazing skills in graphic designs, there are some ways that you can try to earn money online. You can find a bunch of websites that are willing to pay you big bucks for your graphic design skills.

The graphic design itself is a communication process that uses visual elements, such as typography, photography, and illustrations. This is why graphic design is also known as visual communication design. Now, there are so many people whose jobs are related to graphic design. For example, UX/UI designer, packaging designer, font designer, brand designer, freelancer, or employee in a company.

Graphic design is something you can look at almost everywhere. This is why it is a promising career since it is always in demand. Moreover, it is also straightforward and easy to make money as a graphic designer online. Below are the 12 easy tips to earn money online as a graphic designer.


Joining Logo Contests

A logo contest is like a competition held by individuals or companies to find the best and most suitable logo. They will choose a logo that is the closest to their needs and preferences. Logo contests are available in various types—for instance, logos for corporates, institutions, non-profit organizations, events, and many more.

Such a contest is also held at a local, national, and even international level. You can join as many logo contests as you want, as long as the deadlines or the dates of the logo contests are not really close to each other. So, you will have enough time to design the logo.

Before the contest starts, clients will give participants a short briefing to describe what kind of logo they want. So, make sure you pay full attention to the briefing so that you will be able to know the characteristics, meaning, and function of the logo that the clients ask for. Keep in mind that it is a competition. You will compete against so many participants.

Though it is competitive, the prize offered is tantalizing. The prize usually ranges from $50 to $2,000. Looking at the number, it is not surprising that many graphic designers willing to dedicate their time to join logo contests to make money.

If you are interested in joining a logo contest, some websites or platforms are specifically designed for such a purpose, such as 48 Hours Logo, Design Crowd, and 99 Design. It will be better if you regularly check those platforms to know the latest contest.



Selling Designs on Microstock Platforms

Besides competing in a contest or competition, you can also join as a contributor on microstock platforms that are available a lot on the internet. Several famous microstock platforms, such as Shutterstock, allows you to sell your own photography and designs. You just need to design logos, vectors, or images and upload them on the platform.

You will make income from a royalty fee or commission. When someone purchases your design, you will get a royalty fee or commission from it. The amount of the royalty fee is not really much, starts from $0,20 to $0,50.

However, different customers can buy your designs many times. So, if your designs have great quality and manage to attract many buyers, the royalty fee should be enough for good living. There are so many platforms where you can sell your designs, such as Shutterstock, Freepik, and many others. You can also sell your design on more than one microstock platform. This idea is suitable for those of you who want to make a good amount of passive income.



Join Freelance Marketplace

If you are looking for projects or clients yourself, make sure you know your graphic design skills well. So, you will be able to create a design perfectly according to their preferences and wishes. Being a freelance graphic designer enables you to choose which project you want to take or which client you want to work with. There are many websites for freelance graphic designers, such as Upwork.


Moreover, you can also set your own price. If you want to attract many clients, make sure you have great skills and are experienced enough. You can create and show your portfolio so that clients will understand and be interested in your skillset.

When it comes to setting your price, make sure you offer a competitive price. If you place your price too high, clients may prefer to hire other designers. It will be better to communicate and negotiate directly with clients and find the price that will work for both of you. Also, make sure you are open to critics and suggestions in order to maintain your network and relationship with clients.


Gig Service

Have you ever heard about gig services? If it is usually the client who decides what type of graphic design service they want, gig services mean you are the one who determines and offers the graphic design service for the client. You can also set your own price for the service.

This way, clients already know which skills or specific services do you offer. Gig services are suitable if you do not want to accept projects where you have to create a design that is not your expertise. Gig services also allow you to boost and improve your skills in one genre of graphic design. You can do gig service on a platform such as Fiverr.



Creating A Blog or Tutorial Video on YouTube

Another way of making money as a graphic designer is by creating a blog or tutorial video. In these modern days, people do not have to join a course to learn about a particular skill or lesson. They can just open YouTube and watch a lot of video tutorials and learn from them, including learning graphic design skills. By creating tutorials on an online channel, you can make money online as a graphic designer that is not as complicated as creating a portfolio for a freelance platform or offering your gig service.

However, you need to have other skills besides graphic design skills, such as script writing or video editing. A YouTuber has to play a role as a mentor or teacher for their viewers and subscribers. They teach people anything they know about their skills.

You will earn money from Google AdSense or endorsements. Besides YouTube, you can also share your tutorial videos on other platforms, such as Skillshare and Udemy. Make sure you can teach your lesson clearly so that your viewers and subscribers can understand well.


Creating Online Profile & Publish Portfolio

This is probably the most classic way to make money as a graphic designer. Like the real world, it will be easier for you to meet potential clients if you have a 'store' where your business is located. In this case, a blog or website is the store where you will show off your designs and masterpieces.

If you think that creating your own blog or website is too complicated, you can join websites or platforms that can provide spaces for your portfolios, such as Dribbble and Behance. By joining and creating an account on such websites, it will be a lot easier for you to find potential clients, domestic and overseas clients.



Envato Marketplaces

Envato marketplace is a digital market that provides space for digital trading works, such as graphic works, photography, music, videos, templates, and many more. You can definitely make money as a graphic designer by selling digital assets on Envato. Different from microstock, Envato marketplaces come with a spacious scope and competitive qualifications. Recommended Envato marketplaces include Graphic River, Theme Forest, and Photo Dune.

By joining an Envato marketplace, you will be able to earn thousands of dollars by simply submitting your designs. Your income comes from someone who downloads your design. There are no limitations about how many times your design can be downloaded.


If you want to join Envato marketplaces, make sure you are able to create high-quality, attractive designs. Moreover, you should also keep yourself updated with the latest trend in the graphic design industry. So, your designs will not get outdated.

Envato marketplaces are divided into several categories. For instance, Graphic River, in which you can sell logo designs, vector designs, invitation designs, character designs, and others. There is also ActiveDen, in which you can create more complicated designs, such as web templates and flash templates.



Sell Stickers

Since TikTok is getting more and more popular, digital stickers are in high demand. So, why don't you take this chance as a way to earn money? To make digital stickers, you just need to access Canva or Photoshop or other editing tools to create stickers artwork.

You can also use an iPad to make illustrative printed stickers. When it comes to creating printed stickers, you can use a print-on-demand platform to do the production and shipping for you. You only need to upload the artwork that is set for printing, and that is all.

Instead, you can opt for hiring a third-party vendor where they are in charge of managing your sales. If you want to sell stickers, the most recommended places include Etsy and RedBubble. You can also host your own website with your designs on Shopify.



Become A Design Consultant

Working as a design consultant is probably an ideal job for those who want to make money as a graphic designer with high-ticket items. By being a design consultant, you basically offer some of your time to individuals who need your ideas and opinions on graphic design for their businesses. Your potential clients can be beginners in graphic design, people who want to create a logo for their business, branding for their business launching, etc.

You work by coaching and giving advice to your clients, guiding them in the right direction. One of the exciting things about being a design consultant is you can set your own hourly rate. Once again, make sure you have a competitive price compared to other design consultants.


Selling Printables

If you want an easy way to have a passive income on graphic design, you can try to create and sell printables online. There are many platforms available out there where you are able to do so. One of them is Etsy. You can make and sell printables for students, teachers, travelers, even musicians, and others.

Printables are a digital product so that one of the most interesting things about them is that you do not have to be worried about shipping. You just need to automate your process to immediately send the digital version of your printables once someone made a purchase. Once customers receive the files, they can print the printables and use those for their needs. This is one of the most passive ways to make money as a graphic designer as you don't need to be responsible for the production.

Incorporating a print-on-demand company can further enhance this seamless operation. By partnering with a company like this, you can ensure your digital goods are delivered efficiently and professionally, keeping customer satisfaction levels high without the need for physical inventory or shipping logistics. This approach not only simplifies the management of your business, but also expands your ability to serve a larger market with ease.



Design Social Media Graphics

Another popular way to earn money as a graphic designer is social media graphics. As you already know, social media is everything nowadays. Brands and companies even use social media to promote their products. So, it can be said that almost everyone needs help with social media.

Try to sell social media templates or pre-made Instagram highlight covers with a small price that can increase over time.

Created by Felipe Pierre |


Selling Customized Branding Packages

Last but not least is selling customized branding packages. In the dynamic world of business, companies come and go. As fresh ventures emerge, they frequently gravitate towards comprehensive branding services to carve out a distinctive identity in the marketplace. A holistic branding service often encompasses a bouquet of smaller, specialized services, each playing a pivotal role in sculpting the brand's image.

Custom t-shirt printing, for instance, is a powerful tool within such a package. T-shirts emblazoned with a company's logo or slogan can serve as walking advertisements, creating visibility and building brand recognition among the masses. They can be handed out during product launches, corporate events, or even as employee uniforms. Such tangible, wearable branding assets often create a deeper connection with audiences, as they seamlessly integrate the brand into people's daily lives.

If you possess expertise in this domain, your services can command prices of up to $10,000 or even more. Consider curating your own unique packages to cater to diverse client needs. Such packages could include logo design, brand identity development, brand activation, production setup, and other tailor-made services that encapsulate and address the entirety of a client's branding requirements.

Created by Nick Barclay |



Above are the 12 various options of how you can easily make money as a graphic designer. These are the best options with a good level of competition. It's not a complicated way to start making money. However, you have to put in enough effort to make your business keep running and eventually become the successful graphic designer you can be. If you have any comments or questions about this article, please don't hesitate to fill in the section below. Cheers!


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