Graphic design is one of the fields enjoying a rise in popularity since the first internet boom. The internet bubble burst saw many of the first waves of Internet startup businesses fold. But the demand for graphic designers only increases afterward. Many traditional businesses started to take the online world seriously and expand their services to the internet.
Numerous social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, also highlight the visuals. Unfortunately, being high on-demand doesn't necessarily translate to earning more money.
Most designers are living from paycheck to paycheck. Several factors to consider are the living cost in the city they live in and their lifestyle in general. If they live in a city with a higher living cost than average, they need to do more to make ends meet.
A logo designer can earn the maximum salary their field offer, as long as they understand how. A logo designer can earn up to $300,000 in a year. But most designers only earn less than 25% of that number. The average salary for a graphic designer in the United States is $51,000 per year. That is still excluding federal and other taxes they have to pay. So on average, a graphic designer only brings home less than $2,000 per month.
The 2019 census found San Fransisco and Washington as two cities that are designers friendly and have the highest population of graphic designers. But it's worth noting that the living cost in those cities is not cheap. For example, the average living cost in San Francisco can reach up to $5000 per month.
Designers can look for other cities with equally high opportunities. But they need to realize that their move isn't unique. More graphic designers are thinking the same. Therefore, it can be more challenging for logo designers who have just started their careers.
While people may sneer about new designers looking for a raise, in all equality, they deserve it. Being a logo designer may not make them a super-wealthy person. But they have the chance to explore the world and take their creativity to another level.
7 Ways To Get Maximum Earning As A Logo Designer
A logo designer can earn a high salary at any point in their career. They often start building their portfolio from early on. However, it doesn't mean they can't earn more in the field. Here are seven tips that they can use to boost their salary. Other creative workers can take notes as well. These tips apply to all workers in the creative industry who need help raising their salaries.
1. Always Look For Skill-Enhancing Opportunities
A graphic designer offers a skill that combines creativity and technology. They need to stay up-to-date with the technology to bring more designs in the future. They also need to know the trend and how to make their skills work.
These opportunities come in various forms. There are webinars, short courses, summer camps, hackathons, and several conventions they can participate in. Most of these don't put age or experience restrictions.
Logo designers also can have the same opportunities as other graphic designers. It's a misconception to think they only need to learn about typography and other similar things. On the contrary, what contributes to the logo designer's earnings is their ability to adapt to other techniques and deliver the best on any project they have at hand.
Remember that there are graphics-related certifications that need regular updates. Designers need to pay attention to these details. An up-to-date Adobe certification will ensure the clients that they are in good hands.
These opportunities are not limited to design-related topics. One also can take other courses such as basic phyton coding, management, or even public speaking. Having these extra skills in the CV will give the future employer what to expect. It also sets them in the right traction for a career path.
Keep in mind that participating in these courses can't disturb the work. The designer needs to manage their time to enhance their skills while still earning money. Often the agency will push for their designers to look for more skill-enhancing. Designers who receive this offer are considered real assets to the agency. And their rise is imminent.
And if they need to look for these opportunities themselves, they can give a heads-up to the agency, as obtaining these skills while still working as an in-house designer will bring more edge to the salary negotiation. Still, the designers need to show the result of all these courses through their work before approaching the salary renegotiation.
2. Think Outside Of The Box
It's not uncommon for an agency to reward their designers with tips and bonuses when they land a big client. The designer manages to translate the clients' requests perfectly into their designs. If the client is big enough, then both the agency and designer have the right to boast in the portfolio. The designer may earn more when the agency appreciates the stellar and high-profile portfolio. But they will appreciate it more when the designer shows active and creative thinking.
Always thinking outside of the box will keep the limelight on the designer and, subsequently, the design they make. Thinking outside of the box doesn't necessarily translate into having a unique design. It's also about a unique approach to any issue they're facing. They can help other in-house designers or other colleagues.
This approach will also bring them some fame, and clients may come along the way as they gain more popularity due to the fresh value they bring, the higher chance of receiving a new offer on the salary.
3. Be The Master
Mastering logo design may be something unfamiliar to many. But designing a logo is similar to working on artwork since the logo is one thing that represents the brand. It's a consistent part of the company as a whole, and designers can master a specific style or technique. They can be very proficient in what they do and leave their signature on any of their works.
Designing a logo can be similar to a painting. A designer can make numerous designs, but each one of them will carry its marks. Take Paul Rand as an example. The prolific logo designer is popular for creating the classic IBM logo. He also made the logo for NeXT, Enron, and USPS. Three different companies with three different fields. But their logos feature a similar design.
Let's take a look at paintings as another example. Every painting by Caravaggio or Vermeer has the same unique values in the angle, color, and subject. It's the same with logo design. Paul Rand's designs are different from one another, but they all carry the same Rand signature.
Many other famous logo designers use the same approach and are known for their uniqueness. Mastering a style is not about constantly using the same technique in all designs. It's more about how to show to the clients and public that the technique works in various situations.
It can be a specific usage of typography or placements that makes the logo memorable. Being a master in a design or technique will ensure the logo designer earns to raise within months as they will receive more clients.
4. Choose A Niche To Specialize In
A logo designer also can carve a niche to specialize in their work. Having a niche can be beneficial for their careers. Fame aside, they also can try more techniques in their design. They won't be limiting their ideas to the same box and stay there for the rest of their careers.
The first thing to do is to figure out the best niche. The best method is to assess the previous jobs and styles and whether they have a list of specific clients that stand out more.
A niche refers to the market for designers to work on. This is the foundation for a full career. They can work on what they love and produce the best. And when they have this niche, they can have a say on which company is worth their mind.
Of course, a good designer will keep on working on any client that comes their way. They will make the niche even more popular and may be exclusively linked to their name and design. It's not a coincidence that a designer who has worked on multiple tech-related projects will continue to receive calls from clients in the same field. The tech startup is the niche that they thrive on.
5. Be Indispensable
Working as one of the in-house agencies means working with a team, and there will be some tensions and ideas clashes. In-house designers need to work together and provide the best design after numerous brainstorming.
Commonly, an agency's design comes from a group effort. In this situation, it's best to have amiable conduct to work together. Anyhow, working with multiple heads may lead to arguments and some drama.
Numerous stories of how clients receive the design very late due to some internal issues among the designers. Still, it's not an excuse not to be a team player and screw everyone else over the design. The agency and the whole team may appreciate the greatness, but a bad attitude means limiting the career progress as well as the salary. It's a thin line to walk to be indispensable.
Sometimes, being a team player alone isn't enough. A designer can be indispensable by being a team leader. It will guarantee a raise and more responsibilities. Therefore, designers need to have all of the habits and creativity they need to shine on the project first before themselves.
This logic may be hard to chew on and not for everyone. But it's one method that can prevent drama from happening. The team can go on the And when there is drama ensues, how the leader and team members deal with the situation can be a ground for a salary or even being let go.
6. Read The Room Before Negotiating
It's a common misconception that a raise needs to happen every year. Some companies may be able to offer such luxury, but it doesn't apply to all of them. Some companies may even do promotions biannually after a four to six months evaluation period. But it's more common that the raise happen at random times, as this is most often the case with startup companies.
The logo design market is already a niche by itself. It's a small part of the much-larger design industry. Therefore, the demand may rise and fall unexpectedly. It's crucial to time the negotiation best. Just because another colleague receives a raise when they are new means that the company is giving raise to anyone. Always learn the situation before any promotion.
If the agency has a history of a high turnout of employees, then maybe there's a deeper reason why the designers choose to leave the company. Maybe they don't receive the raise they believe they deserve. Before negotiating the raise, understand the company's situation. It may come off as difficult, but not impossible to do.
Read the room before breaching up the subject to the manager. And if the agency doesn't have any career ladder or promises any raise. Then perhaps it's time to look for another agency to work.
What mostly happens in the logo design market is steady progress. Therefore, don't be discouraged when the agency seems to keep the salary number steady. Again, if there’s a chance to talk about salary renegotiation, approach the subject carefully. Some agencies don't appreciate their employees nosing around, while others are more transparent about their executive decisions.
Do not undermine the agencies that choose not to give any raise. Ask if they give any bonus or tips instead. If the agency insists on keeping their designers at the base salary and benefits, then start building up the portfolio to look for other promising opportunities.
7. Consider Freelancing
Another option to maximize a logo designer's earnings is through freelancing jobs. They have the option to be a full-time freelancer and take their jobs anywhere they go. They can set up a home office or be a digital nomad and work from anywhere around the world.
Freelancers may earn less than an in-house logo designer in a month. But they also can earn a lot more than the in-house designers. Freelancers have the benefits of being able to meet and set up projects with multiple clients with no time restrictions other than the deadlines. This gives them the freedom to earn a lot more per project.
Freelancers also can take their work anywhere they go. They don't have any time and space restrictions. This can be a good thing for those who can manage their time or have other focus for the time being.
A rarity is when an agency allows its designers to take some freelance jobs as side earnings. A designer who does so is often keeping it secret from the agency. Another thing to keep in mind is that there is no guarantee that freelancing means more earnings for shorter work hours.
Sometimes it's the opposite; the freelancing job takes a lot of time that does not match the work hours clocked. If that’s the case, then perhaps the design world may not be the one.
Eventually, it depends on the designer's skills and how good they are at what they do. Interaction with the client often determines how much a designer is worth. A highly skilled logo designer with years of experience may not be one of the highest earners because of their attitude.
And on the contrary, the one with average skills can earn more because the clients like to worth with them and they choose to avoid drama at work. Skill and attitude are two things many designers need to have and cultivate.
When a designer has the reputation of being difficult, they may have difficulties finding more jobs in the future. Michael Beirut once said that when designers do bad jobs for bad clients, they will continue receiving jobs for bad clients. And when they do a good job for good clients, they will receive more good jobs from good clients.
The fact is that a logo designer's earnings don't always reflect their skills. Even the highly skilled one can earn the median income because they choose to stay in the agency or only earn as much. Still, they have the chance to earn more when they know when and how to look for it.
They have many options on how to broach the subject. They can do it in subtlety by keeping delivering awesome logo designs for the clients. And this translates to more earnings for the agency and eventually to the designer's pocket.
One thing to remember is that there is no exact time limit on when it is too soon or too late to renegotiate the salary. Sometimes, it's all laid out in the contract. Good and thorough reading before signing is crucial to know the chance of boosting their earnings.