To get started in freelance graphic design, find out what a graphic designer does, what a graphic designer needs to know and where a graphic designer can find work. Graphic designers are people who create effective communication methods through the combination of art, illustration, photography, typography and color elements. They may be talented in these areas themselves or they may hire the talent.
What they must certainly have is an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of design, color theory, proportion and composition. Computer skills are required and proficiency in the latest design software is a very big plus.
Get training in graphic design by taking college or university courses in graphic design. The main benefit of a formal education is that students receive a thorough grounding in design basics. Having a graphic design degree also looks good on a resume and to prospective clients. However, talented and dedicated self-taught people can thrive in the freelance graphic design field as well.
Freelance graphic designers can work across a broad swathe of industries. There is hardly a business that does not require some or the other form of graphic design. This may include business cards, brochures, logos, mastheads, mailers, envelopes, package designs, banners, advertisements and billboards. A graphic artist also designs invitations, wedding cards, greeting cards, page layouts, cover designs and much more.
To get a foot in the door, approach graphic design studios for freelance graphic design work. Check newspaper advertisements and online job boards. Let acquaintances, friends and family know about the work quest, and recruit them to help. Be prepared to do a few pro bono or low paid assignments. Getting work experience and building up contacts is more important at the early stage.
Check how other people are faring in the freelance graphic design field and learn from them. Read all available books on graphic design, business management and finance management. Research information on the Internet. Pick up new skills from online tutorials. Learn how to use both the latest branded and open source design software.
However, if freelance graphic design work is slow in coming in, don't wait around for someone to approach or respond with a job offer. Start working on personal design projects and create many high quality samples. Build up an excellent portfolio and create a well-presented website. Spend some time in marketing the freelance graphic design business and getting the word out about the website. Clients will come if the work is good. Be ethical and professional in all dealings.