It isn’t an unusual dream for Graphic Designers to want to work for themselves rather than being employed by others, however it isn’t a straightforward and easy thing to achieve.
There are obviously many different aspects to consider when setting up as a self employed Graphic Designer, such as keeping full accounts and finding premises, but perhaps the most fundamental consideration is where to find the clients who will give the Designer their income.
This can be a competitive sector and finding new clients is rarely straight forward and there are likely to be many occasions, particularly when starting out, when there won’t be any client jobs on the go. Even for Designers who have a full client base, there will probably be times when they find themselves at a loose end, perhaps waiting for client revisions on a project.
These quiet times can be utilised by Graphic Designers to work on personal projects and designs. This can be a great way to develop new skills and perhaps build up a unique personal style. However, such designs can be used in a variety of ways to produce brand new and unexpected revenue streams through the use of print on demand services.
How to Turn Designs Into Cash
Print on demand services have become hugely popular and have opened up all sorts of possibilities for Graphic Designers. There is no longer the need to invest up front in getting a range of products produced. This means that by using a third party service, a wide range of unique products can be offered for sale.
Perhaps the best known of the print on demand services is Cafepress, which offers more to Designers than just production services, as they are also a huge online store.
The product range that they offer is extensive and allows Graphic Designers to apply their own designs to all sorts of goods, suitable for all types of customers.
A favorite product of Designers is t-shirts and these offer a perfect canvas for all sorts of designs, however there are many other products available that should be considered when producing designs. Greeting cards are relatively low cost, meaning there could be a wide market, and they offer all sorts of design possibilities, even perhaps designing for some very obscure occasions.
Beyond those, there are all sorts of homewares, including mugs and cushions, buttons, bumper stickers, mousepads, calendars and posters, just to name a few, that Designers can apply their work to.
Another possible way for Graphic Designers to derive income from their designs without a client is by using Spoonflower’s service. Spoonflower is also a print on demand and online store service, but unlike Cafepress, they specialise purely in producing custom fabrics for use by sewers and other crafters.
This would be a particularly good option for Designers who enjoy producing patterns that lend themselves to being repeated.
These are just two sites that offer services that allow Graphic Designers to productize their designs and such services can open up the possibility to develop revenue streams that are not reliant on a client calling the creative shots.