A Day In The Life Of A Freelance Graphic Designer 

What does a day in the life of a freelance graphic designer look like? This post will give you a rundown of both the work tasks and logistics you’ll need to consider.

A day in the life of a freelance Graphic Designer – YouTube
1. Freelance graphic designers enjoy flexible schedules and the freedom to choose their projects and clients.
2. Managing client communication, project timelines, and finances is an essential part of a freelancer’s routine.
3. The day often starts with planning tasks, responding to emails, and setting priorities for the day’s design work.
4. Freelancers balance creative design time with administrative tasks, such as invoicing and marketing efforts.
5. Networking, continuous skill development, and managing work-life balance contribute to a successful freelance graphic design career.

Your Day-To-Day Responsibilities

You are the problem solver, the problem finder, and the creator. As a graphic designer, you might be asked to create an image or a logo for a new business. This will include researching and understanding who the target market is for this project. 

You are then responsible for creating an effective visual representation of this brand identity (or branding) so that it resonates with its intended audience.

Embarking on a career as a freelance graphic designer might feel daunting, but with the right strategies, you can make it a success. Discover the ins and outs of a freelancer’s journey with our detailed guide on A Day in the Life of a Freelance Graphic Designer, and gain valuable insights into managing your creative work independently.

Always Communicate

Communication is the key to any professional relationship, and you should always be communicating with your clients. You’ll need to be in touch with them so they can give their feedback on the work you’re doing, while also making sure they’re completely on board with your vision. 

But communication doesn’t just stop there: it’s also important that you communicate with yourself and everyone else around you. Even if a client isn’t involved in the design process (like when I was working for a company that handled all their design), there are still many things that need to be delivered to them on time and without error. 

That means lots of communication between myself and my team members as well as a few meetings here or there when we’d discuss what would happen next week or month down the line all part of our daily routine back then!

And don’t forget about those plants! They too will benefit from frequent communication; otherwise, they might become susceptible to disease or pests if not watered properly (which can happen if someone forgets). 

These days I’ve made it my mission not just because it’s fun but because green plants do emit oxygen into our atmosphere while also absorbing carbon dioxide emissions created by humans’ industrial activities such as heating homes during winter months ­which means keeping them healthy becomes extremely important.

This blog post was written by one such plant:

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Make Sure You’re Getting Paid What You Deserve

So you’ve searched for a job and found nothing that meets your needs. You’re ready to give up on the idea of getting paid for your talent, but don’t despair! If you’re willing to put in some hard work and long hours, freelancing can be an excellent way to make money by using your skills as a graphic designer.

To start, make sure that you have an hourly rate in mind. Many designers charge anywhere from $15 – $25 per hour; however, if you have more experience or are exceptionally talented then it may be worth it for clients to pay more than this amount. 

Additionally, it’s important not just to think about how much time each project will take but also what kind of projects they are! 

When calculating how much money you need per month (and therefore per hour), remember: there are two kinds of freelance work: hourly and project-based pricing models. 

Hourly rates should always be based on market value while project-based pricing models vary depending on client type and skill set required by the job itself

Learn When To Say No And Set Boundaries

You have to be firm about what you can and cannot do. If a client asks for a design that is not in your area of expertise, it’s okay to say no. You also don’t want to burn yourself out by taking on too much work at once and saying no is the only way to prevent that from happening.

It can be hard to turn down work when you’re just starting, but it’s important to take care of yourself and protect your business interests as well as your personal life. 

Set boundaries around how many projects or clients you will accept before turning away any more potential work opportunities: “I love working with you, but I’m booked solid until next week.” Or, “I enjoy working with other designers who are looking for help with their business strategy!”

Avoid The Feast Or Famine Cycle

As a freelancer, you’re always in the market for new clients and projects. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes an unusually high number of jobs come in at once even more than you can handle!

It’s important to avoid the feast or famine cycle when it comes to freelance work. The feast happens when there’s too much work on your plate and you’re overwhelmed by deadlines; meanwhile, during the famine, not enough work is coming through because they don’t want to pay or they don’t have any work at all.

One thing I’ve learned is that it’s important to make sure that whatever rate you’re charging works for them as well as yourself. If they’re willing to pay something unreasonably low, then consider raising their budget or turning down the job altogether (unless it’s an opportunity worth pursuing).

Market research is a powerful tool for freelance graphic designers to understand their audience better and refine their approach. Learn the art of asking insightful questions with our guide on How to Ask Questions That Will Help You Market, which provides actionable advice for conducting effective market research and tailoring your design services accordingly.

Set Aside Money For Taxes Every Month

One of the most important things to do as a freelancer is set aside money every month. This is because you need to pay taxes on your income, which can be quite a large sum if you work full-time and year-round. 

You don’t want to be surprised by this at the end of the year when you do your taxes; it will be much easier for you if you set aside some money every month so that it doesn’t come out of your business funds or take away from any other expenses that may come up throughout the year.

Setting aside money for taxes is also important because it allows businesses to grow more quickly than they otherwise would have been able to. 

When businesses can spend more money on hiring new employees or investing in their business, it creates better products/services and makes them attractive as employers for prospective workers as well!

Never Trade Services For Exposure Or Experience

Never trade your services for exposure or experience.

If you’re a graphic designer, you’ve probably been approached by aspiring artists looking to get their work out there through your portfolio. And while it might feel good to help someone with that, there are two major problems with doing so:

The first is that they’re not going to give back the same amount of effort and quality as someone willing to pay for the service in the first place.

Secondly, if you give away free work too often, then people will start expecting it from you every time and when they don’t see any return on investment for themselves (a completed project), then they’ll stop being interested in working with you anyway.

Don’t Let A Client Dictate The Quality Of Your Work

If a client is attempting to dictate the quality of your work, they’re not respecting the value you add to their project. 

If they insist on using one particular font, that’s fine but if you feel like it won’t look good in context with the rest of their business materials and marketing strategy, stick to your guns. You have a responsibility as an artist to make sure that what comes out at the end looks professional and polished.

You also don’t want someone telling you how long something should take that’s part of your job too! They may have unrealistic expectations about what can be accomplished within certain time frames or under certain conditions (e.g., “I need this by tomorrow morning so I can send it off before lunch!”). 

Letting clients dictate deadlines puts undue pressure on yourself and could cause stress-related health issues down the road if these kinds of situations become routine parts of working life as a freelancer not worth it!

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Charge A Deposit Up Front To Cover Yourself In Emergencies

A deposit is important because it covers you in case of an emergency. If a client cancels their project and they’re halfway through, you need to be able to cover your time wasted with them.

Several ways exist to charge a deposit:

  • Cash payment at the start of work
  • A returnable check
  • Payment through an escrow service if both parties are comfortable with it (e.g., Upwork or PayPal)

Make sure your contract allows for one or more of these options! What happens after that depends on how much risk you want to take on as a freelancer: some designers will keep their clients’ money in their accounts until they’re finished with the job; others may ask for it back at different stages (such as when 50% of design has been completed). 

Either way is fine but make sure that whatever arrangement you choose is spelled out in advance.

Don’t Get Sucked Into Working 24/7. Your Clients Will Expect It.

When you work for yourself, it’s easy to get sucked into working all the time. You’re never officially off the clock and there’s always something on your to-do list that needs doing. 

But this isn’t healthy or sustainable you need to take breaks and make sure you have enough time off to rest and recharge so that you’re ready for the next project when it comes along.

You also need time off to spend with family and friends, as well as on hobbies and other interests. 

And vacations are important! Self-care is essential too; if you don’t take care of yourself first, then neither will your clients want anything from you (unless they’re just horrible people). Your health should always come first make sure that includes getting enough sleep every night!

Don’t Take On More Than You Can Handle

There’s a lot of pressure to take on as many projects as possible, but you can’t do it all. If you take on too much and start to spread yourself too thin, your quality of work will suffer. You must stay focused and make sure each of your clients gets the best possible service.

Take some time to think about what type of work suits you best and figure out how much time each project will take so that you can plan accordingly. Then make sure that the amount of money being offered matches up with how much time is needed for completion (and don’t let them tell you otherwise).

When You Work Smart Instead Of Hard, You’ll Have Time To Spare.

So, you have a list of tasks to accomplish. You’ve broken them down into smaller pieces and set deadlines for their completion. What’s next?

When you work smart instead of hard, you’ll have time to spare. Here are some tips that will help keep your freelancing stress-free:

Make sure you start with the most important items on your list first. If there is an urgent deadline looming or an important project that needs attention immediately, get it done before anything else! 

For example, if a client wants a poster design by tomorrow at 3 pm EST (because she needs it for an upcoming event), she should be able to count on having her design ready in time even though this might mean staying up all night working on it if necessary! 

If there are many clients like this one who need their materials as soon as possible, you may want to consider hiring additional designers just so they can take care of these deadlines while other projects wait their turn; 

However, keep in mind that doing so might increase overhead costs by quite a bit so make sure doing so would be worth both time and money spent before committing any resources towards extra employees (or even just part-time ones). 

It could also help if such items were put higher up on priority lists too – but remember not everyone has access or wants access via email which makes contacting them much more difficult than otherwise necessary; especially when dealing with international companies whose employees work remotely from home offices located far away from anyone else working remotely within proximity (such).

Market sizing studies are essential for freelance graphic designers to identify growth opportunities and make informed decisions. Explore how to conduct a market sizing study without breaking the bank in our guide on How to Conduct a Market Sizing Study Without Breaking the Bank, where you’ll find practical tips for understanding market potential and positioning your design services effectively.


So that’s a typical day in the life of me an independent graphic designer. There’s no question that it’s a busy and chaotic life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

From the creative satisfaction of using my artistic skills to help companies accomplish their goals, to the flexibility of setting my hours and being able to work anywhere with an internet connection, I love my job.

Further Reading

A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer: Explore the daily routine and tasks of a graphic designer, gaining insight into the creative process and challenges faced in the field.

Day in the Life of a Freelance Graphic Designer: Dive into the world of a freelance graphic designer, discovering the unique experiences, responsibilities, and advantages of working independently.

Designer’s Day: A Glimpse into the Creative World: Discover firsthand accounts from designers sharing their daily routines and creative processes, offering valuable insights and inspiration for graphic design enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Start My Own Business?

You have lots of options. If you’re just getting started, you can use sites like Upwork or Freelancer to find clients and get paid for small jobs. As your freelance career progresses, you might want to consider hiring freelancers yourself (you could even hire me!) and taking on bigger projects with more ambitious schedules.

How Do I Get Clients?

The best way is through referrals your past clients will be happy to recommend their favorite designer! 

But if they aren’t willing, there are other options: advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram; networking at local events where professionals gather (like conferences), and joining professional organizations that bring together potential employers with job seekers in your field (the Graphic Artists Guild is one good example).

How Do I Find New Customers?

Take a look at what similar businesses are doing online, for example, companies that sell products like yours may be offering special promotions or discounts for new customers who sign up for their mailing list during a sale season such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. 

You can also advertise in places such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace; many people are wary about buying from strangers but will still click through if the price seems reasonable enough!

How Do I Find Clients?

You can post your portfolio on websites like Behance and Dribbble. You can also find clients through referrals, networking, or by sending cold emails to companies that seem like good fits for your work.

How Do I Get Paid?

There are many ways that graphic designers get paid for their work. Some charge by the hour, others by project, and some have a flat rate fee per project. It depends on the type of project and how much time you’re able to put into it (the bigger the client and/or job, the more money you’ll likely earn).

What Should I Charge?

Use this formula: 1 Hour x Your Hourly Rate = Project Cost

How Do I Find Clients?

There are many ways to find clients, but the best way is through your network. If you know someone who has a project that needs your skills, then get in touch with them! If you don’t know anyone with a current project and still want to get started as quickly as possible, consider putting an ad on Craigslist or posting on Twitter (#Jobs). 

Also, make sure you’re following all of the relevant hashtags for your industry on social media; if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being freelance for over three years now is that everyone’s looking for work. You just have to find them first.*

How Do I Work Well With Clients?

Clients can be tough sometimes (especially when they’re paying us), but we must keep our cool during negotiations (and beyond). The more professional yet personable we act around our clients, the more likely they’ll be willing to go back again in the future.

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