The graphic design industry [online and offline] is highly in demand and there is a lot of money to be made from it.

Online, the escalating growth of this industry is aided by the increasing demand for internet and interactive media advertising, such as ads on mobile phone apps. And offline, the demand for graphics for advertisements is also high, too.

Even if you do not have a solid background in graphic design, you can still learn the skill and start making money. SuccessDigest this week shows you how to go about it.

 
Overview Of Graphic Design Opportunities Online

Mr.Timothy Anietie is the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, TimTech Solutions. He says, “Graphic design is the art of communication, stylizing, and problem-solving through the use of type, space and image. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term “graphic design” is used interchangeably with these due to overlapping skills involved.

“Graphic designers use various methods to create and
combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use a combination of typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce a final result.

“Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated. Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), print advertisements, posters, billboards, website graphics and elements, signs and product packaging.

“For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, book cover, organized text and pure design elements such as images, shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.

It is a daily needed skill on the internet environment as virtually everyone needs a touch of graphics or two to make unique visual advertisement”.

Mr. Sylvester Nnachi, Web/Graphic Designer says, “There are lots of opportunities on the internet for a specific niche like graphic design which varies from graphic design to web graphics. There is a lot of demand for graphic design jobs online on a daily basis. As companies develop products/services that they want to promote via the internet, their first option is how to present the product to buyers online. Here, the graphic designer comes into play and there are lots of products/ services that are being developed on a daily basis which make graphic design a huge opportunity on the internet”.

Mr. Bola Oni is the CEO/Web Developer/Trainer/Web Consultant, Ideaportals Nigeria. He says, “As someone that has been online for a while and that has done so much as well, personally and in conjunction with others, I can emphatically state that the internet has so many opportunities for any skill, graphic designing inclusive. As a graphic designer, you can start creating and selling logos either on your own website or on freelance websites. You can start selling banners, both static and animated. You can in summary sell your graphics services online with the necessary know how”.

How Graphic Designing On The Internet Can Start 

Nnachi says, “I started graphic design on the internet by visiting lots of graphic design tutorials online.

“There are lots of graphic design tutorial guides on the internet today. I spend time watching graphic design tutorials on Youtube videos and other great graphic design tutorial websites”.

Anietie says, “Interestingly, I did desktop publishing in basic computer training some years ago. Then we could design with Microsoft Word. Afterwards, we were introduced to Adobe PageMaker which we explored and used for publishing designs. Subsequently, CorelDraw was introduced and all felt like, why did we have to suffer all the while with PageMaker that is not flexible compared to CorelDraw.
“Although we did a lot with CorelDraw, the discovery of Photoshop 7 then was really something! Despite all expectations, we were all told we could only edit pictures on Photoshop and make the designs on CorelDraw. I started professionally in 2011 when I became an entrepreneur. I had, after my Basic Training, obtained several professional trainings both online and offline on websites and graphic design.

“With the discovery of some great software like the CS Version of Adobe Photoshop, Fireworks, Advanced CorelDraw and many other graphic tools to mention but a few; I became an online branding expert. I implemented e-design and branding as part of my service and they have since yielded good responses”.

Oni says, “My first experience with graphics was about 10 years ago when I was just learning web designing. I knew how to design nice websites, but I was in need of graphics designing knowledge. So, I started fiddling with different graphic designing tools like Corel Draw, Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. A friend introduced me to Macromedia Fireworks back then and I fell in love with it. I ensured I mastered all that the software can do. As fate would have it, I ran into a friend that I had not seen in years and he told me about his financial challenges. My first question was, “What can you do?” He told me he has graphic design knowledge.

“So, I asked if we can team up and set up an online graphic design business and he consented. That was in 2008 or so. The agreement was that he would be fronting the business and I would be providing all the support needed. We set up a website then and we did a free offer on the famous Warrior Forum just to test the ground and see if we would be accepted. We got offers to design about 20 web graphics and that kick-started the business”.

How To Land The First Job

Nnachi says, “I got my first graphics design job in 2010 via the social network, Facebook. Like I said earlier on, when I started graphics design online, I watched video tutorials after which I would go on my own to recreate designs I had learnt as a student and try to add my own creativity to it. When I finish recreating a design, I would post the design on Facebook and tag my friends. They would post positive comments about the designs and some would even share it on their Facebook walls. So many of my tutorial designs went viral through Facebook and one day I got a call from someone who needed a graphic design job done for him urgently. That’s how I got my first job”.

Anietie says, “Being paid for a skill that you thought was just part of the learning curriculum was fun. It was more than a surprise to me when I got the first graphic design job that paid me, even though the money wasn’t much.

“I got paid for graphics job before I became a professional on the job. It was in 2008, that I got my first graphic design job offline which paid me N15, 000 with printing. While in computer school then, I was always seen as the best in graphic design in my set; starting from basic software programs like Microsoft Word and Adobe PageMaker. Although, I never knew I would be an entrepreneur as I am today. I printed my first business card while in the second month of the training and it was designed with Microsoft Word.

“The first set of the printed cards got damaged in my wallet without my sharing it. I was angry with myself, but I decided to print another set. This time I stopped giving my phone number to anyone who requested for it and would simply issue out my card, even though it was printed with very low quality paper.

“And through it I got my first payout from graphic design. But the door opened widely when I discovered the internet and how it can be turned into a marketplace for a good business. I started learning about the internet and marketing in 2009 and was opportune to become part of the SuccessDigest family, which gave me more insight on internet trends. I discovered I could make a whole lot of money with my skills on the internet through different available freelance mediums and also through online branding of my personal and corporate identity”.

Oni says, “I got my first job on Warrior Forum – an online internet marketing forum”.

Other Ways To Source For Graphic Design Deals

Nnachi says, “There are lots of ways you can source for graphics design deals online. I will mention some:

1.    Through Social Networks, e.g., Facebook & Twitter. There are many people who are looking for graphic designers through social network platforms to give jobs to.

2.    Through registering for a freelancing website where customers come and hire graphic designers, e.g., Fiverr.com, Cmsdone4you.com, Freelancer.com, etc.

3.    You can also source for jobs by creating a video that compares all your designs – something like a portfolio video. You post it on Youtube and market it through that platform”.

Anietie says, “Internet has actually made life so beautiful for me and my business. Most times you will just wake up and see some mails of enquiries about your charges and eventually all you need is to make sure you appear professional to seal it. Having a professional online presence for every skill one acquires is something that should be taken as pertinent as brushing your teeth every morning.
“Although, having a website is not enough; you must make sure that your website is well optimized for search engine visibility.

For instance, if you should check for the best website and graphic design company in Nigeria, my company’s website timtechsolution.com will appear as number one or two on the first page of Google search or other search engines.

“So, search engine optimization will help in the online aspect of marketing your business, while you just have to do very little to convert to sale. I also utilize social media platforms a lot in marketing and sourcing for jobs, but you must understand the strategies in social media marketing, or else you will waste lots of time without results.

“You find a client. You work on a project. You get paid. And then you start all over again. But if you want to make more money and make money more regularly as a designer, you’ve got to think, research and discover other ways to make some cash. And I mean lots of different sources. Not just two. Majority of the freelance sites have more design jobs than programming jobs.

“As a graphic designer, a site like Graphic River is probably the most suitable marketplace for you. It is the place for business cards, icons, fonts, Photoshop, actions & filters, flyers and other stock items. Graphic River has grown so much in the past few years, so you should be aware of the competition and a huge number of (similar) files. Unique items would probably sell quite well here.

“Also, checkout other freelance websites like Freelancer.com, Fiverr.com, Freelanceswitch.com, Microlancer.com, Peopleperhour.com, and Elance.com.
“Each of them has what sells better and what doesn’t on them. So when you are using either of them, you need to study the sites and understand the kind of Graphics that are demanded on such site to give you an idea of what to display when prospecting.

“According to research, it is design jobs that sell better and faster on the freelance portals. Such design jobs include the likes of eBook cover designs, web banner designs, web template designs, logo designs, banners and fliers, billboard designs, 3D graphics, animation, etc.

“The four major ways I make money from these skills are:

1. Consulting: We can be consulted monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on the client. We consult for some firms, or train some of their personnel on online branding with web & graphic design Skills.

2. E-Learning Books And Videos: We have developed several versions of website & graphic design videos and many have been learning through it and they are being sold all over the country and we have recently extended it to Ghana and India, through digital means.

3. Themes/Templates you may not necessarily be the one to finish up: Many programmers pay graphic designers online to design just the template structure, while they do the programming. This is another source for every graphic designer who understands how to design website templates.

4. Freelancing and Direct Contact Delivery: We have earlier shared some of the freelancing websites which are very much reputable sources for every freelancer. I have been exploring them and also with my company’s optimized sites, we get contacted for projects”.

Oni says, “These days, people are talking about Fiverr. Though, I do more of web development now, it is worth looking at for anyone who is interested. Also, I believe internet marketing forums still serve as the best means because it is mostly internet marketers that need this service”.

Ensuring You Get Your Pay

Nnachi says, “There are lots of ways you can get paid but let me use Fiverr as an instance. Fiverr gives its Fiverr Mastercard to its sellers (graphic designers]. When you do a job for a buyer and he pays you on your Fiverr Account, you can withdraw the money with the Fiverr Mastercard given to you anywhere in the world.

“You can also get paid through Payoneer Mastercard which also works with other freelancing websites online”.

Anietie says, “This is determined by where you get the job. If it was on a freelance portal, there are options -although it solely depends on the portal. PeoplePayhour has very flexible payment options. However, some of the freelance sites operate with PayPal. When you have executed some projects and have been attested, you can have easy negotiation with your client.

“For consultancy service or Direct Offline Design contract, 70 percent of the total charge is paid up front, while 30 percent is paid at the end of the project”.

Oni says, “PayPal of course! There is a company in Ikeja that made it possible for us. I have been dealing with them for a while and they made their PayPal account available when we wanted to start. When customers pay into the account, all I do is to show them the transaction ID and they remove their commission”.

Acquiring The Skill – Where? For How Long?

Nnachi says, “There are lots of websites where you can acquire graphic design skills from. Like I mentioned earlier, through Youtube.com, you can search for graphic design tutorials. You can also get such from Photoshoptutorials.ws, Photoshoplady.com, Lynda.com and many more. It doesn’t take long to acquire graphic design skills. All you need to do is to give it your 100 percent focus. Within a few months, you will begin to grow in it”.

Oni says, “For those who wish to start this business, the best graphic design tool to learn with is Photoshop. You can enroll in a good graphic design school or learn from an adept user of Photoshop. Online tutorials can be used as well.

“There are thousands of free videos on YouTube, millions of websites out there have free tutorials too. After learning Photoshop, an additional knowledge of Action Scripting with Photoshop is also necessary because you will need that to create ecovers. How much you are spending on learning all depends on how far you want to go.

“There are also online graphic design courses which are typically offered as part of associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in graphic design, web design or multimedia design. Distance-learning certificate programs are also available for graphic design professionals who want to hone their skills in specific software programs, like Adobe Photoshop.

So, students can enroll in distance-learning graphic design classes and interact with instructors and classmates via web-based learning platforms. Professors typically post instructional lectures and class assignments that can be accessed at any time, and students post questions and discussion topics to class forums”.

Kinds Of Graphic Design Jobs Demanded Online

Nnachi says, “The kind of graphic design jobs that are mostly in demand online are main web graphics based on:

·       Logo Design
·       Banner Ad Design
·       E-book Cover Design
·       Web Design Layout Design
·       e-Flyer (Internet Flyer Design)

Anietie says, “It’s obvious you may not get offline oriented deals on the online portals. But based on experience, graphic design deals mostly demanded for are web graphics, logo designs, web banner designs, sidebar placement banners, e-Book covers, website template designs, fliers, advert graphics, etc”.

Oni says, “Banners, ecovers, animated gigs and webpage backgrounds are in high demand”.

How Much Can One Possible Earn Per Month

Nnachi says, “I can’t give a specific amount but I know that if you work hard at it, you can make up to N200,000 Monthly”.

Anietie says, “Every skill or business that is done diligently will always yield fruitful income. In web & graphic design, your creativity, portfolio, strategy, USP (Unique Selling Point), will determine how much you make. However, you can make a minimum of N100, 000 monthly; if you project professionally.

Meanwhile, I advise that you combine the graphic design skills with website design and development skills. With that, you can earn N150, 000 and above monthly. It’s a guarantee from experience”.

Oni says, “A starter can earn between 200 – 500 USD per month depending on the delivery rate and marketing as well. As time goes on with focus, you can earn a thousand USD upward”.
What is your advice for new entrants in this line of business
Oni says, “Learn the skill, get into the business, be patient and stay focused”.

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