Learning How To Freelance: Resources for Designers
Whether you’ve been designing for years or just now decided to learn graphic design, always remember to never stop learning. There are tons of FREE online resources for designers that offer advice and knowledge on running a freelance business. Blogs, podcasts and ebooks are useful resources for designers who want to learn graphic design along with skills in business and entrepreneurship.
'Good design is good business' -Thomas Watson Jr. Click To Tweet
Design school exposed me to a variety of fields within graphic design and by the time I graduated, I understood the principles of design and could easily navigate Adobe software. I was as prepared as I could be as a graphic designer, but still struggled with freelancing because I knew nothing about being an entrepreneur. A designer can be really talented and experienced in their field, but still struggle with the business side of things. Below are resources for designers that I have found particularly helpful for me and my design business.
Blogs are great resources for designers because they offer helpful insight and knowledge on business and design. Blogs can be entertaining to read and allow you to learn at your own pace. I enjoy reading all types of blogs for insight, but those that cover topics specific to graphic design and the art of freelancing are the blogs I frequent the most.
DesignM.ag has great resources for designers and freelancers focused on web and mobile design. There are a variety of categories, including tutorials and freebies. The design and freelance categories are two that I’ve found most helpful for my business.
Design Buddy is a go-to for inspiration and interesting reads on design. Instead of categories, Design Buddy has a variety of topics including logo design, freelance tips, typography, technology, and resources. I usually visit this site when I need creative inspiration or freelance tips.
Minima Designs combines web design with business advice and offers tips and insight on running a design business. I usually check the “For Designers” category for new posts but there are also useful categories for blogging designers such as “Using WordPress” and “How To Run An Online Business”.
The Nu School is a goldmine for freelance designers. There are no categories here, just a variety of topics about any and everything related to freelance graphic designers. The topics are interesting, the writing is expressive and the posts are full of helpful freelance advice.
Clementine Creative is full of business tips and design tutorials for freelancers. There are also creative resources like wallpaper designs and printables. Personally, I enjoy reading the “Case Studies” the designer makes for each of her projects. Sometimes it can be really helpful to see another designer’s process.
Letter Shoppe is one of many helpful resources for designers interested in typography and hand lettering. This blog has posts for designers who want to improve their lettering skills and need help freelancing. The Letter Shoppe is filled with resources for designers and offers categories like “Progress Updates”: a behind-the-scenes look at the designer’s business progress.
The Deep End is a web and graphic design blog. It’s one of the best resources for designers looking for creative inspiration and freelance tips. With just about every topic you can think of, The Deep End offers business advice, resources, and miscellaneous fun for graphic designers.
HOW Design is the go-to hub for graphic designers. There are competitions, interviews, news updates, and resources all focused around design. HOW offers a sense of community for freelance designers by hosting a variety of conferences and events, as well as a job board with numerous creative opportunities around the US.
The Graphic Design School is a helpful tool for learning freelance designers. This blog has categories that range from professional business practices to interviews with inspiring designers. One category I find particularly interesting is “Design Culture”, a category full of posts with a global perspective on the latest design trends and work processes.
Millo is a blog focused on helping those that want to build a creative business. Each post offers valuable insight for freelance designers looking to go full-time and work for themselves. Millo offers advice for just about every topic that comes with running a design business, from working with clients to raising prices.
Podcasts are essential resources for designers because they allow us to multitask while getting great freelance advice. It’s not usual for a designer to have something playing in the background while working on a project. Instead of always listening to your favorite playlist, try listening to some of these design podcasts to learn more about the freelancing and hear tips from some influential designers.
Mule Radio Syndicate is the ideal podcast for designer who can appreciate a few good laughs while learning more about graphic design. There is a broad variety of topics to listen to, in addition to a few miscellaneous, yet entertaining topics the hosts choose to discuss.
BizCraft is one of the resources for designers that educates its listeners on how to run a design business. Each episode focuses on important business concepts no matter your niche in design. There are plenty of interviews, business tips and resources for designers.
The Web Ahead is a great resource for designers who love to get insight from the experts. The host features a new guest designer in every episode and discusses various web design topics and questions. With 91 guests and 111 episodes to date, you sure to find gain some valuable web design knowledge.
The Deep End DesignCast talks about everything graphic design related topic you can think of, as well as a few miscellaneous topics in between. This podcast is especially great for freelance designers with lots of questions. The hosts take time out of each episode to answer listeners’ submitted questions.
GoMedia is full of clips that are short, sweet and to the point. If you’re in need of a quick episode to listen to, you’re bound to discover one here. This podcast offers several great resources for designers, from valuable panel discussions to interviews with design professionals.
HOW Design Live is a go-to resources for freelance designers. The host discusses topics around business and creativity with creative professionals and design entrepreneurs. With topics around strategy, design and client relationships, this podcast is a valuable resource for freelancers looking to improve their business.
Ebooks are useful resources for designers because they are filled with in-depth knowledge on a specific subject and commonly include visual explanations. This is a huge benefit for designers because we are naturally visual people and usually comprehend better when images are involved. Additionally ebooks are one of the resources for designers, simply because they’re easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Whether you’re sitting in front of a desktop computer or out and about with only your mobile phone; ebooks help designers learn no matter their location.
Everything There Is To Know About Logo Design is a beautifully designed ebook with just about everything you would need to know about logos. From colors and typography to tips on building a brand, this ebook provides great tips, insight and visual examples for designers.
Designing for the Web provides readers with an in-depth lesson on everything one could want to know about designing for the web. Whether you’re just getting started in the web design field or want to learn more about working as a professional web designer, this ebook is a great guide.
The Creative Aid is one of the more unique resources for designers I’ve come across. This ebook is packed with ideas and activities intended to help designers rekindle their creativity. With a layout as interesting as its content, reading The Creative Aid can help any designer push past creativity boundaries and generate new, innovative ideas.
Pixel Perfect Precision Handbook is a valuable ebook with over 40-page of content for learning web designers. If you’re looking to learn more about pixels, Photoshop, or web development, this handbook is a resource you’ll definitely want to check out.
Type Classification is a great resource for designers interested in typography and hand lettering. The purpose of the book is to help readers learn and recognize all ten type classifications. The ebook is almost as interesting to look at as it is to read because each section provides a thorough description as well as a visual example for each typeface.
So You Want to be a Freelancer? is one of the most ideal resources for designers that actively freelancing or considering starting a business soon. The ebook walks readers through the process of getting started as a freelancer and has plenty of tips for getting organized, staying motivated and managing business finances.
The Magic of CSS is a valuable resource for designers who specialize in web design. This ebook teaches readers how to easily understand HTML and CSS with clear visual examples and helpful links for further reading.
How to Start a Blog is a well designed ebook for designers interested in blogging. This ebook functions as a useful resource for designers because it covers any and every question you could have about starting, maintaining and monetizing a blog.
What other resources for designers have you discovered on the internet? How do they help you with your freelance business?