Tips & Resources > Careers

Remote Graphic Design Jobs: The Complete Guide for Creatives

Remote Graphic Design Jobs: The Complete Guide for Creatives

Are you the creative type? Would you enjoy working on remote graphic design jobs from the comfort of your own home?

If so, then you should consider a career as a remote graphic designer. 

Remote graphic design jobs are more abundant than ever, thanks to a boom in work from home opportunities, and a growing demand for graphic designers across many industries and organizations.

In fact, there are more than 275,000 graphic design jobs in the U.S. alone.

It may surprise you to learn that 90% of graphic designers work on a freelance basis, giving them the freedom to work from home on a flexible schedule. 

With the right training and software, you can too!

In this complete guide to remote graphic design jobs, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to get started. All you need to bring is your creativity, a desire to learn, and the dedication to succeed.

If you already have some experience, you can find lots of high quality graphic design jobs on MotherWorks.com

If you’re a newbie, then read on to learn how you can become a successful remote graphic designer.  

Is Graphic Design Right for You?

Graphic design jobs are great for work-life balance, especially if you’re a working mom. 

If you need employment that allows you to be home with the kids, volunteer at school, or care for an aging parent, then freelancing as a remote graphic designer could be the perfect solution. 

But first, you should figure out if graphic design is right for you.

As a freelancer, you would be able to work from anywhere, at any time, and with any clientele that interests you. But with freedom comes responsibility.

You will need to ask yourself some hard questions to see if remote graphic design is truly the job for you.

  1. Do you consider yourself to be creative or artistic?
  2. Do you like working with software?
  3. Are you a good communicator via phone and e-mail?
  4. Can you interpret a client's needs and give them what they want?
  5. Are you self-disciplined enough to meet client deadlines?
  6. Are you willing to put in the work to network and pitch clients?
  7. Are you adaptable and flexible?
  8. Can you work independently with little guidance?

If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, remote graphic design jobs may be a good fit. Let's dig deeper to see if you can become a graphic design artist that can pay the bills.

What Is Graphic Design?

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) describes graphic design as “the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.”

While we don’t give it much thought, we are constantly influenced by graphic design.

From websites, social media and video, to books, magazines, signs and billboards, the work of graphic designers is all around us.

Logos created by graphic designers are found on everything we buy – even on the clothes we wear. Think Fruit of the Loom!

And if you look at the top left side of this webpage, you will see the MotherWorks logo, created by – you guessed it – a remote graphic designer.

These graphics help to give a company its brand identity, and they help sell products.

What do Graphic Designers Do?

In a remote graphic design job, you will be responsible for creating the visual elements that represent a company or organization in a positive way, and visually communicate certain ideas or messages.  

Those messages often involve sales, marketing and advertising. But graphic designers are also needed in government, education, and non-profit organizations.

Graphic design logos are just the beginning.

Using graphic design software, you may be called upon to create any of the following, often in combination:

  • Logos and Branding Materials
  • Website Graphic Design
  • Online Ads
  • Print Ads
  • Social Media Graphics/Ads
  • Style Guides
  • Print Layouts
    • Books
    • Magazines
    • Newspapers
    • Newsletters
    • Posters
    • Flyers
    • Brochures
  • Signs
  • Billboards
  • Animations
  • Video Game Graphics
  • Interactive PDFs
  • Mood Boards
  • Blog Post Graphics
  • Business Cards
  • eBooks
  • Mockups

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

While some graphic designers specialize in the digital realm, graphic design jobs may require the ability to produce a wide range of graphics for use online and in print. The more versatile you can be, the more work you will get.  

Remote and Freelance Graphic Design?

Generally speaking, remote graphic design and freelance graphic design are interchangeable terms these days.

Although some freelancers may go to a physical workplace, the vast majority work from home. Conversely, many remote graphic designers do freelance work, even if they have a full-time job. They often work evenings or weekends to earn extra money.

As a remote graphic designer, you can usually work whenever and wherever you want. It’s the perfect job for a work at home parent, or a digital nomad trying to make ends meet while traveling the world.

As freelance graphic designer, you won’t be tied down to one employer. With the ability to work remotely, you can work on as many jobs as you can handle.  

You might acquire several smaller clients or have just one or two large clients with steady ongoing work.  Many graphic designers prefer to work for several employers on a part-time basis because of the freedom that provides.

A lot of graphic design jobs are short-term one-off projects, which are perfect for freelancers working remotely.  Remote graphic design jobs are often contracted per design or as a batch or a project.

How Much Does a Graphic Designer Make?

As a remote freelance graphic designer, you are in control of your earning potential. Your pay will strongly depend on what type of graphic design jobs you take, the quality of your work, the kinds of clients you attract, and how much work you can complete each month.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average annual income of a graphic designer is $52,110 per year. This works out to be about $25.00 per hour.

But our research indicates that you can earn considerably more by working on an hourly basis as a freelancer.

We surveyed hourly fees for remote graphic designers on a number of freelance websites and found rates ranging from $20 an hour on the low end, to $200 dollars an hour for top designers.  
If you are curious about more specific positions, here are some graphic design salary estimates:

  • Senior Graphic Designer $56,978
  • Visual Designer $69,906
  • Senior Designer $84,667
  • Graphic Design Intern $27,476
  • Production Designer $39,682
  • Junior Graphic Designer $35,216
  • Graphic Artist $28,939
  • Publisher $58,074
  • Designer $73,463
  • Senior Visual Designer $107,616

Keep in mind, freelance graphic designer is an independent contractor, so it will be your responsibility to pay taxes on what you earn. If you live in the U.S., that means you would file a 1099 or self-employment tax form.

Self-employment taxes average roughly around 15.3%, which includes Medicare and Social Security taxes. You may be asked to provide the employer with a W-9 form.

How to Become a Remote Graphic Designer

There are many ways you can learn to become a graphic designer, including:

  • Self-Training
  • Online Courses
  • On-the-Job Training
  • University Programs
  • Community College Programs
  • Art School

As with many professions, you will have a leg up on the competition if you have a college degree in graphic design. And some companies and organizations require it.

But the truth is you don’t need to have a degree to be a successful remote graphic designer, provided you can develop the necessary skills and can demonstrate your ability to get the job done.

That's the magic of being in a freelance market. Your work can speak for itself.

Whether you have a degree or not, you will have to acquire the basics to work remotely.

Computer Skills 

Needless to say, you will need to be comfortable working with computers to be a successful graphic designer in the digital age. Macs are more popular among graphic designers for a variety of reasons, but Windows based computers are fine too. These skills would include computer operation, software installation and updating, and the use of file sharing and anti-malware / antivirus programs.  

Software Knowledge 

Graphic design is digitally based and requires specialized software for professional results. You need to familiarize yourself with the options, learn how to use different kinds of software and choose the right tools for the job at hand.

Organizational Skills

You will need the ability to manage your time (optimize for best payout), meet a deadline, and balance your clients. It is also very important for freelancers to manage their invoices and payments.

Communication Skills 

The importance of good communication skills can’t be over-estimated. As a freelancer, you will need to be proactive to respond to potential job opportunities. Remote graphic design jobs require excellent communication skills, primarily via email. You will have to fully understand and correctly interpret the client’s requirements in order to meet their needs. You'll need to be professional, polite, and concise.

A Graphic Designer Portfolio 

Some clients are simply looking for a deal and shop on price, but if you are looking for quality clients you will need a graphic designer portfolio.  These can be graphic designer websites that are dedicated to your freelance business or a few examples in a specific product listing.

Graphic Design Courses

Graphic design courses will help you learn the basic skills needed to create graphics for use in print or on the web.

The learning curve will seem daunting at first. From JPGs to PNGs, from raster to vector, you will need to understand the different kinds of digital files used in graphic design. You will also have to understand how to turn these files into attractive graphics that will grab people's attention.

Don't worry! There are a lot of resources to help you learn graphic design, including formal training, online courses, and free instruction on the web.

Graphic Design Degrees

You can certainly go to a university or community college to get a graphic design degree. You'll learn a lot and you will have the diploma to prove it.

Accredited universities commonly award Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in their graphic design programs.

EDsmart has ranked the top graphic design colleges for those seeking a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

  1. Arizona State University
  2. University of Massachusetts – Lowell
  3. Pittsburg State University
  4. Bellevue University
  5. Lesley University

As ranked by U.S. News and World Report, these are the top graduate programs for those seeking a master’s degree in graphic design.

  1. Rhode Island School of Design
  2. Yale University
  3. Art Center College of Design
  4. California College of the Arts
  5. Maryland Institute College of Art

Community colleges offer Associate degrees and graphic design certificate programs. Today, many universities and community colleges allow you to earn a graphic design degree entirely online.

Online Graphic Design Courses

If you already have a degree in a different field, can't afford to go to college, or have no interest in getting a formal education you can find a wide range of online graphic design courses. 

You may find numerous free graphic design programs that will give you tips and tricks to get you started. We like these free graphic design courses provided by Canva.

It's helpful if you know what specific service you would provide to clients. This will help you focus your studies on money-making skills.

Paying for specific courses may be worth it. If you are looking for particular skills in a hurry. We like the CreativeLive graphic design classes. They are taught by top creatives in the field.

Pro-tip: keep an eye out for CreativeLive flash sales where you can find great information at an extreme discount.

Computers and Equipment

Many graphic designers prefer to work on desktop computers because of their improved speed and memory, not to mention a much larger monitor. But laptops can be effective for smaller projects and may be necessary if that’s what you have to work with.

With that said, you will need a computer with a decent graphic card. You will want an external storage device for the large files you will be creating. This will keep your computer desktop clean and your hard drive running at full speed.

If you can afford it, you will also benefit from having high speed broadband internet service (75 Mbps-100 Mbps/5 Mbps). This will make it faster and easier to upload and download work files and share projects with clients and collaborators.

Graphic Design Software

In the digital age, nearly all of your work will be produced and shared using graphic design software. Even if you start by sketching out or drawing your ideas first, you will bring them into the design software for completion.

Some graphic design programs are geared toward print design and photography, while others are used more often for online projects. Many programs can do a bit of both. Other programs are designed to create very specific kinds of sales and marketing content. With experience, you will learn the best graphic design software for the job and discover the options that work best for you.

Graphic design software is easily purchased online. The following are some of the best graphic design software options on the market today.

    • Photoshop (photo editing and compositing to digital painting, animation, and graphic design)
    • Illustrator (vector based graphics creation, image editing, print design)
    • InDesign (publication layout and typography)
    • Spark (social media and video graphics)

Free Graphic Design Software

There are a number of free options available online by searching “free graphic design software.”  This is a great place to start if you want to get a sense of how these programs work. Some are built to work online in a web browser like Chrome or Firefox and require no download. Some of the free options have a more powerful paid version. Examples include:

  • SVG-Edit (browser based image editing for lightweight projects, good for beginners)
  • Vectr (free, intuitive vector graphic creation software)
  • Photopea (online with no download necessary, vector and raster graphics creation)
  • GIMP (free open source alternative to Photoshop)

Fonts and Templates:

Stock Images:

Helpful Freelance Business Tools:

How to Find Graphic Design Jobs

You can find qualified employers on reputable remote job sites like MotherWorks.com, which lists dozens of full and part-time graphic design jobs from all sorts of companies. Part-time jobs are better for freelancers who want to keep their options open and work with several clients simultaneously.

Freelance Websites

Many talented creatives make use of websites designed to help connect freelancers with clients. Typically, companies looking for freelance help will post a job and freelancers bid on the work. But as you become more experienced, companies my reach out to you directly for help with their design projects. Here are several websites to search for freelance graphic design jobs.

How to Market Your Freelance Graphic Design Business

There are several ways to promote your graphic design business. The key factors are consistency and persistence. At the very least, you should establish a website and create a social media presence.  The website can serve as your online portfolio.

Once that is taken care of, find a couple of methods that you think will work for you and stick to them. 

Here are a few marketing methods you may want to try:

  • Cold calling or pitching
  • Online advertising
  • LinkedIn messages
  • Facebook groups
  • Email marketing
  • Word of mouth

You can be proactive by contacting potential clients directly. First, figure out who your ideal client is. You will do your best work with clients that align with your values and the projects you believe in.

Once you have your ideal client in mind create a portfolio that would speak to them. Be ready with your graphic designer resume and cover letter. Now, go out there and find them!

The point is to focus on your effort. You need to put yourself out there to attract business. When you are first starting, clients rarely find you by your website alone.

Benefits of Remote Graphic Design Jobs

If you haven't experienced what it's like to work from home, the following are a few benefits of remote graphic design work you may want to consider, especially if you are a work from home parent.

  • Casual work from home lifestyle
  • Flexible working schedule
  • No commuting or childcare expenses
  • Pay per-piece or project
  • Set your own price

Since graphic design jobs are often done remotely you can enjoy a more casual work experience. This can add up to coffee breaks at your convenience, comfy loungewear, and completing chores over lunch.

For all of those reasons, remote graphic design ranks high on our list of the 39 best flexible jobs for working moms.  

Even in today's society women are the primary caregivers. Online work allows mothers the versatility they need to find that work, life balance. You can work at home with small children, care for ill children, or schedule doctor appointments without worry. 

As a freelancer or a gig worker, you get paid by the piece or contract. In graphic design, this could mean a single image or a batch of several.

This pay structure gives you the ability to earn more for the holidays, birthdays, and during financial hardships. Simply take on more work.

In contrast, you can limit your workload by only taking on the contracts you can fulfill at that time. This can be helpful during holidays, vacations, or busy family life.

Final Thoughts on Remote Graphic Design Jobs

Working remotely as a freelance graphic designer may be the career move you've been dreaming of.

We know how liberating remote work can be – especially for working mothers. Women often sacrifice a part of themselves in the name of motherhood. This includes their career and personal interests. 

If you are a graphic design artist at heart, or simply a creative, chances are your inner spirit is yearning for something more. You need and deserve the opportunity to spread your creative wings. 

Taking on remote graphic design jobs is a great way to use your artistic talent to challenge your mind. We know it will enrich your life and give you a sense of pride.

Good Luck!

Sign-Up for Job Alerts

Remote jobs delivered straight to your inbox

 

More Helpful Articles