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10 Proven Ways to Become a Graphic Designer in 2022

  • yogesh 
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By yogesh.k  6 Min read

Ten years ago, it was difficult to find graphic designers working from home with flexible hours and earning good salaries. In 2022, that’s no longer the case.

The demand for graphic designers has never been higher, and in 2022, it will likely be even higher than today.

Graphic designer earn money

Here are ten proven ways to become a graphic designer in 2022—and earn handsomely in the process!

1) Build an Online Portfolio

A creative portfolio is your calling card—the first thing potential clients and employers will see when they check out your work.

A strong web presence can land you freelance gigs or even full-time employment, so it’s essential that you put together an online portfolio of your best designs and projects.

Don’t have any recent work?

Build an Online Portfolio

Network with colleagues and see if you can get them to share some of their projects with you. You should be ready for new clients at any time but remember: Your portfolio is only as good as your most recent design project.

Try not to leave too much dead space between projects; anything older than three months is likely outdated and irrelevant.

Here is a website list on how to sell design photos online.


Adobe Stock:

2) Get Involved in Design Communities

Interacting with other designers helps you learn and improve your skills.

Be active on forums, critique other people’s work, share resources with others, reach out to peers for advice, and offer feedback and thoughts on what you see in design communities.

When you participate positively in communities like Behance or Dribbble you not only get useful feedback on your own work but also start building a reputation as an insightful designer who cares about his or her craft.

Once that happens, people are more likely to want to work with you

(or at least pay attention when you ask them questions).

earn money by selling image
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And in many cases, these individuals may have valuable connections of their own they’re willing to share—people who can provide opportunities that might never cross your path otherwise.

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In addition to being a great way to build relationships with fellow creatives, joining design communities is one of the best ways to stay up-to-date on trends across different disciplines so you can make sure your designs fit within each industry.

3) Study Trends, Not What You Think They Want

The vast majority of design schools want their students to be skilled in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

They spend quite a bit of time teaching them how to use these tools because they know it’s what most designers need. But technology is changing.

So while you may feel like it’s worth your time to learn how to master Illustrator and InDesign now, remember that if you start your career now, chances are good that those skills will become obsolete before you retire.

Keep an eye on new trends; understand how different types of technology could impact your work, and stay up-to-date with information about what clients (and potential clients) really want.

You can do all of that by subscribing to blogs like mine or ones run by other industry leaders, reading industry magazines, or checking out trade shows (the Adobe Max conference is great for inspiration!).

In fact, I bet there are several changes coming down the pipe right now—changes you probably aren’t even aware of yet—that could affect not only your job prospects but also which skills employers will demand from you 10 years from now.

4) Focus on Your Strengths

Your strengths are your true talents and abilities, whereas your weaknesses can always be worked on with practice. If you’re new to graphic design, it’s worth trying out some side projects—and especially taking advantage of free or low-cost online resources like Skillshare and YouTube.

If you find something you love doing, keep practicing it! And when starting out as a graphic designer in 2022, it’s crucial that you prioritize developing your strengths over trying to become an expert at something else.

10 Proven Ways to Become a Graphic Designer in 2022

For example, if social media is what drives you nuts, focus on finding ways to better use Instagram while keeping other aspects of your graphic design work functional but basic.

Sure, there will be more lucrative opportunities for designers who learn how to code; however, focusing on your unique strengths will allow you to grow into them much faster than forcing yourself down paths that aren’t in line with who you truly are.

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5) Apply the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule, otherwise known as Pareto’s Law, was popularized by business consultant Joseph M. Juran in 1900. Essentially, it states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

Applying it here means that you should focus on building up your portfolio by doing projects for cheap or free. This will provide you with experience and at least one publication under your belt (all of which are great resume builders).

80/20 rule

Then make sure you have some funds saved up so that you can take on some better-paying projects—and build off them—as time goes on. If done correctly, these early low-paying jobs will lead to more substantial gigs further down the line.

6) Use Content Marketing Strategies

You can be really creative and hard-working, but without marketing skills, you are as good as unemployed.

Content marketing is becoming more and more important every day, with many designers using it as an essential part of their job.

  • It will keep you up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry, help build relationships with both potential clients and other professionals within your niche.
  • Start thinking about how to make yourself more visible on social media, research what content works best on platforms like Medium or get active on Twitter chats with design-focused hashtags such as #Everyshuttercounts or #randomranguski.
  • The possibilities are endless! Another great way of getting your name out there would be contributing to open source projects where you can show off some of your designs for free.

Remember that everyone needs quality feedback at one point or another – never underestimate your value even when providing advice for free!

7) Write an Ebook

Publishing an ebook can be one of your best forms of content marketing.

simple way to Write an Ebook
  • It’s easy, it’s cost-effective, and it gives you a chance to share your knowledge with those who want (and need) to know.
  • An ebook is an excellent starting point for someone who is new to blogging—especially since ebooks are super easy to create with Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
  • Additionally, some self-publishing platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct allow you set up royalty payments from book sales at no upfront cost.
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8) Open Up a Shop on Etsy or Storenvy

Aspiring graphic designers have traditionally had one of two options if they wanted to sell their work: becoming an employee or signing on with an established design agency.

The first option leaves you at someone else’s mercy and is typically filled with a lot of coffee-fueled nights and unpaid overtime while working for someone else means that it could be years before you see any money from your efforts.

Open Up a Shop on Etsy or Storenvy

Today there are several ways for self-employed artists to market themselves, gain exposure, and make money.

Opening up your own shop on Etsy or Storenvy allows you to set your own prices and determine how much time you want to spend making designs; if it proves popular, these sites can also make it easy for you to start selling things offline through pop-up shops.

9) Start your own Website/Online Magazine

One of the most realistic ways to earn money as a graphic designer is with your own website or online magazine.

You’ll be able to offer freelance services and sell designs on your site while also advertising other products that you think would interest your target audience.

This can be something like an e-book, stock images, or branded merchandise—the possibilities are endless.

9) Start your own Website/Online Magazine

However, creating and maintaining a website requires work: new content must be created often (if not daily), coding needs to stay up-to-date, technical issues need tending too… there’s no set it and forget it option here.

If you have time and energy for such responsibility, though, being self-employed could be very lucrative for you long term!

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10) Launch your own brand and products

You don’t have to wait for someone else’s permission or a fancy job title to start developing and selling your own design products.

In fact, there are tons of ways you can create original, marketable designs for your own brand and products—even if you don’t have any design training!

(And before you protest: Yes, we realize that designers do actually need formal training; however, just because you aren’t professionally trained doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.)

Launch your own brand and products

Use our guide on how to start your own brand as inspiration and get started today.

You may not become an overnight success, but with time and hard work, it’s possible. Here’s what you need to know


While it might not be realistic for some, we’re all capable of earning creative jobs with talent and dedication.

If you take away anything from our guide, let it be that your creativity is valuable.

It’s up to you how you utilize it and benefit from it, but remember that someone out there needs what you have to offer.

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