Where to Find The Best Remote Graphic Design Jobs

Looking for the best remote graphic jobs online

For creative types, remote graphic design jobs are a profitable way to not only pay the bills but also a great way to fulfill your passion for the arts. You can specialize in one aspect of graphic design or you can become a jack of all trades. 

Whether you enjoy the technical guidelines of corporate design, the diverse clientele of agencies, or marketing your own design style, graphic designers (both trained and self-taught) are a necessary link to inform and visually engage consumers. And, in today’s rapidly changing world, the number of remote graphic design jobs out there is growing. Great news for those of us who love work at home!

By the way, if you’re new to remote work and want to upskill, you’ll find some great resources in The Best Online Courses for Remote Jobs and Online Business. [Coming Soon!]

By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a much better understanding of: 

    • The different types of graphic design that you can do from home and the work involved
    • How much graphic designers can make
    • Where to find the best remote graphic design jobs

Is It Possible to Find Remote Graphic Design Jobs?

Yes! As a professional graphic designer since 2004, I have found numerous ways to earn a significant income from full-time to freelance virtual graphic design jobs. And, for the past 12 years, I have worked some of the best remote graphic design jobs from the comfort of my home. I love the flexibility in scheduling, seeking out clients, and improving my skills by keeping up with key graphic design programs such as Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, and WordPress.

Working at home does have its challenges. But, if you are seeking freedom from your 9 to 5 and are motivated to make a positive change, I’m here to tell you it’s possible to live your dream life. And, if you’re a creative type, then remote graphic design may well be your dream job!

Have I got your heart beating? Keep an eye out for the next one in this series:  How to Start a Graphic Design Business for Freelancers.

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is the art of combining visual elements and typography to convey ideas visually. While a large portion of graphic design is used for commercial purposes, it can also be used as a form of artistic expression. 

Check out this short video that explains the basics and can help you decide whether graphic design is the right career path for you.

Common graphic design elements include:

    • Color 
    • Form 
    • Line
    • Shape
    • Size
    • Texture
    • Space

Graphic designers use these elements to create compositions that follow graphic design principles combining balance, contrast, proportion, etc. 

Remote graphic design jobs available online.

Following these base guidelines can differentiate a novice designer from an experienced one. While your projects may overlap regarding types of remote graphic design jobs, you can also specialize in one of the following categories. 

Types of Remote Graphic Design Jobs

Brand Identity

Remote graphic designs jobs include logo design like this lionWhen a client requests a new logo or a fresh overall look for his company, a brand identity package is created. You will put together brand guidelines, create an updated logo (if requested), provide recommended fonts, color(s), illustrations, or other elements depending on the client’s niche.  

A strong brand identity package creates a cohesive style that fits the overall brand message. It can contain specific Pantone colors (a universal color language that allocates a number to each color), font size restrictions, and logo variations just to name a few. After the package is approved, the company can send a comprehensive brand file to multiple freelance designers (print and web) and marketers to reduce the amount of time and money needed to create new projects.

Graphic designers can also design marketing ads on social mediaMarketing 

Depending on the size the company, they may have one marketing designer or a team. While marketing designers still specialize in print media (trade shows, magazine ads, business cards), digital marketing design is gaining traction. Marketing designers can design ads for PPC campaigns, social media, infographics, and templates for email marketing.

User Experience (UX)  

Graphic designers can also be UX designersThe rise of apps has created a need for graphic designers who know how to code. UX Design improves navigation, features, and in turn, revenue that can quickly propel a company in front of its competition. 

UX graphic designers design a visual experience that encompasses the screen, incorporates the keyboard, and navigates the mouse. People that enjoy the functionality along with the aesthetics will succeed in improving UX. You can specialize in designing eCommerce themes, web pages, apps, or video games.

Graphic design for publishing.Publishing

Publications continue to evolve based on the rise of digital media and the need to produce less paper waste. Traditional paper publications include books, newspapers, and magazines. Digital publishing can include eBook covers, eMail newsletters, online magazines, and blogs.

Physical Packaging 

Packaging design for a box of chocolatesPackaging design is truly an art form. Not only can it inform the consumer on what the product is and how to use it, but it can also be designed to fit on certain shelf space, help decrease shipping costs and environmental impact, or even attract the eyes of a potential buyer.

Packaging designers generally either work on a specific type of packaging (labels, boxes, bottles, bags) or for one industry (beauty, beverage, kids).

Motion DesignMotion

Animated graphics help bring life to movies, TV, and video games. They can also be seen in a variety of practical applications including commercial advertisements, business presentations, GIFs, and teaching tutorials.

Environmental 

A yellow warning sign is environmental design.When you go to a public space such as a museum or a retail store, you unconsciously rely on environmental graphic design to get you where you need to go. Whether it’s finding the right exhibit, the checkout, or even a public restroom, environmental graphic design is created to help identify a given space. 

This type of graphic design encompasses a wide range of size, material, and accuracy challenges. An interest or degree in architecture is helpful if you are considering this avenue of graphic design. However, the rewards for this mathematical design are many. Imagine seeing your designs in a popular retailer, on a city bus, or in a stadium!

Commercial graphic design can be very rewardingCommerce 

If you have a passion for illustration, you can open up an online shop selling on-demand printed t-shirts, mugs, art prints, stationery, comic books, and more. 

Choosing this path of graphic design requires a healthy market to like and purchase your designs to be successful.

Once you market your unique style, you will have the opportunity to design for companies and individuals looking for your style of illustration. Get commissioned to create original book covers, textiles, and album covers just to name a few. Rock on!

Rock On

Now that you’re excited about the opportunities that exist around the best remote graphic design jobs, let’s discuss the numbers!

What is the Average Graphic Design Starting Salary?

The salaries of graphic designers can vary greatly based on location, size of the company, years of experience, education, type of design, and industry among others. 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for entry-level graphic designers in the United States is just over $43K. SalaryExpert.com lists an entry-level graphic design salary as 28,759€ (Europe), £25,932 (UK), ¥120,348 (China), and $58,000 (Australia).

How Much Do Freelance Graphic Designers Make?

Freelance graphic designers’ pay rates also vary on various factors such as whether you work full-time or part-time, with an agency or individual, and how you get paid. (For example, if the client pays you directly versus a freelance platform where there are service fees.)

You set your rates (hourly or salary), and the total amount you make is determined by how many jobs you complete and efficiency (number of edits, etc.). The salary cap is very healthy if you are willing to work hard and hustle. 

Freelance graphic designers make an average of $56K ($27 per hour) – $58K in the US. 

So, where do you find these opportunities? Let’s go!

Best Sites for Remote Graphic Design Jobs

FlexJobs

Flexjobs remote graphic design jobsFlexJobs was created in 2007 and is an industry leader for finding quality work-at-home jobs. If you don’t have the time or the resources to look for “graphic design jobs remote” daily,  subscribing to a paid service like FlexJobs is a smart option. 

It is important to note that the majority of job listings on FlexJobs can be found for free on the Internet. However, the monthly fee is affordable if you want the ease of finding them all in one place or if you are worried about handing over your personal information to a random website form or Gmail address.

FlexJobs also offers a no-risk satisfaction guarantee. 

Pros

    • FlexJobs researches each company and job so you don’t have to 
    • Global job opportunities from entry-level to executive, part-time to full-time
    • Filter jobs by graphic design type, hours needed, career level, etc. 

Cons

    • Monthly fee but it does save you time
    • You might have to hunt for remote opportunities. But, the world of remote work is changing and this should become easier!

Upwork 

Find remote graphic design gigs on UpworkAs a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer, I’ve spent a fair amount of time getting clients and completing work through Upwork. While Upwork is great for graphic designers that have just completed a degree or who have a current portfolio, the competition is fierce.

As with most jobs on Upwork, it is best to narrow down your niche to stay competitive. For example, only design presentations, logos, or branding kits.

Spend time on each proposal by first personalizing it to the job poster (the name is often found in the feedback section), include keywords from the job listing (so it’s clear you’ve read it), and inject a little personality and speak to their needs. The more your proposal stands out, the less the dollar amount will matter.

Always complete your work on time and over-deliver to receive or retain your top-rated status. 

Since you purchase credits to apply for every job, really read the job description to make sure you are qualified and the perfect candidate. Look for jobs that offer long-term or additional work after the first milestone so you can design more and write fewer proposals (Upwork charges a 20% fee on the first $500 you make with a client, 10% until $10,000, 5% after).

Pros

    • New work opportunities added daily in major types of graphic design
    • Freelance in a narrowed down niche (design type or industry)
    • Quality testimonials
    • Pay can be directly deposited in your bank account (usually five days after client approval)
    • Upwork offers payment protection, so if a client doesn’t pay the amount, Upwork will pay you on their behalf and will take up the matter with the client
    • They also take care of all invoicing which saves you time

Cons

    • Building your profile and work history takes a lot of nursing. You might have to complete a few lower-paid jobs to get into the market. 
    • Credits have to be purchased to apply for jobs (An extra cost but they are affordable).
    • 20% fee for the first $500 you make with a client (the majority of jobs don’t continue past the $500 mark).
    • Graphic design jobs online are competitive and often job posts have to be found and applied for within 24 hours.
    • If you met the client on the Upwork platform, it’s more affordable and best to keep the contract on the platform. Upwork charges a conversion fee if you want to work directly with the client off-platform. (Conversion Fee = 12% of hourly rate x 2,080 hours (52 weeks x 40 hrs). You could also risk losing your Upwork account (and opportunities) if you go off-platform and Upwork figures it out.

Guru 

Guru remote design jobsGuru is similar to Upwork in the way you bid for jobs. However, the fee structure is different. With Guru, you can have a completely free account with ten bids per month (1 bid = 1 job application). Plus, Guru’s highest fee is 9% which is less than half of Upwork’s fee.

If you like the platform, you’ll quickly want to upgrade to a paid plan to get more work. The benefits outweigh the monthly cost. For example, with a paid plan, you can promote your portfolio website on your Guru profile and use bids to contact job posters directly (a feature Upwork doesn’t provide).

While I have a Guru account, I have personally found more success with higher-paying jobs on Upwork. However, if you are just starting, I would recommend using both platforms to see which one works best for you.

Pros

    • Free plan
    • Affordable monthly plans 
    • Use bids to contact employers directly (if you have questions about the job, etc.)
    • Direct deposit

Cons

    • Not as well-known as competitor platforms
    • Need to upgrade to a paid plan to be competitive for higher-paying jobs

Fiverr 

Fiverr remote design jobsWith a gig bought every 4 seconds, Fiverr is a freelancer community you’ll want to belong to. Whether you create social media designs, photo editing, or flyers, Fiverr has a virtual shop window space just for you. You can charge $5 and up for services, with more complex designs and experience driving up the pricing. 

Before deciding what you will sell on Fiverr, I recommend doing some research to see which type of graphic design or design niche is selling the best. Look at Fiverr users with over 1K of feedback and see if you can imitate their special sauce.

Once you score jobs and complete top-notch work, your feedback will start to add up getting you higher in the search results. Overachiever? Apply for Pro Status. Fiverr claims only 1% of applicants earn the badge which could increase your job requests and pay dramatically. 

Pros

    • Free virtual storefront (great for free marketing of your services)
    • Money is transferred to you instantly after a job is complete
    • No proposals, simply state your skills and let the clients come to you

Cons

    • 20% Fiverr fee for each job completed
    • Most jobs need to be completed within 24-48 hours

99Designs

99 designs is a free platform for graphic designersInitially known for its logo contests, 99Designs now has 14 design categories that clients can request designs from including product packaging, book covers, social media, apps, WordPress, and more.

While a client can still request a design contest if they are not sure what they are looking for and would like to see multiple designers’ works, 99Designs also has a “hire a designer” feature. With “hire a designer,” the client can choose your profile and work directly with you on a specific project. Designers are ranked as Entry, Mid, and Top Level, and prices can be negotiated for the requested design work.

I recommend 99Designs for brushing up on your graphic design skills by entering contests that speak to you as a designer. Learn from other designers and grow your portfolio on the free platform. 

Pros

    • Free platform for designers
    • Grow your portfolio entering design contests
    • Learn from other designers 

Cons

    • Fees for withdrawing prize and 1-on-1 client project funds
    • Platform fee (5%-15% depending on skill level)
    • Client Introduction fee (20% of the first $500 from each new client)

AngelList

Angel List is a platform for startup opportunties.AngelList is the best-kept secret for jobs even your acquaintances will be impressed with. Home to the largest startup community, you can frequently find design jobs that offer good pay and even some with equity opportunities. From apparel to healthcare to finance, there is a wide variety of niches open to a global remote market. 

At the time of writing, there were over 800 graphic designer jobs listed. If you have a portfolio in hand, take a few minutes to create a profile and reach out to some of the startups that interest you. 

While working for a startup can be chaotic at times as you go through growing pains, adding working for a startup experience on your resume can give you a competitive edge. It’s also a great opportunity to work with enthusiastic, hard-working people!

Pros

    • Unique jobs that can result in a diverse design portfolio
    • Pay can include equity in the startup
    • A large variety of jobs listed, open to the international market

Cons

    • Jobs can dissolve if the company loses funding or goes another direction
    • Working only for equity can result in low pay if the company doesn’t get off the ground quickly

Toptal

Toptal has the top 3% of freelancersIf you are an established designer, Toptal is a community you want to be a part of. It only hires the top 3% of freelance talent and is trusted by top brands like Airbnb and Shopify.

With Toptal the projects are diverse. Sometimes you will be placed with a big company as part of a team or solo in a startup. On certain projects, you can give creative input and the platform provides productivity tools.

You can also work at your own pace. Select a project from a list of options available or let your recruiter know you need a break from the daily grind.

Pros

    • Supportive design community
    • High pay
    • Diverse design work
    • Flexible work hours, work from anywhere in the world

Cons

    • They have a high set of criteria to join Toptal, but if you make the cut, you are one of the top 3% of freelance designers in the world!
    • Clients expect top-tier professional talent. If you prefer to be more creative in your approach and work on multiple projects, then this might not be a good fit.

Behance

Behance design portfoliosWhen you first start in graphic design, your portfolio is the best way to showcase your skills. Behance, a live portfolio service powered by Adobe, is a great way to make a first impression without shelling out money for your own website.

You can use the platform to connect with other designers and with companies that are interested in your style of design on a global scale. Job opportunities include full-time, contract, internships, and freelance remote work.

Pros

    • The platform is intuitive even if you lack programming skills
    • Design portfolio hosted online for free
    • Businesses and other designers have access to your portfolio which increases your exposure and opportunities for design work

Cons

    • Small and medium-sized businesses generally don’t post jobs here since listings are expensive ($399 for 30 days)
    • You can only apply to jobs with your Behance portfolio, no other notes or files can be added to applications

Dribbble

Dribbble is a community of graphic designersWith well over 4 million users worldwide, Dribbble is an invite-only community that is full of inspiration and professional feedback. With a beautiful UX (user experience) and a family feel, the platform is great for design diehards.

Dribbble offers hundreds of design job opportunities, many of which are marked “remote-friendly.” They also offer job listings for freelance designers with simple design requests and a message button if you are interested in getting in contact with the job poster.

Pros

    • IRL (in real life) networking opportunities for Dribbblers to meet up in different locations around the globe
    • Mark profile as available for hire
    • Sell designs and digital goods
    • Browse designs to see which styles/niches are popular

Cons

    • Not the best host for a portfolio, better used to experiment with designs and get feedback
    • Several ads if you don’t upgrade to a paid plan

RemoteOK, Working Nomads, Jobspresso

Three design job boards Remoteok, Working Nomads, JobspressoThere are several design job boards available online but three of my favorites are RemoteOK, Working Nomads, and Jobspresso. They all have top tier curated job opportunities that motivate you to take your career to the next level. 

Job listings are easy to view in a visually pleasing table format and the apply button often takes you to the company’s website you will be applying for. This is a great way to apply directly when jobs from lesser-known companies can be buried within their website or difficult to Google search.

Pros

    • Jobs are curated
    • Large selection of full-time jobs
    • Easy to apply

Cons

    • Jobs can be highly specialized
    • Applying takes longer, custom cover letters and portfolios required to be competitive

Conclusion

Now that you know more about graphic design, what areas you can specialize in, and the sites to find the best remote graphic design jobs, I’m confident you can take your first steps into the flexible career you’ve always wanted.

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