Graphic design has been called a recession-proof career choice, and this is particularly true for talented designers. One of the best things about being a graphic designer is that, in the digital age, as new technologies and marketing philosophies emerge, demand increases for design. The great thing is that, by and large, these new design demands do not replace traditional design needs; rather, they augment them, creating even more opportunities for work. Thus, as a graphic designer you could find yourself working on a direct-mail postcard design one day, a website the next, and a design for cutting-edge technology the day after that.
Perhaps even more importantly, if you can anticipate cutting-edge design needs you can carve out a spectacular niche and position yourself as the go-to expert. This allows you to charge top-dollar, get the best clients, and make a lucrative living as a graphic designer. To get started, consider the following five new opportunities for graphic designers to make money.
1# 3-D printing
The world of affordable 3-D printing also known as additive manufacturing is still in its infancy, and even small 3-D printers (manufacturers) need designers to help them make their innovations reality. Learn how to properly design plans for 3-D printing, and you can be a valuable and necessary resource for turning design concepts into 3-D printables.
2# Blog images
Sure, blog images have been around for a long time. But as the blogosphere continues to clutter, visuals are becoming more important for bringing readers in to engage with other content. Many blogs continue to rely on stock photos, which, if nothing else, look just like stock photos. Savvy bloggers will want to stand out by hiring graphic designers to create compelling post headers and thumbnails that will help drive traffic from online feeds.
3# Mobile design and UI
Mobile devices continue to gain steam, increasing demand for application and user interface designers. This will become even more important as mobile devices become more accessible worldwide, and as apps become more complicated. In terms of competition, many apps will be chosen for their aesthetics and visual layouts, which can make them easy or difficult to use and understand.
4# Big data infographics/visualization
Big data is finally making its way into mainstream marketing, and with it the need to properly display data visually so it make sense to the casual user. No one is better at making difficult numbers easy to understand than graphic designers, so this represents an excellent opportunity to pitch your services to any company that incorporates big data into its marketing strategy.
5# Augmented reality
Augmented reality is steadily churning along, but many things it is poised for a major breakthrough in the next few years. Google, apparently, is one of those banking on augmented reality, giving its Google Glass project. Learning to design for augmented reality now can put you ahead of the curve when it is in high demand.
Any ideas for graphic designers to earn more income on the side? Share them in the comments below.
Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint