How to Become a Remote Graphic Designer

By AALofts Design

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By AALofts Design

Remote work seems like a dream. You get to create your own schedule, pick which projects you will work on, & wear whatever you want—all from a place of your choosing. But how exactly do you get there?

It is easier than it sounds. In fact, remote graphic design is probably one of the easier jobs to perform remotely. Read on to learn the steps you need to take to become a remote graphic designer.

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Male Graphic Designer At Work

Understand What Remote Graphic Designers Do.

Graphic design encompasses a number of niches, but at its heart, it is about constructing concepts in a visual way to convey a specific message. While this message can be of your own discretion, most of the time you will have someone to tell you what it needs to accomplish.

Remote graphic designers usually do this work from a location of their choosing, but there are instances where the remote workers are required to check-in person, like presentations.

Skills of remote graphic designers include:

  • The manipulation of artistic aspects such as colours, shapes, fonts, images, & design
  • Technology
  • Communication
  • Self-management

Using these skills a remote graphic designer is able to help businesses create designs that are both beautiful & on point, effectively conveying a message that helps connect with their audience.

Colour Swatch Book On Graphic Designer's Desk

Obtain Education (Even Without Attending College).

Regardless of whether you want to go to college or not, if you are still in high school you should be filling your class schedule with courses that incorporate:

  • Art
  • Design
  • Computer skills

If you intend on going to college, work on creating a portfolio of your work. A teacher can assist in this, but you can also look for examples or help online. A Bachelor’s degree is a decent way to prepare you for entry-level positions, & it can be an effective way to attract potential clients.

You should fill your coursework up with classes that revolve around:

  • Graphic design (of course)
  • Communicating visually
  • Computer graphics
  • Multimedia art
  • Aspects of illustration
  • Designing advertisements

The degree you get is important, but the classes you choose will help you figure out where exactly you fit into the world of graphic design. If you are bypassing college & going straight to remote work, you should try to supplement the lack of a degree by completing design courses as you are able to. If you need a place to start, Format has compiled a list of 15 free online graphic design courses.

While you may not learn about all the fancy graphic design tools right away, it’s a good idea to become proficient at basics like Canva & Adobe Photoshop. You can accomplish many things with just these two, & they have free features.

A portfolio is even more essential for someone who does not have the safety net of a degree to back them up. While you know that your designs are not reliant on a diploma, it can be hard to convey the message to a potential client.

The hard truth is that it is much easier to become a remote graphic designer if you have at least some in-house experience. Even something as simple as volunteer work or a hybrid position can give you enough of a boost to become a blip on more radars.

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Build Your Portfolio & Keep It Update.

You can query friends & family for design prompts to bulk up your portfolio. If you are comfortable doing so you may even offer your services to local businesses or nonprofits for a discount. This way you both benefit.

Save anything & everything you design, even if you are not sure that you will present it in a portfolio. You do not need to present it, but it would be a shame for an opportunity to pop up where the project would showcase nicely.

On the other hand, you should also update, redesign, or remove any designs that are outdated. When trying to figure out which you should do:

  • Update anything that only needs a bit of work, such as using relevant colour schemes.
  • Redesign anything that has a good concept, but no longer reflects your personal graphic design style.
  • Remove anything that is distasteful. This may be something that just did not age well, but it usually is not worth trying to salvage.

Make sure you update your portfolio & resume as you complete projects. A diverse portfolio paired with stellar recommendations can help get you onto any project.

Choose Your Niche.

Remote graphic designers are better off catering to a specific aspect of graphic design. While an in-house graphic designer is tasked with everything that the title encompasses, remote workers are sought out for their expertise in a specific area.

This is why it is important to choose at least one niche. You can choose more if you feel comfortable, but honing in on one area helps you to dig deep.

Examples of niches within graphic design are:

  • Logos
  • Printable templates
  • Blog designs
  • Book covers

This should be combined with creating your own personal style. It can be difficult for a client to fall in love with your work when it is all over the place. That gives them the impression that your designs are inconsistent, & they may decide to pass on your proposal for that reason.

Graphic Designer's iMac

Market Online.

Learning to market online is key to becoming a remote graphic designer. An in-house designer is tasked with responding to job opportunities in their area, but you will have to seek out & attract opportunities from the entire country (or even others, depending on what languages you speak).

Marketing online generally involves being active in three areas:

  • Your personal website
  • Social media
  • Freelance websites

Your Personal Website

Designing a website allows you to have complete control of your online presence without being restricted by overhead rules or regulations.

Your website also becomes an extension of your portfolio, so a seamless design is key in impressing potential clients.

Websites should:

  • Showcase your work
  • List services (& potentially prices, but that is personal preference)
  • Highlight reviews
  • Provide contact information

Anything & everything a client may want to know before contacting you, apart from anything specific to their project, should be available on your website. This will not only sort out any clients that are not a good fit, but it will solidify the confidence of clients who are.

Social Media

Remote work & social media go hand in hand. In fact, plenty of businesses are able to successfully use social media to market to & connect with their audience.

For graphic design, you can focus on social media websites that are visually focused, like Instagram & Tiktok.

These are both recommended because they allow you to authentically cultivate organic growth. You just need to play their game.

Social media is not the place to list services & pricing. It is better for things like showcasing your process, designs, & personality. It can also be helpful for creating a community with other graphic designers.

Freelance Websites

The easiest way to find clients is to create profiles on freelancing websites. The bad thing? Most of these websites take a percentage of your pay, but this might be a small price to pay for bringing in work.

The three that are recommended include:

  • Flexjobs
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork

Flexjobs has job postings for full time, flexible, & freelance positions. They also average about four job posts for graphic design every day, so there is always fresh work to be found.

If you would rather a system where potential clients find you then you might want to try Fiverr. Their website is designed for freelancers & remote workers to post “gigs” that they can complete for clients. There is a reverse option where workers can apply to jobs, but it is less popular.

Last on this list is Upwork. This is where you can find a good selection of one-time projects, but they are set up to support ongoing projects with milestones & hourly pay.

Wrapping it All Up.


If you’re interested in further reading, please see the links to my trusted resources page & related articles below. To find out more about AALofts Design, please click here. If you found this content helpful, want to collaborate on a project, or would like to request an article topic, please click here to get in touch via the contact form. Feel free to share & connect on social media, if you found this content helpful.

Article by Amy Lofts.

Article by Amy Lofts.

Owner of AALofts Design

Welcome! I am a graphic designer & digital marketer with over ten years of experience within a range of industries including; e-commerce, architecture, cruise liners, textiles & interior design. Having grown with exposure to various disciplines of art & design, my brand reflects my love of elegance, beauty & exploration. Get in touch or learn more.

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