One of the advantages about being a graphic designer is that it’s not limiting. It is a broad subject, meaning you can branch out to various types of design like web design, layout design, animation, etc. However, it can be really challenging to market yourself if you are a freelancer.
When I first started Allebasi as a freelancer during my last year of college, I marketed myself as a multidisciplinary designer; a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer. This I think confused a lot of people, especially since I did not state what type of graphic design I specialised in. My portfolio was a mixture of everything, there wasn’t one specific theme. To be honest, it was a mess.
I knew that if I were to make a living from graphic design, I’ll have to find my design niche and focus on it. I was pretty reluctant at first because I liked doing everything and I was determined to find a way to get paid doing just that. It was only recently that I saw that I can still draw, paint, illustrate and take photos and also design and possibly get paid for it without surrendering it all for my chosen niche (I will go more into that soon). I decided to change up the service providing side of Allebasi to be all about my niche: branding identity design. So how did I do it? These five questions helped me and I hope they would help you too.
What are you really good and strong at?
In college, we worked mostly on designing identities and I loved that. I was pretty good with brainstorming ideas and coming up with design solutions only from a little information. I would also help some of my friends with design ideas. It wasn’t boring for me as there was always a new challenge. A good thing!
What types of designs are most prevalent in your portfolio?
Which type of designs did I include the most? Which was I most proud of? Which showcased my skills better? The answer to those questions was branding or logo designs. They far outweighed my other work.
Can it solve a problem?
My reasoning was that branding design is highly sought after because millions of people create businesses each year and plenty of them need a brand identity. This also makes it easier to market.
How much do you know about it?
I know a lot about brand identity design because of the research I’ve done on the subject in my 3 year career as a graphic designer. I am able to write extensively on the topic even though I don’t regard myself as an expert. All that I know about branding was because I’m willing to take time out of my personal time to do research on the subject because I love it and I’m willing to learn more about it, with the hope that it would increase my skills and allow me to do the best work possible.
How passionate are you about it?
This one I really important because if I’m going to be doing this and making a living from it, I need to be truly passionate about it so that it will not become a drag. I want to be doing something I know will not bore me in the long run and something I know I will put my all into to deliver a quality and valuable end project. I love designing brands from scratch (or sketch, if you will) and helping people see their dream come to life and become something tangible.
I put a lot of thought into finding my niche and I’m so glad that I did because I was able to let go of the multidisciplinary designer label and to specialize in brand design. I’m excited to be working on and with plenty of brands in the near future and I will blog about my journey thus far.
Do you specialise within a niche? If so, how did you find it? I would love to hear your thoughts!