Growth of Graphic Designing in The Gig Economy

To Freelance or Not to Freelance as a Graphic Designer.

by Mike Jansen

The gig economy is certainly growing. However, people have their doubts about its growth. With The United States inclining the most towards the growth of freelancers, the world is becoming more acceptable and adaptable to the ever-changing working style that is freelancing. 

  • Freelancers in the US: 59 million (Statista)
  • Freelancers contribution to national economy: above $715 billion
  • Growth in American freelance jobs since 2013: 13% V/S Growth in non-freelance jobs: 2% (IBIS World)
Growth of Graphic Designing in The Gig Economy

Different Ways to Freelance (Freelancing in America report) 

The Freelancing in America report tells that most of the freelancers work independently on contract basis. 

Type Percentage Numbers
Independent Contractors(Project-by-project basis; no employer)40%21.1 million
Moonlighters(primary job and freelancing on the side)27% 14.3 million
Diversified Freelancers(part-time job and freelance)18% 9.3 million
Temporary Freelancers(working with an employer, client, project on a temporary basis)10% 5.5 million
Freelance Business Owners5%2.8 million

Ideal Work Environment for Freelancers (And Co)

The battle of work-from-office and work-from-home has been going on for a long time. With 25% freelancers working from both the working environments, we see the freelancers’ preferred work environment. 

Nonetheless, Stanford proves that working from home improves performance by 13%. 

Environment Percentage of Freelancers 
Home25% 
Office25%
On The Road23%
Co-working Spaces 20%
Client’s Office 4%
Coffee Shops 2%
Other 1%

Working from home improve performance by 13% (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

Freelancing as Graphic Designers at Glance

Amongst the whole wide world of freelancing, graphic designers are the largest part of it and comprise 90% of the freelancing industry. 

  • Graphic design industry rank among business activities: 9 (IBIS World)
  • Freelance graphic designers: 90% of the industry. (IBIS World)
  • The graphic design industry is worth: $43.4 billion V/S the US graphic design industry is worth: $13.3 billion (IBIS World)
  • Freelance graphic designers hourly rate: $15 to $150 (Eksposure)
  • Freelance graphic designers in the US: 129,359 (Zippia) – Men: 45.2% V/S women: 49.0%

Challenges in Graphic Designing

As the demand of graphic designing has increased, more challenges are faced by the digital marketers. 

  • Consistency: 43%
  • Designs: 22%
  • Sourcing data for graphics: 22%
  • Getting a wide reach: 12%

Graphic Designing: Preferences of Digital Marketers

Besides graphic designers, digital marketing professionals also put their efforts into getting the designs right. 

36% of the digital marketing professionals use online tools and software and have tried designing graphics on their own. 

Digital Marketers Ways of Getting Designs
36%Online tools and design software
29%In-house designers
19%On-premise software (Adobe Suite, etc)
15%Freelance designers

Graphic Designing: Efforts and Time (Venngage 2020)

In order to get the best out of visual content, 11% of digital marketing professionals spend more than 15 hours a week on graphic designing. 

Digital MarketersHours Spent (weekly)
28%Less than 2 hours
22%2-5 hours
22%5-10 hours
9% 10-15 hours
11%More than 15 hours

Graphic Designing: Skills and Earnings (Monster/Payscale)

The education dynamics has changed with the rise of freelancing. Upgrading skills is certainly crucial. These skills play a major role in determining your average income. 

Skills Average Annual Earnings 
Desktop Publishing$39, 904
Adobe Flash$40,382
Illustration$40,788
Adobe After Effects$41,278
Macintosh$56,255

Graphic Designing: Degrees Pursued and Wage Gap (Zippia)

  • Education choices: 1) Visual and Performing Arts, 2) Communications, and 3) Business (Data USA)
  • Specialized Majors: 1) Visual and Performing Arts, 2) Communications, and 3) Business (Data USA)
Bachelors73%$54,145
Associate18%$50,468
Masters5%$58,196

Graphic Designing: Gender Composition

The impact of the difference in gender roles is seen in the graphic designing industry. Although, the gap is certainly closing. 

Year 2021: Women earned 95% of what men earned (Zippia)

MaleFemale
Freelancers (Zippia)45.2%49/0% 
Average Salary (Data USA)$55,585$46,317
Median Age (Data USA)41.339.8

Graphic Designing: Industry Ranking

The graphic design space is booming every year. Though its growth has been slow, it is growing steadily and widespread. Here is the breakdown of how each industry engages with graphic design. 

  • Graphic designer earnings in 2019: $50,688; average national salary: $55,524; $4836 less (Data USA)

Graphic Designing: Industry Ranking as per Involvement (BLS) 

IndustryPercent of Employment Hourly Wages
Specialized Design Services17.97%$28.69
Advertising and Public Relations4.50%$29
Printing and Related Support Activities4.44%$22.01
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers4.32%$24.04
Miscellaneous Manufacturing3.15%$22.48

Graphic Designing: Industry Ranking as per Hourly Wages (BLS)

Industry Percent of Involvement Hourly Wages
Federal Executive Branch0.07%$42.35
Software Publishers0.63%$39.23
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing0.06%$38.46
Legal Services0.03%$37.40
Cable and Other Subscription Programming0.79%$37.06

Key Takeaway

As the top 9th rank amongst all the industries, graphic designing has come a long way. With freelancing by its side, freelance graphic designing is paving the way for better visual communication and comfortably efficient gig opportunities. 

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