Biggest Challenges Faced By Every Freelance Graphic Designer

Biggest Challenges Faced By Every Freelance Graphic Designer

A Freelance graphic designer’s work is not as fun as people assume it to be: being the boss of your one-man-army and having a workcation. Then, there is the added pressure to generate more and more work, just to finally match the clients’ expectations.

After a global pandemic, we would have expected freelance work to be on the rise. But with so many professionals leveling up in the same field of design, the competition never ceases. So how does one get to their most creative state without reaching a point of burnout? How do you manage your “flexible work schedules” in this productivity-obsessed world, as a freelance graphic designer?

In this article, we answer these questions and other graphic design challenges that you might face in your work. So let’s get started!

Lost concept of time

Flexible work hours’ can make anyone lose track of how much time to actually put in

What attracts the current generation of graphic designers towards freelance jobs is how flexible they seem on the outside. The added benefits of getting to stay at home or not having to commute somehow sound way better than being confined to strict 9 am to 5 pm jobs.

But, all this charm comes at a big cost:

  • Sacrificing personal needs and boundaries
  • Overworking
  • Not allowing yourself time-off or vacations
  • Excessive hours in front of a screen

In the dislike of an eight-hour job, freelance graphic designers end up working from the daybreak to the day’s end. Also, most freelance graphic designers end up spending more money than what they earn because of loosely defined payment methods and schedules from their clients. This can greatly hinder the way you upgrade your current equipment because of financial instability.

Related: 7 Easy Ways to Create Accessible Graphic Design

Inefficient communication and workflow

It’s harder to source motivation to work with the lack of a workplace communication around

“Freelance graphic designers account for approximately 90% of the total industry participation.” – IBISWorld, 2020

One of the biggest drawbacks of the freelance industry is the lack of colleagues and motivators around. Though it’s fun to imagine the possibilities of working remotely (like from a beach, a coffee shop, or a friend’s apartment), you can’t replace a supportive and dedicated work environment. Distractions such as pets, family members, or even a bed that looks way too comfortable – you can’t possibly avoid them all ! And, working on a variety of projects from the same place brings a load of unwanted monotony across all your creative endeavors.

Moreover, not being around adds a huge gap in communication for brand expectations vs the final output that is inevitably rejected. No wonder why a lot of freelance graphic designers are always too unsure of their talent.

What’s the solution?

Finishing tasks and catching up with deadlines is important but don’t forget to take care of your needs


  • State your work hours clearly to your recruiters or clients
  • Maintain a routine that balances work, life, and leisure
  • Self-care, weekend breaks, and vacations as any other full time employee might need
  • Don’t take up more work than you can actually finish
  • Be ready according to the client’s daily schedule for better communication
  • Respect your personal boundaries and needs, like eating healthy, and limiting screen time

Financial Instability

  • Be prompt with payments and don’t hesitate with follow up reminders
  • Keep invoices ready with all services you provide
  • State your pricing beforehand, and in clear to avoid conflicts
  • Don’t make any purchases before payment, like buying products for the project out of your own pocket.
  • Work efficiently and within limits of your other commitments

Communication and Workflow

  • Find a workstation or a collaborative workspace to ensure a dedicated headspace
  • Work away from the same spot you sleep in, like working from a bedroom
  • Stay in touch with clients and form professional relationships through video calls and texting channels
  • Aim for regular check-ins and frequent in-person meets about your designs to avoid any final stage rejections

Simplified Design Tip: Want to have all your colleagues or clients have hands-on participation in your design ? With Simplified’s collaborative workspace, you can easily communicate brand expectations and execute changes– real-time and right from your workspace. Get started today !

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Shubham Kulkarni
Design, Write, Edit videos, and Publish Content. Built For Teams.

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