5 Services That Graphic Artists Can Offer (Besides Design)

February 3, 2010

Graphic designers design for a living, no question there.

But just because the word “design” is in the title doesn’t mean we have to limit ourselves to creating visual art. Designing logos and thank-you cards are great, but there are a lot of other services that we can offer to our current and potential clients that have nothing to do with design. Here are five non-design services that graphic artists should get themselves familiar with:

1. Typesetting
Typesetting is arranging text in a format for print. This is often used for book printing and can be a great way to make additional money. Publishing companies, authors and individual publications could all use this service. Using your current layout programs such as InDesign and Quark, you can take books from their raw manuscript format to a layout for print.

2. Picture restoration

Many of your clients have vintage photos that have faded throughout the years. Pictures can fade, crack and tear leaving them unattractive and sometimes unrecognizable. Using Photoshop, you can scan in old worn pictures and use your cloning tool as well as others to correct those tears and cracks. People will pay good money to have pictures restored simply due to the sentimental value they often hold.

3. Consulting
As artists, we always want the design business, but before we start designing, we talk with clients about what they like, dislike, their vision and the overall design process. This consultation is a standard one that should precede any design project, but this could also turn into an additional service. As the design expert that you are, you are not only able to design, you’re able to critique. If someone can’t afford a graphic designer, you can offer your services as a consultant. You can review design work that the client has created themselves and offer suggestions on how to improve it. As a consultant in this capacity, you wouldn’t do the work yourself but instead be a guide to keep the client on track.

Consultants can also come in as experts for a large or complicated project. Two heads are always better than one. If there is an organization putting together an important branding package or starting an involved campaign, you might offer your services as a consultant to brainstorm ideas for the direction of the project. This would also be a great way to showcase your design skills, and perhaps be hired as a designer as well.

4. Teaching/tutorials
A wonderful way to make money and promote your design services and skills is to teach a class about graphic design. You can set up a workshop about graphic design basics and teach novices, students, secretaries and others who may be required to do a small amount of graphic design work for their jobs or organizations, but it is not their area of expertise. The seminar could involve going over the principles of design and things to watch out for when laying out a project.
You can also create tutorials or step-by-step instructions on how to design a certain project. There are websites that primarily feature design tutorials. Some websites even pay money for informative an easy to follow tutorials created by designers.

5. Social media set up
Every business is now interested in online buzz. But let’s face it; there are a lot of businesses owners that are from a generation when the Internet didn’t even exist. They have no idea of how to create or maintain a Facebook page. You can create a package for organizations that includes setting up Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other combination of social networking pages. You can even charge a monthly fee for updating them or a tutorial fee for showing the staff how to update the pages themselves.

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