Freelance Graphic Designer vs Agency Graphic Designer

This post is a collaboration between Karina Celestine and myself, Cintra Persad. We are both pursuing our BA in Graphic Design at COSTAATT. As part of our degree, we are required to do an internship at an agency to get that work experience. This semester Karina has been working at an agency , and I have been continuing my path as a Freelancer.

We will both be sharing some points about being a Graphic Designer at an Agency compared to working as a Freelance Graphic Designer.

Agency Graphic Designer

1. Constant Pay Check 


The good thing about working in an agency is that at the end of the month you get a paycheck. Even if you don’t do anything (which is not likely to happen) for the whole month your employers still have to pay you. Some months you might have to do more work than other. It all depends on when clients want artwork however, despite that you pay check is guaranteed.

2. Working On Various Projects At Once


It is not likely that there is ever a moment at the agency where you have nothing to do. Because an agency have many clients, work may come in at the same time. Therefore, the designers have to be working on different clients work at the same time and making sure that they meet all the deadlines. This is very beneficial for an individual and more so a designer because it helps you to develop time management skills. And in this industry, were deadlines are important this skill can go a long way.

3. Exposed To A Wider Knowledge Of The Industry


When you work at an agency you are able to gain a better understanding of the industry. You know what is required and expected in terms of the work that is put out. You don’t only understand things in the industry that is related to graphics but also you learn about the other departments that make up the agency.

4. Learn From Your Head

Chalkboard "Mentorship"

When you work at an agency as a Graphic Designer you are not the head for yourself. You work under the management of the Creative Director, CEO and or other people. A lot of the times these people was once in your seat as the designer and they have a great amount of experience. Therefore, from working under these people you learn from them and they are able to share their experiences with you.

5. Travel Benefits


Depending on what agency you work for, you might just have the opportunity to travel to other countries. Agencies sometimes have clients from other countries or family branches agency. At times you may have to go to do presentations for clients or maybe there might be a function that you have to attend on behalf of you agency. All this being at the expense of the agency.

Freelance Graphic Designer

1. Goals


As a freelancer I’m building my own brand opposed to working at an agency where designers build or strengthen their companies brand, as a freelance designer i do the same and at the end of the day it’s for the benefit of my brand. 

2. Paycheck


My paycheck is not constant, it varies according to the jobs I have and initially i’m paid the entire cost instead of part as I am working with or for no one.

3. Experience


It’s a little challenging not having a mentor, like a creative director to pass down information, but I build from my experiences, from what i have learnt at school and with the experience of each job.

4. Focus and Variety


I tend to do more in depth work while working on different types of projects. As a freelancer, i have the time and resources to work on one job at a time, each job is given my focus to be done at its best. 

5. Freedom to work where how, and when you choose

Happy woman working on computer.

I have d freedom to work from home or anywhere I choose which is pretty awesome.

I like working at night and sometimes really early, an example is at two in the morning, as a freelancer it’s convenient being at home, sometimes in my pajamas at my desk, or in bed.

I have the due dates of the job and so I work through the day and night whenever its suitable for me.

6. Exposure to Multiple Roles


I deal with the business and the design of an agency. Instead of working as just a designer, i know all the other parts of an organization, i organize the products for sales, deal with accounts, and work as as a designer. 


Fonts matter more than we think

Source of photo: Design cuts

Some may think it’s appropriate, those do not understand the proper usage of a particular font to deliver the message that the words are supposed to. 

One will use a gory font to express the appropriate message for a horror or suspense. The Goosebumps logo is a little spooky and gruesome. This is appropriate as the series is a mixed genre of supernatural, thriller and horror. It is also playful as the target audience is mainly children. 

You won’t use that type of font on a happy children’s book, as it will send a wrong message. 

The fonts used on baby einstein books are playful, simple so that it’s easy to read and the font is also welcoming.

Customized T-shirts

Around mid November, I decided to invest in some equipment for my profession as a freelance graphic designer. I bought a printer, heat press, vinyl and a plotter. 

Now, a part of my job is doing customized T-shirt designs for customers. 

The first T-shirt on the left was for my cousin, he is a football fan and at the time he was learning to play. The background is plain white to symbolize the field, the football is red as his clogs were red and his name is in glow in the dark, the placement of the name is aligned to the right edge, with the football and the white rectangle to balance the design. 

The second T-shirt, in a clockwise direction is a recent job. The detail was timely, the final product is satisfactory. 

The third T-shirt was a request from a friend, a funny personal joke shared with their love for Star Wars. 

Fourth is one Iv done for myself, I wore the T-shirt today. The House Stark sigil. Black vinyl on the dark blue t-shirt. 

Introduction to Pantone Colors

Pantone is a standardized color matching system, utilizing the Pantone numbering system for identifying colors.



By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all reference a Pantone numbered color, making sure colors match without direct contact with one another.

This will ensure that the final product is the exact color you have chosen for your design.

The most commonly referenced colors are in the Pantone solids palette.


The colors are identified by three or four digit numbers, followed by a C (coated paper), U (uncoated paper), Or M (matte paper) suffix..


Originally designed for the graphics industry, the pantone solids palette is now used by a wide range of industries, and is the most commonly used palette.

If you have never seen this anywhere else, i am sure you have noticed it at a local paint shop or hardware.


Pantone Inc. is a corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS)

To explore the pantone colors visit the link below:

PANTONE website

Pantone color of the year for the past 16 years
PANTONE color of this Year 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity.


Test post

No one in Trinidad asks if we can work for free. Most of the time a client will ask for a price,

Recently someone asked me to design a logo, I said $400. And this is not even a lot. His response: “So much”, followed by “give me a better price!” If you have an idea or a sketch then I can get you an illustration for $300.00, nothing less.

For some people, I’ll design just about anything free. I just have to really like you 😏

Yes I do need exposure, but if you’re approaching me about a job.. be professional because you’re not tiling someone’s house for “exposure.”

You need to explain what you want to expect a design from me. I can’t guess what you want if I have nothing to work with.

If someone keeps bugging me about a job and sending “I need this ASAP”, just remember it means as slow as possible to others.

Urgent? Download an instant app, if that exists. Designers try their best to do the jobs as fast as possible and ideas aren’t free accessible at an ATM.

Some people like to change their mind after a job is completed and the theme is set. Ok so the customer is always right? Changes cost extra.

I had a job for someone, he kept calling me 3-4 times a week to change things and after I emailed the final design, he would email to say he didn’t tell me to do that. I realized later that he set me up because he wanted no record of his requested changes. Learnt my lesson.

Insisting a designer copy someone else’s style is an insult. If you had the time to research the design, you can get the contact information as well.

A lot of people think by ‘creating’ a logo in Microsoft word it saves them cash, truth is that it really doesn’t. My advice, pay a graphic designer to illustrate a logo to save you the time.