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.