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Freelance designers in a pandemic

3 months ago from , craigrozynski.com

Earlier this year when two travel businesses I looked after design for were on the ropes, I was the first to go.

Design takes a back seat when the economy is down. To continue the car analogy – no one’s trying to perfect the line into a corner when the car’s spinning out of control.

Many businesses are now focused on staying alive, not making incremental improvements to the design of their products.

Quality suffers. Fundamentally quality is a designer’s job – to make things work better. Design is quality, and a luxury for the time being many can't afford.

So for freelance designers, finding buyers for quality is much harder. The upside has been an explosion of people producing side projects, innovating their way to a pay check. I love that.

I’ve been so busy expending creativity on commercial projects till now the optimist in me sees this as a blessing in disguise. Every day since May I’ve been at my desk from dawn, creating things without the constraints of other people’s money, which has been a fantastic change.

"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, stressors, risk, and uncertainty.” (author unknown)

If you’re a designer whose circumstances have changed during the pandemic I’d love to hear how you're handling it.

8 comments

  • Anna Becerra, 2 months ago

    Not much has changed for me but I totally get the gist. Many of my designer friends had to chase after freelance gigs to stay afloat. I already work remotely and thankfully my company wasn't affected too much.

    2 points
  • Benoît ChabertBenoît Chabert, 2 months ago

    Hey thanks for the article Craig. Great to hear from other freelancers in this situation.

    I have felt the same thing on my end regarding to the business side of things. I would have usually gotten a ton of request by this time of year and it’s a bit light compared to previous years. Feels like everything’s on hold until the situation resolves (through acceptance or solution to the pandemic).

    I did the same thing as you and using the opportunity to work on side projects. I think it’s like you said, a blessing in disguise.

    1 point
  • Ryan Hicks, 2 months ago

    I think this totally depends on the industry you target rather than anything else. Some industries and products are more affected by COVID than others. I'm designing in real estate (in-house team not freelance) and we couldn't be any busier than we currently are with rates so low. We are setting record units every month during COVID.

    1 point
    • Craig RozynskiCraig Rozynski, 2 months ago

      Yes very true Ryan. Online retailers are also a great client to have atm, provided they don't need to ship overseas.

      1 point
  • Artgirl Art, 2 months ago

    With the onset of the pandemic, many professions went online. Including designers. With the help of the service that I found on the site Pick The Writer. I was preparing an essay for college on this topic and concluded that now we are on the verge of a future in which it will not be necessary to visit a place of work to earn money.

    0 points
  • Monica Smith, 2 months ago

    I was pushed by the pandemic to take steps forward. Of course, I'm worried about people's health. However, thanks to the pandemic, I took several training courses, decided to work with startups, and finally got a dog.

    0 points