Graphic design is one of the fastest growing industries out there at the moment. More and more businesses are enlisting the help of creative design agencies to deal with all of their branding needs so there’s plenty of work out there. Working for an agency is one thing, but most graphic designers are aiming to eventually go freelance and source their own work.

You’ve got the benefit of having the freedom to choose your own work, but on the other hand, you don’t have all of the resources of a big creative design agency. They’ll have all of the equipment that you need day to day so when you go out on your own, you’ll need to buy all of your own. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this shopping list for freelance graphic designers.


Obviously, you’ll need a computer to work on. Now, it’s likely that you’ve already got a computer of some kind but it probably won’t be powerful enough. All of the software that you’ll be running to complete projects on will need a lot more processing power than your day to day stuff. People are always arguing about whether Mac or Windows is better.

When it comes to graphic design, you should probably go for a Mac, a Windows will still be able to run everything you need it to but not quite as well. Trying to do everything with a laptop mouse and keyboard can be pretty tricky. Luckily there are loads of great keyboards for macs that you can plug in to make things easier. When you come to buy your new computer, make sure you check the specifications against any software that you’re going to be using to make sure that you’ll be able to run it properly.



When it comes to software, there isn’t much argument about the best thing to go for. Adobe Creative Suite combines lots of different design programs in one place and it’s unlikely that you’ll get a project that it can’t accommodate. For the most part, you’ll be using Photoshop for any photo editing and Indesign for putting together posters and booklets etc.

Pens And Paper

This seems like a silly suggestion but all too many people overlook pens and paper these days. There are so many great new technologies that can be used for design that people tend to forget about the traditional methods. But you can’t quickly jot down ideas on the computer as easily as you can with pen and paper. Always keep some handy so when inspiration strikes, you don’t end up forgetting anything.



All of those rough sketches that you do on paper will need to be transferred to the computer so you can start fleshing them out into proper designs so it’s important to get yourself a scanner. However, you needn’t bother with an old fashioned printer/scanner combo. As long as you have a phone with a high enough resolution camera, you can download an app on your phone that will serve exactly the same purpose.

Once you’ve got everything on this list, you’ll be ready to start looking for clients.