5 good news for independent designers in 2022


The global creative platform has published its latest findings in a new report, Design Without Borders: A New Perspective on Freelance Work. It makes for eye-opening reading and comes from a source you can trust.

With a diverse community of over 150,000 freelance designers, 99designs by Vista connects clients with creatives in brand and logo design, packaging, web design, and more. Since 2008, it has brought over a million creative projects to life around the world, and designers in its community have earned over $400 million on the platform to date. So, quite simply, what he doesn’t know about freelancing isn’t worth knowing.

Below, we’ll summarize the most compelling points from his latest high-profile report. And believe us: whether you’re currently working as a freelancer or considering taking the plunge, these are must-reads.

1. Profits should increase

With the prices of food, fuel, and more soaring around the world, money is top of mind for most freelancers right now. And so here is some good news. In Vista’s 99designs investigation71% of freelancers said they expect their income to increase in 2022.

Of course, there are no guarantees here. After all, the direction your personal income will take in the coming year is primarily up to you. But this startling statistic highlights two fundamental truths about today’s freelance design market.

Freelancers expect their income to increase in 2022. Illustration by saskaAnimated by Maryia Dziadziulia

First, the demand for good independent designers remains strong and growing across the world; if this were not the case, we would expect these forecasts to be much more optimistic. And second, it reminds us that freelance work allows us to be more entrepreneurial in how we approach our practice.

Whether you’re accepting new customers or finding other ways to generate income, like selling your own products, there’s virtually no upper limit to what you can aim for. Or, to put it another way, how many employees predict that their income will increase in 2022? We suggest much less than 71 percent.

2. Remote work means greater opportunities

So why are freelance designers so confident about their earning potential in 2022? Well, one of the reasons is the increase in opportunities to work for companies in a different city, a different country, and even a different continent in a post-pandemic world.

Remote work offers greater opportunities. Artwork by saskaAnimated by Maryia Dziadziulia

Lockdown has taught us that we don’t need to physically meet to work together effectively. And so customers these days don’t really care where you are, as long as you have a web connection and know how to use Zoom.

The 99designs by Vista report confirms this, with 68% saying clients and agencies are more open to working with freelance talent than before the pandemic. New freelance opportunities are therefore really to be seized.

3. Freelancers make the world a better place

All of these new opportunities mean freelancers can potentially make more money. But according to the 99designs by Vista report, that’s only part of the equation. What really drives independent designers in the world of 2022 is the feeling of goal.

97% of respondents believe creatives have the power to make a real social impact, while 85% of freelancers believe it’s important to work for clients who share their values. More importantly, these principles are put into practice.

Freelancers act to improve the world. Artwork by saskaAnimated by Maryia Dziadziulia

Forty percent of freelance designers say they’ve turned down a job because of a client’s stance on a social issue they care about. And nearly a third of designers also work with a social justice organization, with 66% of those freelancers doing some of that work on a voluntary basis.

This fits well with what we already know about freelancers from our own experience. Although money is usually good, it’s not what designers are most passionate about in practice. Being truly creative and harnessing that creativity to solve problems and make the world a better place is what makes life truly worth living. So it’s fantastic to hear that going independent in 2022 is making it a reality for thousands of designers.

4. Work-life balance improves

Better pay, more opportunities, a greater sense of purpose – the benefits of freelancing add up. And here is another. The possibilities for achieving a better work-life balance are obviously greater when you work for yourself, giving you greater freedom to set your schedules, take longer vacations, shorten your working week, choose where you work, become a global nomad, and of course anything. makes your life happier and healthier.

Work-life balance is on the rise. Artwork by saskaAnimated by Maryia Dziadziulia

It’s no surprise, then, that the majority of designers in the 99designs by Vista survey – a whopping 60% – said their work-life balance had improved this year, allowing them to reconnect with their primary motivation for working. freelancing; personal flexibility and freedom.

5. Freelancers are becoming more enterprising

When it comes to being an entrepreneur, freelance designers tend to fall somewhere on a spectrum. On the one hand, there are those who stick to just one or two clients and work much like they did as salaried employees, except technically they are self-employed. On the other, there are those enthusiastic freelancers launching their own products, side projects, and startups with flair.

Most freelancers fall somewhere in between, but 99designs by Vista’s report suggests that general traffic is headed in the latter direction. While one in five freelancers currently work at an agency, nearly half (45%) have considered leaving in the past 12 months.

Freelancers are deserting agencies and claiming their independence. Artwork by saskaAnimated by Maryia Dziadziulia

Nearly a third (30%) of freelance designers with agency experience have actually quit, and only 15% of designers want to be employed at an agency five years from now. And 48% of freelancers also said they would like to start their own studio or agency within the next five years, with 68% already using other freelancers in their network to work on projects.

What all this adds up to is crystal clear. More and more freelancers recognize the new opportunities that arise in 2022 and seize them with both hands.

Launch your freelance career with 99designs by Vista

Want to do what you love and get paid for it? Of course you do. With 99designs by Vista, you can find great clients and be part of a global community of freelance designers, all in a safe and secure workspace. You choose the industries, styles, and design categories you want to work in, and you’ll get paid in three business days or less. Registration is free, so To start with 99designs by Vista today.

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