11 Freelance Graphic Designer Skills: Definition and Examples

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published September 3, 2022

As a freelance graphic designer, you need a wide range of skills. This article provides definitions and examples of 12 essential skills for graphic designers, including creativity, typography, software skills, and more.

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Freelance Graphic Designer Skills

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite is a software package that includes various programs for graphic design, web development, and video editing. As a freelance graphic designer, you will need to be proficient in at least one of these programs in order to create high-quality designs for your clients.

Graphic design

Graphic design is the process of creating visual content to communicate messages. Freelance graphic designers need this skill to be able to create visuals that effectively communicate the desired message to their clients.


Illustration is the art of creating images that communicate a message or tell a story. As a freelance graphic designer, you may need to create illustrations for your clients' projects. This skill can help you communicate your clients' messages in a more visually appealing and effective way.

Web design

Web design is the process of creating a website. A freelance graphic designer needs web design skills to be able to create websites for their clients. Web design skills include knowing how to code in HTML and CSS, as well as how to use web design software like Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver.


Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning).


Layout is the process of arranging elements on a page. A good layout can make your design more visually appealing and easy to understand. It can also help to convey your message more effectively.

Color theory

Color theory is the study of how colors interact with each other. It is important for freelance graphic designers to understand color theory because it can help them create more harmonious and visually appealing designs.


Branding is the use of a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature to identify a product or service and distinguish it from those of other producers. A strong brand can create customer loyalty and add value to a product or service. As a freelancer, having a strong personal brand can help you stand out from the competition and attract more clients.

Print design is the process of creating designs for printed materials such as newspapers, magazines, flyers, and brochures. This skill is important for freelance graphic designers because it allows them to create stunning visuals that can be used to promote a product or service.

Packaging design

Packaging design is the process of designing the packaging for a product. It is important to have a good packaging design as it can make the product more appealing to customers and help to sell the product.


Advertising is a form of marketing that involves creating and placing advertisements in order to promote a product, service, or brand. As a freelance graphic designer, you may be asked to create ads for clients. In order to do this effectively, you need to understand the basics of advertising and how to create persuasive ad campaigns.

How to improve freelance graphic designer skills

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to improve freelance graphic designer skills will vary depending on the individual's current skill level and experience. However, there are a few general tips that can help any freelance graphic designer become better at their craft.

First and foremost, it is important to always be learning and growing as a designer. This means keeping up with the latest trends in design, reading design blogs and books, and taking courses or attending workshops to continuously improve your skills. It is also important to get feedback from other designers, whether through online forums or in-person critique groups. By constantly pushing yourself to learn new things and get better at your craft, you will be sure to improve your skills as a freelance graphic designer.

Another important tip for improving your skills as a freelance graphic designer is to specialize in a certain area or type of design. By becoming an expert in one particular area, you will be able to offer clients a higher level of service and produce better results. Not only will this make you more valuable to clients, but it will also help you stand out from the competition.

Finally, another great way to improve your skills as a freelance graphic designer is to network with other designers and professionals in the industry. Attend industry events, meetups, and conferences, and make connections with other designers. These connections can lead to new opportunities and help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends. By networking with others in the industry, you can not only improve your own skills but also learn from the successes (and failures) of others.

How to highlight freelance graphic designer skills

As a freelance graphic designer, you need to be able to market your skills in order to find work. You can do this by creating a portfolio that showcases your best work, and by writing a clear and concise CV that outlines your experience and skills. You should also make sure you are active on social media, as this is a great way to connect with potential clients and show off your work.

On a resume

To highlight your skills as a Freelance Graphic Designer on your resume, you should include your experience with design software, your creative portfolio, and your ability to work with clients. You should also highlight any awards or recognition you have received for your work.

In a cover letter

In your cover letter, be sure to highlight your skills as a Freelance Graphic Designer. Include your experience designing for print and digital media, as well as your ability to work with clients to create cohesive and effective branding solutions. Be sure to showcase your portfolio of work to demonstrate your creative range and expertise.

During an interview

When you are interviewed for a freelance graphic designer position, be sure to highlight your skills. You should discuss your experience with the software programs that are commonly used in the field, as well as your ability to create designs that are both aesthetically pleasing and meet the needs of your client. Be sure to provide examples of your work, either through a portfolio or by sharing links to your online portfolio. Finally, emphasize your willingness to work independently and meet deadlines.