Setting Up A Home-Based Graphic Design Company
There comes a time when every salaried Designer asks himself whether he has what it takes to make it on his own. However, being a Graphic Designer employed by a Design House or Advertising Agency or Publishing House is quite different from being one who works from home.
It is not easy for a fresh Graphic Design graduate to just set up shop at home and try to run a design business. It’s not impossible, but it’s certainly not easy. You have to be able to get clients, and you should know something of the business so you can run it well, for instance, do you know all the different steps involved in a design project from conception to execution? This is why most freelancers who actually get work are former employees of advertising agencies or design houses.
Here is a checklist of things that you will need to set up the physical part of your homebased design business. Bear in mind that when you are first starting out, you should see how you can keep your expenses low, so don’t try and get a fancy desk or storage systems. If you’re good with your hands, or your spouse is, some plywood, a can of paint and some purchased table legs can provide you with a very decent workstation to start with. Don’t skimp on your chair. You wouldn’t want to end up with a bad back or some Repetitive Stress Injury before you get your business going!
To set up your office, you will need:
1. A clean, well-ventilated, comfortable place at home you can use for your work
2. A good, ergonomic chair on castors that is height adjustable, can preferably lean back and has good back support.
3. A fairly large desk
4. Storage area for files and documents
5. Shelving for reference materials – as you go along, you will find the need for this increasing significantly
6. Relevant legal software, for example, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, PageMaker, QuarkXpress
7. A good computer to work on. Most people in the design industry use Apple computers.
8. A colour printer
9. A scanner and digital camera for image input
10. Some means of digital storage; CD writer/ Zip drive to back-up your work and have a means of transporting your files to the production facility
11. Phone access: you should have at least two. One for the phone, and another for Internet and fax.
12. A mobile phone so you can be contacted while on the road
13. A good portfolio of work
Once the above has been set up and you can favourably answer the questions above, you know that you’re on your way. Now you will need to get your business up and running.