As a freelance designer, deciding which graphic design niches to focus on can take time and effort. This is because there are so many options. And it can take time to know which will be the most profitable in the years to come.
This blog post will explore six design niches predicted to be profitable in 2023. We'll look at what these positions entail, who their target market is, and what type of work you can expect to do in this field. So, if you're looking for new ideas for your freelance business, read on!
What is niching?
The term “niche” is often used in business, and it refers to a group of people that you can target with your product or service. When you have a niche business, it means that you focus on serving a specific group of people. And you don’t try to appeal to everyone.
What are the advantages of specializing in a design niche?
- Expertise in your industry
Building a reputation as a specialist has fantastic value for your brand and increases awareness for you and your brand within a well-defined space. In addition, clients will see your services as being of higher quality and value. And are more likely to seek you out (instead of you having to chase down leads constantly).
As you build your reputation and become more visible, demand for your services increases, and you can choose to be selective about the clients you choose to take on.
- Increased productivity
You can provide a service far beyond the surface-level stuff that generalists in your industry can do. You'll know the ins and outs so well that you can get results for your clients that transform their lives or their own business to a far greater degree.
Learning the ins and outs of a particular industry will enable you to anticipate and prevent potential problems. This knowledge can lead to fewer revisions, less time to achieve your final product, and happier clients. Additionally, you'll likely build up a library of prebuilt elements and templates that will help streamline your work.
You'll also be able to develop finely-tuned processes and systems. And that allow you to work more efficiently and get the best possible results.
- More effective marketing
By narrowing down the focus, they can reach more people at a far more impactful level. Your branding and marketing have the power to resonate so much more with your ideal clients. Your message will speak more directly to people in a way that tells them that you identify with their struggles on a deeper level.
For example, when you focus on a particular area of website design, your website copy and sales pitch become more specific and personalized. As a result, people immediately understand what you do. Or who your audience is, and how you can help them solve their problems.
Together, these benefits ultimately mean more revenue as you take on more clients and higher-quality projects.
What are the popular design niches?
While there are many different design niches to choose from, these are some of the most popular and profitable:
Corporate Identity Design
Corporate identity design is about creating a visual representation of a company and its branding. It includes the brand assets that make your company unique and stand out from the competition. A company's branding is visually reflected in its logo design, name, style guide, slogan, color palette, typography, uniforms, buildings, business cards, and more.
Packaging Design Development Services
Packaging design is the process that allows your packaging to fulfill a wide range of functions. It has to be functional, holding your product and enabling it to be transported and stored. In addition, it needs to stand out from your competitors' packaging in some way. And appeal to clients in-store and online.
User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design are closely related in the digital field. A UX designer focuses on creating accessible and navigating designs. While a UI designer focuses on the visual aspects of the user interface. UX and UI designers must have a strong understanding of human psychology and how people interact with technology.
Motion graphics are animations or videos that are used to communicate a message. A business uses motion graphics for advertising, product demonstrations, explainer videos, or any other type of video content. A motion graphic designer must be skilled in graphic design and video editing.
Infographics are visual representations of information or data. It is a collection of imagery, data visualizations like pie charts and bar graphs, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic. As in the example below, infographics use striking, engaging visuals to communicate information quickly and clearly. They are usually used in social media posts.
Print design is a broad category that includes everything from magazines and books to flyers and business cards. A business uses print design services to promote and sell its products and services. To succeed in print designing, you must be skilled in various types of design software and understand printing technologies and processes.
Environmental design is a process that addresses ecological issues when developing programs, buildings, plans, and products in various fields. These fields include engineering, interior design, urban planning, architecture, and geography. The environmental design uses sustainable products to avoid waste and provide our environment with as many eco-friendly products as possible. This need to improve our world has required the use of environmental design professionals.
Exhibition design is the process of conveying information through visual storytelling and the environment. It is an integrative, multidisciplinary process that combines architecture, interior design, graphic design, experience and interaction design, multimedia and technology, lighting, audio, and other disciplines to create multilayered narratives around a theme or topic.
Clothing design means creating new clothing by enhancing or altering existing designs to perform new functions. The clothing design task consists of selecting the style, color, and materials to meet specified functional requirements in the industry.
Clothing design is the process of creating garments that are both stylish and functional. Therefore, clothing designers must understand textile properties and garment construction strongly. And they must also be able to work within the constraints of a production schedule and budget.
Product design is imagining, creating, and iterating products that solve users' problems or address specific pain points in a given market. The key to successful product design is understanding the clients for whom companies create the product.
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, and magazines.
Set design is the field of design that deals with creating and developing physical spaces where set designers enact various sets of events for performances. The background setup you might see in a movie, a dance performance, at a theatre, a music performance, or a fashion show are all examples of set designs.
Game design refers to generating creative ideas and concepts behind a game for entertainment or educational purposes. It involves bringing a game to life by crafting compelling stories; creating the characters, environments, and objects; and setting rules and challenges to drive interaction. This multi-faceted field requires strong artistic vision and technical skills.
What is a web design niche?
Web design niches encompass many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The other areas of web designing include website design; user interface design; authoring, including standardized code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization.
What are the popular web design niches?
There is a high demand for web design services. Especially for those with experience in specific niches. As businesses continue to move online, they need designers who can create user-friendly, visually appealing, and responsive websites.
- E-commerce design
An e-commerce design niche specializes in creating online websites or shopping carts. E-commerce web developers must understand user experience, conversion optimization, and security strongly. They must also be skilled in using Shopify or Magento.
- Landing page design
A landing page design niche specializes in creating high-converting website landing pages. Creators must have a strong understanding of conversion optimization and user experience. They must also be skilled in using various builders. E.g. Unbounce or Leadpages
- Responsive design
- WordPress design
A WordPress design niche specializes in the creation of WordPress themes or plugins. WordPress freelancers must understand coding languages. They must also be skilled in using various WordPress tools and plugins. E.g. PHP, HTML, and CSS
- App design
An app design niche focuses on creating mobile apps. App design freelancers must understand user experience and interface design strongly. They must also be skilled in various coding languages. E.g. Objective-C or Swift
- User experience (UX) design
A UX design niche focuses on creating a website design or app that is easy to use and navigate. UX digital creators must have a strong understanding of human psychology and behavior. They must also be skilled in using various software programs for designing. E.g. Adobe Photoshop or Sketch
- Front-end development
- Full-stack web development
How can I find my niche in web design?
- Find your niche based on past projects
You can look through your past projects and identify any patterns in the types of designs you enjoyed working on the most. If you are drawn to a specific industry, that could be your niche.
For example, if you've worked on many e-commerce websites in the past and enjoyed the challenge of creating conversion-focused designs, then your niche could be e-commerce web design.
Or, if you've worked on many WordPress sites and have become an expert in using the platform, then your niche could be WordPress design.
- Find your niche based on your skills and experience
Another way to find your niche is to focus on your skills and experience. That could be your niche if you have a rare skill or expertise that not many designers have.
For example, if you're a designer with digital coding skills, your niche could be front-end web development. Or, if you're a designer with a strong understanding of human psychology, then your niche could be UX design.
- Find your niche based on your interests and passions
You can also find your niche by focusing on your interests and passions. For example, if there's a particular type of design that you're passionate about, then that could be your niche.
For example, if you're interested in fashion and design, your niche could be fashion web design. Or, if you're passionate about environmental issues, your niche could be sustainable web design.
What are the 6 profitable design niches?
- Financial technology (Fintech)
Fintech is a niche that focuses on financial technology. This niche includes companies related to financial services like payments, lending, and investing. Additionally, fintech companies are often startups that use technology to offer their services.
It is a broad niche that includes companies specializing in medical services, products, and information. Healthcare companies are often large and well-established. Hence, freelancers who work in the healthcare industry will be well-compensated and have regular, long-term work.
E-commerce is a niche with a specialization in online shopping. This niche is related to big and small businesses that sell products or services online. Therefore, the E-commerce industry often has many opportunities. Because online stores have sprouted out in the past couple of years.
- Enterprise software
Enterprise software is a niche with a specialization in creating software for businesses. This enterprise niche includes companies that provide software for accounting, project management, customer relationship management, and human resources. With the growth of many businesses offering online services, the enterprise software niche has blown up tremendously over the years. And the need for enterprise software creators has grown!
IoT is a niche specializing in the internet of things. The internet of things is a network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items that are connected to the internet. These devices collect data. Users can control these devices remotely. You can expect the IoT industry to grow tremendously in the next few year, making IoT an excellent niche for freelancers to get into.
- Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is a niche with a specialization in developing intelligent computer systems. This includes companies that develop software that can learn and work independently. With more people discovering how convenient artificial intelligence is, you can expect growth in this niche in the coming years.
These are just a few examples of the most profitable design niches you can focus on as a freelancer. If you need help deciding which niche to choose, consider your skills and experience, interests and passions, and the needs of businesses in your area. With some thought and research, you'll be able to find the perfect niche for you!
What type of skills do potential clients need?
Knowledge of Design Software
Most businesses will need proficient designers in at least one design software program. The most popular programs include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Sketch. As a designer, you should be able to use these (and other) programs to create high-quality designs that meet the client's needs.
Web Development Skills
Marketing and SEO Skills
Having some marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) skills is also helpful. With these skills, you'll be able to help your clients promote their businesses online. You'll be able to create effective marketing campaigns and optimize websites for search engines.
To create high-quality designs, you'll need a firm understanding of design principles. This includes things like color theory, typography, art, and layout. By understanding these principles, you'll be able to create visually appealing and practical designs.
Of course, you'll need to be creative to succeed as a designer. This includes having an eye for art and coming up with new and innovative ideas. If you're still deciding if you're ready to start freelancing, consider taking some design courses or joining a local design group.
Problem Solving Skills
Problem-solving might be the most key skill out of all the graphic design skills. Aside from using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, or other design software. That's because all digital products need to solve the users' problems. Because users will have a specific need in mind when they decide to use your product. If that product doesn't help them, they will switch to a different one. Hence, the need for problem-solving skills.
User Experience Design Skills
User Experience design includes all the different elements that go into it: market and user research, ideating and prototyping, and testing. Every graphic design expert should have these skills. Even if their job is to create ads for social media. Being able to research and analyze the findings is crucial for mobile and web design. It is also important when it comes to designing physical products. Designers with UX design experience will also have extraordinary processes for workshops. And ideating that can come in handy for your in-house team.
Where do I find clients in the design niche?
Design Match is a great agency to find clients in the design niche. With Design Match, you can make a profile and portfolio. Then businesses contact you when they need design work done. You can specify the time you want to work and the rate you want to get paid. With Design Match, you can keep 100% of your hard-earned money.
Design Match also offers a community where you can connect with other designers and discuss the industry.
There are many different design niches that you can choose from. The most important thing is to choose a niche that you're passionate about and has a high demand for. With some thought and research, you'll be able to find the perfect niche for you! So there you have it! 6 design niche ideas for freelancers in 2022! Happy job hunting!