Are you creative? Do you enjoy listening to briefs and helping people’s ideas come to life? If so, becoming a graphic design specialist could be a fantastic career choice. Running your own business can be complicated, but with a proven franchise business model, you’ll have every chance of success. If you’re interested in how to become a graphic designer in the world of franchising, here’s everything you need to know.
In the past five years, the graphic design industry has flourished, and industry revenue is expected to increase at a compound annual rate of 1.6% to reach £3.4 billion [IBISWorld]. That means there’s no better time to enter this growing industry, following your passions all the way to the perfect graphic design franchise opportunity.
What does a graphic design specialist do?
Franchising comes with pros and cons, but the pros very much outweigh the cons for most franchisees. In this business model, you could become a graphic designer and start running your own business at a much lower level of risk, safe in the knowledge that you have the support of an expert to turn to at any moment. But is a career in graphic design really up your street?
The first step to figuring that out is discovering exactly what a graphic design specialist does. A graphic designer is responsible for creating visual concepts based on a client’s brief, either by hand or with software. These are some of the common daily tasks undertaken by a graphic designer:
- Discussing, planning and negotiating with clients
- Brainstorming creative ideas
- Producing drafts
- Presenting ideas
- Creating designs (sometimes using specialist software)
- Producing final products
- Working to budgets
- Working to deadlines
- Communicating with and updating clients regularly
- Remaining up-to-date with the industry, and all the latest trends and developments
Graphic designers are a popular investment in the UK, particularly for commercial purposes, because graphic design is identifying, attention-grabbing and great for branding, marketing and advertising. Even as the market evolves, you can be confident that your graphic design business will continue to profit, as demand isn’t going anywhere.
Graphic design will always be a necessary tool for artistic, economic, marketing and architectural expression, and will continue to evolve as a result of advances in technology and online mediums.
- Natalie Norcross, Forbes
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How to start a graphic design franchise
Running a franchise in a competitive, lucrative industry will see you enjoy plenty of profit as a franchisee. But given that there is so much competition, you’ll also need to be adequately prepared. If you want to start a graphic design franchise, here are the three steps you absolutely need to cover to ensure your franchise’s success...
1. Assess the suitability of your skills
An understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, and your suitability for the industry, is crucial. When you know what you’re good at, you’ll find it much easier to find your place in the field of graphic design. Though you might not always be required to have had industry experience, in this industry you will always benefit from possessing the following transferable skills:
- Artistic vision and ability
- Persistence and determination
- Technological proficiency
- Precision and focus
- The ability to innovate
- The ability to adapt
2. Research the graphic design industry
As mentioned already, the graphic design industry is undeniably competitive. If you don’t have any industry experience under your belt, this step is absolutely crucial to your success in the sector. Get to know the industry, from the opportunities available to you in a range of different areas, to the trends currently dominating graphic design. Here are a few examples of 2021 industry trends, to give you somewhere to start:
- Reconnecting with nature
- Retro vibes
- Optical illusions
- Voxel art
- 3D typography and design
- Cartoon illustration
- Monochrome and duotone design
- Geometric shapes
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3. Do your due diligence before signing a franchise agreement
When you find the right franchise opportunity for you, do your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. Don’t get into an investment without knowing all the details that you need to ensure that it can be a successful one. At this stage, you should be asking your franchisor the important questions. Questions like:
- What’s your track record?
- What’s your reputation with existing franchisees and customers?
- What’s the franchise’s fully disclosed financial situation?
- How long will it take for me to recoup my initial investment?
- What support and training will you provide me with?
Franchise opportunities in the graphic design sector
There are many franchise opportunities available to you in the wide and exciting industry that is graphic design, from signage all the way to publishing. Here are just a couple of examples to start off your research in the right place...
FASTSIGNS was first launched in Texas in 1985, and the franchise reached the UK in 1992. With over 675 centres across 10 countries, FASTSIGNS specialises in selling, marketing, producing and installing visual communications, including banners, flags, signs and vehicle wraps.
- Becoming a FASTSIGNS franchisee: Management experience is welcome, but an industry background is not essential. Instead, franchisees must simply be motivated, hard-working and enthusiastic.
- How much you need to invest: You'll need to make a minimum initial investment of £36,000, with franchise fees of £21,000 and a total investment cost of £120,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll receive a comprehensive programme of support and training, including initial training, ongoing mentoring, pre-launch marketing support, site selection assistance, and the ear of a dedicated business consultant.
2. Minuteman Press
Minuteman Press is the world’s largest printing and marketing franchise. Established over 25 years ago, the franchise now has almost 1,000 locations, each of which provides a range of exceptional services and products to its customers.
- Becoming a Minuteman Press franchisee: You don’t need industry experience, but you will need a strong work ethic and a lot of enthusiasm. Most of all, you’ll need to be able to stay alert to customer needs, always providing exceptional service.
- How much you need to invest: You'll need to make a minimum initial investment of £25,000, with a total investment cost of £50,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be fully supported with a comprehensive two-week training programme. You’ll also receive help with initial setup and launch. You’ll then have access to ongoing support and development opportunities.
Your journey towards a career as a graphic artist begins here
If you’re looking to become a graphic designer, this article should have confirmed this is the right choice for you, and shown you what your next steps should be. One of the biggest graphic design sub sectors available to you as a franchisee is signage, so make sure you do your research on this area of design to see if it might be a fit. Find out how to make a career change with a signage franchise, and discover the true scale of the signage industry.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©