What type of designer are you?
There are 4 types of design roles and the one you choose will mostly determine your workflow and design style and growth. It will also determine the type of work environment you'll be working in.
Here are the 4 most common types of design environments and you may not stay in just one your whole design career.
4 Types of Design Environments
Agency or Studio Designer
Remote or Nomad Designer
1. Agency or studio Designer
Agency is a larger and studio is a smaller work environment. They both provide client services, like design, promotion, marketing, etc. for a specific product or cause.
As a designer working in this environment, you’ll most likely need to create graphics for brands following their brief.
Agencies usually work with high-profile brands and big budgets, and you’ll probably be working in a bigger team where each individual does his/her job and gets credited as a group not individually. This is great if you work with people who are like-minded and work well together but in reality, this is not always the case. And the chance of climbing the leader is slim.
On the other hand, working in a smaller studio is in most cases tailored toward local businesses. You might have the option of a bigger creative input and consequentially you are more likely to get noticed.
These types of roles are suitable for individuals who get bored easily and enjoy working across different industries and work with high-profile brands. With this type of design, the working hours can be quite long and the stress from the big brands can be also quite daunting.
2. In-House Designer
Most companies don’t want to outsource to agencies and studios when it comes to their design aspects of the business, so they hire a design team full time that do all the design for that company.
As a designer working for one company only, the work must be consistent and must not deviate away from the company’s brand. Which leaves you with less creative freedom. But on the other hand, an in-house role could be highly creative depending on the company you’re working for.
An in-house designer role is good for those who love a challenge and sticking to one brand style of design, and also for those who don’t like working in different industrial sectors. It is perfect for people who like working in small teams.
Working as an in-house designer can become repetitive and less challenging thus starting to become a bit boring after some time.
3. Freelance Designer
Freelance designers are self-employed, they are hired by companies and individuals in need of their services. A lot of designers strive to become independent and work for themselves which gives them a bigger creative freedom and they choose the projects they are going to work on.
But in reality, going freelance is not as easy as it sounds, and it doesn’t offer a steady paycheck. In most cases, freelance designers need multiple income streams to break even or even make profit. It all comes down to how well they are able to sell their skills and manage their work schedule. Freelancers need to find their own clients and find ways to motivate themselves.
Since they need to do all the work themselves it leaves them with less time to be creative and to make personal projects.
Beginner freelancers and those who are not established yet are sometimes forced to take on more less-paying jobs and also jobs that they might not like solely to survive.
Some in-house designers take freelance jobs on the side for extra pay but that leaves fewer opportunities for those freelancers that didn’t gain experiences from working with big companies.
4. Remote Designer or Nomad Designer
Remote or nomad working is some sort of hybrid between in-house and freelance work. Designers are not required to be physically present in the office. Nowadays with the fast-growing technology improvements and fast internet connectivity they can basically work from where ever they want.
Remote designers work independently and are still a part of a team. More companies rather hire a remote worker to save on costs.
This type of work is great for creatives who are self-motivated, trustworthy and do not like to be micromanaged. It is best suited for someone who likes the coworking space but still needs space when working.
I have to admit that being a freelancer and remote worker suits me the most. Yes, this type requires more organization and motivation on your own accord but having to fix my own schedule just the way I like it is my pet peeve. And being an introvert, this type of job makes me less stressed and more carefree.
Here are the 4 main job types for designers. In which do you see yourself in and why? Which one you wouldn’t do and why? Write it in the comments and let’s compare experiences.