Legal Obligations for Freelance Designers

With graduation quickly approaching, my peers and I have started the job search, and with that has come one of the greatest debates: to freelance or not to freelance. I blogged about the Pros and Cons of Freelancing earlier, but there are a few more components to consider. For example, how do I do it legally?

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 3.12.59 PMFirst things first, you will need a Business License. It should be noted that the type of licenses you will need depends on your location, as differences in states’ and cities’ laws mean certain places require certain licenses. For example, some places will require a Home Occupancy permit if you work out of your home. But, most places only require a general business license. Check out your state’s website to find more info on this.

Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 3.13.14 PMNext, you will need to Register your Business. There are four different categories of business entities that you can register as. The first is Sole Proprietorship, which means you are running a business as an individual; you will usually register a “DBA” or “doing business as” name with this entity. Under a sole proprietorship, you are personally responsible for any business liability – meaning your house or your car is at risk, should you face any legal consequences. The second entity is a Partnership, which as the name suggests, means you are doing business with a partner. Under this category, you have a little more legal protection and a lot more requirements for tex reporting. The next entity is a Limited Liability Corporation, aka LLC. An LLC can be formed by a single person or multiple parties. At this level, the owner(s) will now have full legal protection of their personal property in the event of legal action. The final business entity is a Corporation, which requires extensive filing and taxation documentation, and is often doubly-taxed.

You should know that a corporation is the least often used by freelancers, sole proprietorships and LLCs are more commonly used. Most often, freelancers will be advised to register their business as an LLC because any personal liability is eliminated. With that being said, a Small Business Attorney is the best personal to advise you on the type of business entity you should register as.


Design Principles: Proportion

Proportion is defined as the size relationships within a composition. Proportion is super important and evident in every aspect of design. In photography, proportion is essential to keeping the photograph look real. In layout, proportion is used to create a sense of depth in a design, as well as create hierarchy.

As you know by now, I have created a design for each principle to give my viewers a real-life example. Below, the triangles of varying sizes, stacked atop one another, create a sense of depth. The larger ones appear to be in the foreground while the smaller ones fall into the background.

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 2.37.38 PM

Design Principles: Rhythm

Alternating occurrence of form and space is known in the design world as rhythm, one of the secondary principles of design. Often confused as a pattern, rhythm can be established using any element of the design. To create rhythm using text, a designer can alternate color every other line. With graphics, a designer can alternate shapes throughout. Rhythm is used in design to create unity as well as movement.

As explained in the previous Design Principles post, I have made a layout to give my audience a real-world example of each principle. In the layout below, you will see how the shapes use rhythm to create a sense of movement. The alternating colors within the the emphasized text is also using rhythm.

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 2.26.29 PM

Design Principles: Movement

Movement can be defined as the choreography of graphic design, created by rhythm with visual elements. Within a layout, movement directs the audience’s eye flow – it shows them where to look next.

For this mini-series, I created a few layouts to show my audience how each principle is used in real life. The purpose of the giant arrow in this design is not only a fun play off of the word “fall” but also directing your eyes downward to the remainder of the quote. The smaller arrows which make up the the giant arrow are what creates the rhythm in this design.

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 2.13.24 PM