Need help finding clients

I am now starting off my design career, I am 16 and looking for new clients I have one so far but looking for new ones. If any of you could help me that would be nice.

Thank You

Well, we do like to provide all kinds of help here, but not always blindly. Because you confessed to being only 16 years old, the professionals here will diligently question whether you’re properly prepared to do client work. The common wisdom here is that no one should be attempting to do freelance work until they have a full education and several years of professional experience.

As a 16 year-old, what level of expertise will you be offering clients in return for their money? If you’re still learning, why should they be paying you to perform student-level experiments on their brand, a critical element in the potential success of their product or business? Furthermore, freelance graphic design is also a business, which when conducted properly, involves contracts, taxes, professional ethics, etc. Depending on the part or the world you’re in, you may not even be legally allowed to engage in such activities at age 16.

So, help us help you. Post some more details of your situation; where you are, what you do, what kind of clients you seek to service, and how you intend to do business at your age.


Age doesn’t matter when it comes to graphic design, yeah some might have more experience out there but the point is I’m trying to start early. I’m already getting some people asking me the same questions but in the end they are going to have a nice design, so what skills do I bring to the table. I have been doing logo design and branding since I was 13. I might not be the best graphic designer in the world but that is what my passion is, and I’m not going let age determine what I am capable of, because at the end of the day we all consider ourselves to be designers.

That would be my starting question. What skills do you bring to the table?

Determination is good, but will only carry you so far. Paying clients will want to know how you can get them more customers while saving them money. You’ll have to show them how you can do that, and that you understand their problems and goals.

A “nice design” isn’t enough by itself. You need to know a lot about marketing too.

And you’ll be competing with adult professionals who have taken the time to get educated.

I think you should use your passion and determination to spend the next few years learning how to be the best graphic designer possible. At that point, you’ll have a lot to offer and can hit the ground running.


Age does matter in Graphic Design.
At 16 you are not old enough to enter into the legally binding contracts used in the profession.
While you might not use contracts personally, there are other contracts in the business world that you may have to sign. Freelancing is a business, with all of the personal and financial risks included.


But see, here you did indeed do that. My post never equated your age with your potential capability, but that which we can call your “youthful exuberance” blinded you to the realities that my post did lay out for you, and all you saw was “you’re too young.” You aspire to be in the communication business (that’s what graphic design is), but you read my post, allowed yourself to react to something you yourself inferred rather than anything I wrote, and your response demonstrates a result born of full-blown miscommunication. Your age rendered you incapable of responding meaningfully. The last sentence of my post was a call to action for you, and your response contains no indication that you even read and understood.

Of course age matters when it comes to graphic design…and everything else too. And, it’s not only a matter of whether you’re old enough. In fact, I recognize that I’m too old to be a good fit for certain kinds of graphic design jobs (if I hear the term ‘streetwear brand’ one more time I may kick a puppy), and I readily say so when my turning the work down for that reason is in the client’s best interest.

So again, where are you, what do you do, what kind of clients do you seek to service, and how do you intend to do business at your age?

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Starting early is good as long as you start in the right direction. If you are heading in the wrong direction, starting early will only take you further in the wrong direction by the time you figure out that it’s the wrong direction. I have a 16-year-old daughter who started too early with much of what she tried to learn. She often got the wrong message and picked up bad habits that are hard to break. She just wasn’t mature enough to interpret all the information she was exposed to wisely.

I suggest you learn more about the industry and why most clients are looking for designers with college degrees before you attempt a trial by fire. You could easily get burned beyond recovery. There’s a difference between courage and recklessness.


I’ll answer your question.

You find clients through a strategic mix of marketing communication potentially including but not limited to: formal networking events, informal networking, trade organizations, trade shows, public relations, positioning, a web presence, a social media presence, traditional advertising (potentially including but not limited to direct mail, broadcast, and out of home), online advertising, SEO, cold calling, third party websites, and referrals. Oh, and you have to do great work and have a great reputation.

All of that said, you’re asking the wrong question.


Well said. Me too!

Puppy kicker.


I started with school and the people I knew. I worked on school newspaper and yearbook. I had friends in bands and that led to flyers and logos. And there were a lot of school clubs that were always in need of logos and marketing. Make one club’s bake sale a success, and a lot more clubs will want you to do the same for them. None of it was paid, but the experience was very important to my development. You can experiment and make errors when the stakes are low. School is a great place to make mistakes. Make mistakes in the adult world and you burn your reputation.

I’m curious, if a 16 year old contracts and clients, do their parents have to co-sign and oversee all their business dealings until they become an adult?

At 16 you should work on your design education. If you are still in school, find out what kinds of design resources are available to you. When I was your age, I put my hand up for extra-curricular school based activities that were design related. Things like school magazines, newsletters, posters, tickets, flyers for school plays, dances, productions etc.

Education first. Career comes after.

Do they spell Coffee as “coffe” where you are? Or is that a typo all through your work on that cafe piece?

On a couple of those logos it looks like you didn’t properly kern the tails on the cursive letters and one looks a little like you smooshed it widthwise, which is something you shouldn’t do to fonts, it messes with the designed mechanics of the letterforms.

If my experience with millennials has taught me anything it’s that they consider any way to make a buck as fair game as a “business” (or ‘side-hustle’) sometimes without a lot of regard for the consequences to the client.
They also don’t like No for an answer.
Though 16 is GenZ, it sounds like you are similar.
Get involved in things where you can use your design like Mojo described. Leave the paying clients for later when you can offer them something in return for their investment. In business, it’s all about the return on investment.

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Also, is it Nasville or Nashville?

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Its a typo

Typos are the deal killer of the graphic design world.
I bin resumes for typos.
Typos in a portfolio piece implies the work got done and still included a typo.
Not someone likely to be hired.

Also, your About blurb is all about you. Quite honestly, someone hiring a designer doesn’t care about you. What they care about is what successful things you have done for other clients that you can possibly do for THEM.

Another observation about the design world that many young designers don’t realize until too late:
Graphic design is not about expressing your art. Graphic Design is about selling your clients’ message, to their clients in the most appropriate and successful fashion.

Your art may be all about blue kitties when working on personal projects, but a graphic design job may require the art to be a death metal architectural piece in a totally different style from your personal likes or dislikes. It’s really too bad that so many art schools let students decide what kind of content their projects contain. The real world of the profession is so far from that, it can be soul-killing. It’s commercial art that you just cannot let yourself get attached to, it’s a commodity to be sold. You don’t get to pick your projects and you have to give your art over to what will appeal to the end audience, not yourself. If you go into this career with that concept firmly embedded, you can make something out of it eventually.

You are young. I’m an old buzzkill.
This field is too saturated with amateurs and wannabees. Go for it full tilt with the proper skills and and a goal for the future.

A typo, where the designer is at fault, can cause a $15,000 print job to be reprinted. Guess who is liable for that unanticipated cost?

Of course, at 16, you’re not old enough to engage in a contract and couldn’t be sued. Your parents could be sued, though. Of course this would be unlikely to happen since no business owner in his or her right mind would farm out a job like that to a 16-year-old.

I looked at your work, and it’s good. You have the talent and ambition to succeed, but it will require a few more years of education to make it happen. Concentrate on high school and being a kid. It won’t last nearly as long as you think, and you’ll never have the chance again. Enjoy it while you can.

In the mean time, as others have said, friends, family and school just might be able to send some work your way. High school can provide lots of opportunities in terms of year book staffs, school newspaper, event posters and flyers, etc. You just need to volunteer to do them.

When I was 16, I had a part-time, after school job at a small supermarket where I helped put together some of their sale promotion items, like posters and newspaper ads. There are opportunities at your age, but don’t mistake them for starting a business career as a graphic designer — you’re still learning the ropes. You’ll get there; just be patient.

School booster clubs are another place to look, and since those are run by the parents there might actually be a little money there.

Where I’m at, every high school team has its own booster club. The clubs do a fundraiser and a recognition banquet for their team every season. The fundraisers are usually golf tournaments, casino nights, auctions and e-waste recycling. I’ve gotten roped into doing flyers by friends who would rather pay me than do it themselves. I’m sure their first choice would be a student, if they knew the student could do the work.



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