When freelance designer Sam Carter started looking for a new job in 2011, he knew it was the perfect fit for his personality.
His passion for design was a perfect fit with the company’s mission of creating a more accessible and inspiring world for everyone.
But while his skillset was ideal for a design agency, the business was less so.
As Carter says, he wasn’t looking for “the best job in the world” and was instead looking for the “most challenging job” that he could find.
Carter is now working on his third design agency – the first of which has opened its doors to freelance clients – after graduating from the UK’s University of Surrey.
The freelance designer and website designer believes his career has changed dramatically as he works in a much more competitive industry, where it’s more difficult to make a career in design.
He started the agency as a freelance design and business writer in 2012, and says the changes have been “huge”.
“I’d been in the freelancing game for a while and I’d realised I was never going to get the kind of income that I wanted and I was getting paid to sit at a desk,” Carter says.
“I realised I could spend a lot of time on things that I love doing, that I’m really passionate about, and that were really important to me and to my life, and the clients I was working with, and just really focused on what I was doing.”
So Carter decided to work full-time, starting at age 19, and he says the experience has been “very rewarding”.
Carter’s design work has grown into three major client organisations – a lifestyle website, a travel agency and a travel magazine.
His clients have included the Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, McDonald’s and Apple.
He also has work done for the BBC, ITV, The Daily Mail, Fox News, The Guardian, and several newspapers.
“A lot of my clients have had very different experiences with freelance work, but I think the big thing is, the clients have seen that it is actually a very rewarding profession,” Carter explains.
“The clients are looking at you, and you have to really understand what you’re getting paid for.
You have to understand what they’re paying you and what it is that you’re trying to get.”
Carter says he has been approached by clients from as far away as South Africa, Canada, Japan and even the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s not a new thing for me, but it’s really new for me to have clients that have been working with me for a long time, who are asking for that kind of experience.”
He says he’s still adjusting to the new work environment, having had to learn new techniques to keep up with the clients.
“You’re working in a new environment, and it’s a very different kind of office, where you’re really in charge of how you’re communicating and making decisions,” Carter admits.
“So you’re just working more from the outside of it and doing things that are a little bit different from the office environment.”
What makes Carter’s work unique?
“I think it’s very much about the design,” Carter reveals.
What are the most challenging jobs you’ve worked on? “
What I really love about it is the fact that it’s actually a completely different environment than the office, which is a big part of why it works so well.”
What are the most challenging jobs you’ve worked on?
“When you work on a client, I think a lot is the same as it is for me.
I can get up in the morning and start writing code and creating an idea and a template, and then it’s just like writing code.
But it’s different, because I’m not working on a design, I’m just working on creating something for clients to work with.”
Why do you love the freelance design profession?
“Because you can really focus on what you love doing and really get to work on what really matters to them,” Carter tells ABC News.
“If you love something you can get paid to do, and if you love it so much that you get to do it, then it makes it really worthwhile.””
If you love something you can get paid to do, and if you love it so much that you get to do it, then it makes it really worthwhile.”