7 Design Projects For Your Spare Time

A design career is cyclical. It’s evident that during the present day, when the world faces the coronavirus crisis and its many facets, many web designers have more free time than they’d like. However, there are many projects you can do to make your spare time effective and maybe earn extra fees amid the pandemic.

In the middle of slow times, you can always work on a project that can boost your skills and generate some income. Here are a few web design projects you can focus on during these times.

Upgrade Your Portfolio

Your portfolio website is essential to your business, but you might not be giving it enough attention when you’re busy. You can utilize your spare time to add new items, make tweaks to your design, or post new testimonials. In addition to displaying your work on a portfolio site, you can showcase your work in such community-based venues as deviantART, Coroflot, Flickr, and Behance.

Design New Business Cards

It may be time to update your business card design and collateral marketing materials. Having a well-designed card will help you in reaching more people, hopefully leading to more work. Too many designers hang on to dated materials because they’re too busy with client work to work on non-billable projects. It makes sense, but take advantage of the downtime to give your branding a fresh look.

Upgrade Your SEO Game 

Besides being able to build a professional brand web design, it is also essential to make sure that your site is SEO friendly. Unfortunately, it’s not always a set-it-and-forget-it job. If you haven’t updated your website in a while, you may be using outdated techniques–which could get your site penalized. Make sure your presence is firmly established for Google Local searches using the My Business platform so that potential customers looking for graphic designers in your city have a chance to find you.

Try New Tutorials

Lessons in design are all around you if you know where to look, from the beauty of nature outside of your window to spatial design tips intended for the designer of a separate but related discipline. Read, watch videos, and try new tricks. Tutorials are one of the things that most web designers tend to neglect when they are busy. Any pandemic-related downtime is perfect for going through tutorials. You don’t have to go crazy or learn something esoteric; try one (or more) of these core disciplines: Photoshop, HTML5, and CSS. Learning is a continuous process. For you to remain relevant, you always have to incorporate new skills into your work.

Create Stock Graphics

Stock photography sites allow designers to sell their graphics and artwork. These sites offer you the option an option to create a passive income, however how minuscule. You never know; the next image you upload could be wildly popular.

If you do not want to sell your art on general stock image platforms, you can try the membership sites. There are many membership-oriented sites and design blogs that buy work from designers. This kind of work could potentially provide you with more exposure. 


Photographers and designers are birds of the same feather. As a professional designer, you may already have experience in many of the programs photographers use to manipulate their images. Also, designers and photographers think about the world in similar ways. Develop or improve your photography skills, and it could lead to an enjoyable hobby or even a second career. Don’t underestimate the value of stock photography, either. 

Create Freebies

Freebies of high quality are excellent in attracting tweets, links, and shares. You can give away vectors, icons, textures, Photoshop brushes, and the like. If you write for a blog–be it your own or something like Medium–your freebies can help you gain a considerable volume of readers, gaining exposure.These are just a few of the many ways a graphic designer can expand her digital presence during unexpected downtime. At some point, binge-watching Netflix loses its appeal, and you can choose to spend your free time building your career. Just don’t end up too far on the other end of the spectrum. Remember, all work and no play…