What is Freelance?

Hi all,

I am wondering about when someone describe themselve as "Freelance” Industrial Designer.

In an Industrial Design company, the company has all the resources from research to concept to modeling and finally to actual manufacturing, and they have variety of resources of people from ID to Mechanical to Electrical or Computer programmer etc… And that way they solve the client problem from scratch to actual product.

But as a freelance, you have only one resource, which is Industrial Design. So I am wondering how do you go about selling your service? What exactly do you do when a client hire your as a freelance industrial designer? You do research and then do some drawing and designing and stop there? and hand over the work to the company? Who is going to corporate with the client to the manufacturing phase?

I didn’t mean to offense any freelance, I am just wondering about the nature of the business, with all respects.

Thank you in advance for your clarification.


The trick, I think, is to become competent enough at all the other fields with which you will come into contact, e.g.

Mechanical to Electrical or Computer programmer etc

like you say, so that you can talk to those people in a familiar way: as a freelance ID’er, you become a useful part of their team whilst working with them, rather than just someone they hire for a job then forget.

You also can network with some of these people. Hire them as contractors for your contract. Be sure to include those charges in the initial bill (without naming your contractors names.)

I see, so basiclly ID’er freelance is almost like entreprenuer but he/she just does not have all those resoucres “in-house” but rather contract it outside. Well that sounds good to me in theory, but in practice that sound inefficient. Wouldn’t a client save more money by going to a firm? Shouldn’t it be more efficient by going to a firm that has all the resources?

Can anyone who ACTUALLY practice freelance confirm this?

Thanks for reply.


Would it be more efficient? Yes.

But not everyone can afford the services of a large consultancy; individual “inventors”, and small companies come to mind.

Being a “customer” versus a “client” is not for every one. As a one-man consultancy (no other employees) I serve my clients in series; that is to say, one at a time. My attention to their project is uninterrupted and focused. You don’t get that with a large firm.

I operate in an industrial park and my neighbors are machinists, injection molders, engineers, and craftsmen. We are a good fit; I bring them work and they bring me work.

The American dream … to be your own boss.

Hi Lmo,

I see the difference.

Is it cheaper for a client to go to freelance than a firm? I would guess so?

And as a freelance, are you responsible for the ACTUAL manufacturing process like making products in China? If yes, is that mean freelance has to have connections over to overseas?

And can you point me to a good resource on pricing the service?



…clients usually have their own prefered vendors for purchased parts and manufacturing, but i have sourced vendors when the design requires a technology or material outside of their experience…

I see, MRD.

Can you advice how to “begin” to search out for vendors to help with the design? I know we all encourage “do it yourself” attitude, but I guess it won’t hurt if I ask. I am thinking of opening yellow pages, any other good ways?

hey Core admin, u want a fight or what u yellow rat bastard!

…thomasregister.com is one place you can search yourself and there are internet sourcing sites like mfgquote.com which submit your drawings to vendors and get quotations for you…