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This is NOT a question about replicating a graphic effect. Please read full.

Before beginning working as a graphic designer (right now I'm a student with a decent portfolio), I want to have bulk experience of how the industry works.

For that, I wish to make logos for tons of clients for free. Keeping the service free will attract more people, thus providing me more work.

I will work exactly like an actual designer, going through all the stages including revisions and critique. Working on lots of such projects will be hugely beneficial for when I really step in the industry.

My question is, how to achieve this? More specifically, do you know of any portals where this happens or can happen?

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The problem with this approach is that it is building foundation on a known scam called bait and switch. People, in general, react very unfavorably to this business model. The first dot com boom and bust is almost entirely built on this kind of thinking. You should learn from this failure, don't do this.

It's very very hard to monetize a process that you first offered for free! The problem is that you do not get good feedback on what works and what does not from a business perspective. Getting the business running is much more important part of having the portfolio, artificial portfolios seldom do this for you.

The second problem is that when you offer services at no or low cost you get abused. Your client naturally sees your time as not valuable. Worse if your cheap you proclaim your time to not be valuable. Therefore you end up doing things that you definitely should not be doing.

So a good track record of doing business is what attracts people. Not just the portfolio itself. Being able to do these things when under money constraint is a skill with a lot of worth.

Another aspect is that there are lots of designs that you cannot do for free. Because you need to be able to produce collateral around the design. Now you have a problem, your work depends on spending money but you work for free.

Things you do not learn doing it for free are:

  • Budgeting, you have no budget
  • Contract making, it is very hard/dangerous to make a meaningful contract obligations when you operate for free
  • Pricing, you do not get a feel for pricing
  • Self respect, it's very easy to walk away form a free gig. But you don't get the knowledge of knowing when to do so despite money being on the line
  • Negotiation skills regarding how to get paid. It's easy to do crazy stuff that's fun for free. But it is a whole other thing to do things when your actually wanting to get paid.
  • Most importantly: You are not building a business.

This said, it can work out but you have to be really really good at sales.

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I want to have bulk experience of how the industry works.

OK

For that, I wish to make logos for tons of clients for free.

But that's pretty much the opposite of how the industry works. Clients that want free work aren't very good clients. You gain little-to-no real world experience working for free for tons of clients.

I will work exactly like an actual designer, going through all the stages including revisions and critique.

But you won't. There's a lot more 'stages' to the profession of graphic design than just the drawing part. You are a consultant. You are working with someone that needs a service performed to help them improve their business. They need to be invested in the project as much as you do.

You won't get that with clients who are just looking for free work.

  • Understood. But the point is, I can either sit idly or work as a freelancer with like one project per week, or do like 100 projects before I finish my studies. Which do you think will be better? – Abhimanyu Jan 3 '17 at 5:41
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    (+1 DA - well put) @Abhimanyu quality is far more important than quantity. Doing tons of "free" stuff just means you've done tons of free stuff. As DA points out... clients getting work for "free" aren't anywhere near the same as actual paying clients. You'd be better served by 4 paying clients in 3 months as opposed to 40 "free" clients in 3 months. One project per week is not a bad level for a workload. – Scott Jan 3 '17 at 7:56
  • Alright then, will go for quality clients and learn from that. – Abhimanyu Jan 3 '17 at 8:37
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    @Abhimanyu you don't get quality clients if you offer services for free. You attract all the wrong kinds of people and attitudes. – joojaa Jan 3 '17 at 8:44

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