Money talks, but it mumbles

A review/analysis of my 2015 finances

First off, this could be awkward. Talking about money is taboo but...whatever, I don't care.
Second, this isn't a brag about my stacks of cash. If it were, it'd be a shitty one.
Lastly, I don't really care about money, but my landlord loves this stuff. 

Design is a job, work and get paid.



I want to give visibility into the money aspect of a graphic design business so some other graphic designers can learn something. As a bonus for myself –what gets measured gets managed. 


I'm a freelance graphic designer, working from home in Montréal. I've been on my own for four years. I design mostly visual identities, apps, websites,  and anything else in the second dimension. 


Income Streams

I sell my time as a graphic designer but that's not the only way I like to earn cash. I also sell prints of my artwork, digital templates I've made, and I partnered with CBC on an online  merchandise store for The Signal with Laurie Brown. 

Time away from work 

From January – August, I was a stay at home dad to a useless baby.  Now she's in daycare and I can work much more. Also, we took a 7-week family road trip this summer. 


Total income for 2015

78,820 in Canadian Dollars


So, what does this mean?


Well, it means I've continued my shift from freelance business to passive projects. 38% of my income came from passive income projects – last year it was around 11%. I'm pretty happy with this. 


Freelance Clients

The chart below shows my top 10 clients. I've replaced their company name with their industry. 

Passive Income Projects

I love making money from passive income projects but they aren't all glitter and gold. Below you can see a break down of each project – how much it cost me in time (labour), how much I had to spend (hard costs), and also how much I made (income) and how much I have left to sell (unsold products). 



Hmm...okay, so what does this mean?


To figure out the "best" use of my time, I made this formula...
(( How much money it made me + value of unsold products) - cost of production) / how many hours it took me. 


This gave me a value for each of my income streams...


Print Sales


Digital Templates


Freelance Business 


Online Merchandise Store 


Wait, what are these numbers?

These numbers are my attempt to understand which projects give me the most return for the least amount of time. 

At first, I thought 'Holy shit! I should forget everything and only make and sell prints." But then I realized my  online digital templates will never cost me anything and they'll never run out so those are great too. 

I'll be focusing more on prints and digital templates in 2016,
and maybe some teaching too, who knows?



Okay, that's it. 

If you have any questions, I'm all ears.