20 Creative Design Related Business Ideas You Can Start Today

20 Creative Design Related Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Looking to start a design related business but not quite sure what to start?

First, you'll need to identify a niche.

The good news is, there are so many opportunities to become an entrepreneur and build an innovative product/service in this line of work.

We put together 20 creative design business ideas you can start today:

1. Create an online course ($60K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$350 — $3,735,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$4,297
Time To Revenue
150 days
Skills

Lidiya Kesarovska from The Netherlands started Let's Reach Success over 9 years ago, a online course.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: The Netherlands

Case Study

Back in 2013, I had already discovered my passion - personal development - and had realized writing is the best way to express myself. So I combined these and started a self-improvement blog.

Starting the blog was the best decision and not giving up on it over the years (even when no traffic or money was coming in) was what helped me move forward.

It was first just a hobby and I knew nothing about blogging. Over the years, after publishing a ton of content, gaining traffic, learning about SEO, email marketing, social media, and all the ways to monetize a blog, it became a real business.

how-i-created-a-5k-month-online-course-about-blogging

2. Develop a restaurant menu online designer tool ($3.6M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$300,000/month
Time To Revenue
300 days
Skills

Jim Williams from Ashland, OR, USA started MustHaveMenus ago, a restaurant menu online designer tool.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Ashland, OR, USA

Case Study

The idea for MustHaveMenus was a simple one: to replace aging desktop publishing tools with a menu design tool on the web. We also envisioned a wide selection of templates that would make it easy for restaurants to establish all of the cornerstones of marketing: strong branding, strong communication, consistency, etc. We started with a more general market approach, testing different markets to see which were the most receptive and in need of online design. Wedding invitations were a strong one as were church programs. Both of those turned into standalone businesses on their own. But the one that got the team excited, because of our passion for restaurants and great food, was MustHaveMenus.

I can’t say it was an overnight success. The technology risk in this business is very high. Browsers simply couldn’t handle graphics and text placement well in the years before 2010. Our first true editor was available for restaurants by 2009, and we were the first on the web to do so. But this editor still had a lot of problems managing graphics like food photos and logos. Despite the challenges with the software, restaurants still rushed to join us as the power of work-from-anywhere and quick edits online proved appealing.

how-i-started-a-300k-month-easy-online-menu-designer-for-restaurants

3. Start an online video editing business ($72K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $208,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$150,075
Skills

Sabba Keynejad from London, England, United Kingdom started VEED about 4 years ago, a online video editing business.

  • Revenue: $6,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

Case Study

Tim and I met during an online hackathon. During the hackathon participants were encouraged to meetup for real. We actually got on really well, and stayed friends and kept spitballing ideas for a startup for years.

At this time, I was a design student at Central Saint Martins and I had recently won a competition for Sony Music creating an interactive music video for the band Hurts with my friend Virgil. Then soon after graduation, I started working as a creative technologist in London for a bunch of different advertising & branding agencies and a few startups too.

how-we-developed-a-6k-month-online-video-editing-software

4. Start an event design business ($9.29K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$774 — $108,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$6,735
Skills
Business model

Charles Bronson from Chennai started Believe San Decors about 6 years ago, a event design business.

  • Revenue: $774/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Chennai

Case Study

After becoming a commerce graduate, I went on to study entrepreneurship in Leeds, UK. I had always aspired to build a career that awards a unique identity. I wanted to walk through life on the paths that I had laid for myself. This very thought of mine was the foundation for starting a business.

I believe that when one focuses on being fit, healthy, and happy, one can achieve excellence in their life.

My attempts to create a business model began with a gaming zone. Event decoration was not the first of the business I had put my mind onto. I owned a snooker parlor for over a year before I started 'Believe San Decors'.

how-i-started-my-event-designing-and-decoration-business

5. Start a graphic design business ($180K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,000 — $1,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$165,502
Time To Revenue
300 days
Business model

Junaid Ansari from Mumbai started Draftss over 4 years ago, a graphic design business.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Mumbai

Case Study

We have been running a design agency for the past 10 years as a side business. After gaining inspiration from some of our competitors in this domain providing a productized service, we came up with an idea for an even better process that is more optimal and efficient bringing out better results at a more affordable cost comparatively.

The most effective method we tried for our validation was initiating a conversation with every person who visited our website to understand more about what they were looking for and what would make Draftss an ideal provider for their needs.

We wanted to productize the design and code service domain, where a design team is like a product subscription. You buy a Design or Code subscription and equip yourself with a design or/and development team that can get everything done for you. Subscribe when you require projects to be completed, unsubscribe once you are done.

how-we-started-a-7-5k-month-productized-graphic-design-website-coding-service

6. Start a design podcast

How Much Can You Make?
$10,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$300
Skills

Examples of a successful design podcast:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a design podcast:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a design podcast ➜

Case Study

What’s up my friends. My name is Gabe Barrett, and I’m the creator of the Board Game Design Lab, a podcast and community that helps you design great games people love.

Including all the revenue generated by sponsorships, ads, books, and games, I average around $10,000 per month in revenue. And while that number pales in comparison to some of the awe-inspiring incomes you see on this site, I think it’s important to realize that you can make a full-time living in even the tiniest of niches if you really lean into your target audience and provide them with what they want and find helpful. My community only consists of around 8,000 people currently, but that’s more than enough to generate enough income to support my family of 5.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-podcast-and-community-for-board-game-creators

7. Become a t-shirt designer business

How Much Can You Make?
$6,600 — $101,000/month
Skills

Examples of a successful t-shirt designer business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a t-shirt designer business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a t-shirt designer business ➜

Case Study

Hi, I am Alex Dumitru and I am a co-founder at Designious. Designious is a graphic design library that provides extra tools like an online designer app and an API that helps both graphic designers and print-on-demand entrepreneurs. At the moment we make around $12-13k per month.

My background is in IT and business development, but I’ve worn many hats along the way, from sales to customer support.

generating-15k-month-in-extra-income-with-a-graphic-design-library

8. Become a costume designer

Examples of a successful costume designer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a costume designer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a costume designer ➜

article

9. Start a designer lamp shades business

Examples of a successful designer lamp shades business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a designer lamp shades business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a designer lamp shades business ➜

article

10. Start a hat designing business

Examples of a successful hat designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a hat designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hat designing business ➜

article

11. Start a logo designing business ($4M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $1,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$150,000
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 5 hours/week
Skills
Interests
Business model
Work from home

Examples of a successful logo designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a logo designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a logo designing business ➜

Case Study

My goal is to help as many entrepreneurs launch their business and make Logobly the #1 place for logo design.

how-i-productized-my-design-service-and-created-logo-maker-tool-for-startups

12. Start a machine building and design agency

How Much Can You Make?
$100,000/month
Skills

Examples of a successful machine building and design agency:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a machine building and design agency:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a machine building and design agency ➜

Case Study

Garik co-founded Flexy Global, a UI/UX design agency. The team is already 15 strong and they aim to get $2M ARR within their second year of operations.

13. Start a packaging design business

How Much Can You Make?
$100,000 — $1,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$1,010,000
Skills

Examples of a successful packaging design business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a packaging design business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a packaging design business ➜

Case Study

I’m Dan Frist and I own Frontier Label. Frontier Label is a full e-commerce digital label printing company in Greenville, SC. We print labels for companies of all sizes in countless industries.

we-turned-a-basic-hp-printer-into-a-12m-year-custom-labels-company

14. Start a throw pillow designing business

Examples of a successful throw pillow designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a throw pillow designing business ➜

article

15. Become a game animation designer

Examples of a successful game animation designer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a game animation designer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a game animation designer ➜

article

16. Start a marijuana dispensary design business

Examples of a successful marijuana dispensary design business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a marijuana dispensary design business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a marijuana dispensary design business ➜

article

17. Start a paper crafts designing business

Time To Revenue
180 days
Skills
Business model

Examples of a successful paper crafts designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a paper crafts designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a paper crafts designing business ➜

article

18. Start a pool and garden designing business

Examples of a successful pool and garden designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a pool and garden designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a pool and garden designing business ➜

article

19. Start an interior design consulting business

How Much Can You Make?
Average Initial Investment
$6,250
Skills
Business model
Work from home

Examples of a successful interior design consulting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a interior design consulting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an interior design consulting business ➜

Case Study

My name is Courtlyn Jones and I am the CEO and the founder of The Design Database, an online platform, and community designed to be a support system for Creatives (designers, artists, writers, photographers, architects, etc.) by connecting them with clients who are looking to hire now.

Since launching in late July, over 200 Creatives and 25 companies have created accounts on our platform, we have received grant funding from the HerRise Pitch Competition by HerSuiteSpot, and we’ve raised over $10,000 crowdfunding on Kickstarter. We are off to a very exciting start!

i-left-my-dream-job-to-build-an-online-community-for-creatives-and-designers

20. Start an ad banner design creation business

Examples of a successful ad banner design creation business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a ad banner design creation business:

Learn more about starting an ad banner design creation business ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

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meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.