20 Creative Design Related Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Updated: July 24th, 2023

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

An online course business involves creating and selling digital classes teaching specialized skills or knowledge to subscribed students.

As an entrepreneurial course creator, you identify educational gaps around topics you have expertise in and develop engaging video lessons and supplementary materials.

With flexibility around self-paced or cohort-based structures, building a student base provides passive income potential.

For founders who enjoy information-sharing, launching an online course platform presents a lucrative way to monetize your instructional talents with small startup costs by serving eager lifelong learners seeking convenient access to emerging subjects.

How much you can make: $350 — $3,735,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,850 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How This 28-Year-Old Couple Quit Their Jobs And Make $20K/Month Running A Blog

Learn how one couple created a successful personal finance blog, The Savvy Couple, that now makes over $20,000 per month and has sold thousands of digital workbooks and courses, by focusing on purposeful content and optimizing their ROI with efficient time management.

Kelan started The Savvy Couple over 7 years ago
Kelan grew the business to $20K/month
It cost Kelan $500 to start the business
Read by 27,278 founders

2. Develop a restaurant menu online designer tool

How much you can make: $300,000/month

How I Started A $300K/Month Easy Online Menu Designer For Restaurants

MustHaveMenus is a cloud-based design and print service for restaurants that allows them to quickly create professional menus and marketing materials in just a few clicks, using templates and an easy-to-use editor, making it a one-stop-shop for all their design needs.

Jim grew the business to $300K/month
Read by 8,449 founders

3. Start an online video editing business

Video editors manage camera footage, dialogue, sound effects, graphics, and special effects to produce the final film or video product. To become an online video editor, you must have media production and communication knowledge and the ability to work with others.

To start a video editing business, you can outsource video editing skills from an experienced professional. Your role will be to pick video footage from the customers and upload them for the video editor to do the magic.

How much you can make: $2,000 — $208,000/month

How long does it take to build: 145 days (?)

How We Developed A $6K/Month Online Video Editing Software

VEED.IO, a London-based start-up co-founded by Sabba and her partner, offers a simple online video editing platform using batch job cloud architecture to help social media managers across the world auto subtitle, filter, rotate videos and much more, earning the company $5,300 MRR and the founders Ramen profitability within just a year of starting.

Sabba started VEED over 5 years ago
Sabba grew the business to $6K/month
Read by 11,765 founders

4. Start an event design business

How much you can make: $774 — $108,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $6,735 (?)

How Natasha Miller Started A $4M Event Management Company

Entire Productions is a fast-growing event and entertainment production company with an emphasis on experience design, primarily working with corporate clients including many Fortune 500 companies in the tech and pharma industries, boasting a growth of 148% and a goal of reaching $20M annual mark.

Natasha started Entire Productions over 23 years ago
Natasha grew the business to $108K/month
Read by 7,839 founders

5. Start a digital subscription business

Digital subscription models have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These businesses can offer anything from online courses to software, digital downloads, or access to content.

Customers typically pay a monthly or yearly fee for access to content, products, and services.

This typically involves some form of recurring billing where the consumer is billed at a predetermined interval for as long as they continue using the service.

How much you can make: $2,500 — $500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

How We Make $7.5K/Month With A Productized Service

Draftss.com is a productized graphic design and front-end code service on subscription that made $66k ARR in 2019, has an MRR of $9.6k as of July 2020, and offers add-ons such as designers being added to team in interacting tools and front-end code services on WordPress using various page builders like Elementor and Divi.

Junaid started Draftss almost 6 years ago
Junaid grew the business to $15K/month
It cost Junaid $100 to start the business
Read by 11,322 founders

6. Start a design podcast

How much you can make: $10,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $300 (?)

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

How I Started A $10K/Month Podcast And Community For Board Game Creators

A podcast and community creator who loves designing board games shares how he started the 'Board Game Design Lab', with his small niche community of around 8,000 people generating $10,000 per month in revenue through consistent quality content and customer focus, with plans to grow online courses and publications for game creators.

Gabe started The Board Game Design Lab over 7 years ago
Gabe grew the business to $10K/month
It cost Gabe $300 to start the business
Read by 7,644 founders

7. Become a tee shirt designer

Have you always had a passion for fashion and creativity? Well, then the field of tee shirt design could be the perfect opportunity for you!

As a tee shirt designer, you would be responsible for fitting model garments, ensuring size uniformity, and using your design and aesthetic skills to create unique and eye-catching tee shirts that will captivate your customers’ attention.

With this exciting career, you’ll have the chance to let your creativity run wild and make a lasting impact on the fashion industry.

How much you can make: $6,600 — $101,000/month

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

Generating $15K/Month In Extra Income With A Graphic Design Library

Designious co-founder Alex Dumitru shares how the graphic design library generates $12-13k in monthly revenue by creating digital products that appeal to print-on-demand entrepreneurs and graphic designers, while also offering a flat-rate membership and useful resources that solve little problems.

Alexandru started Designious about 16 years ago
Alexandru grew the business to $15K/month
Read by 4,213 founders

8. Become a costume designer

A costume designer designs costumes for a film, stage production, or television show. The costume designer works with directors, producers, writers, and production designers to contribute to the look and storytelling of the film. As a costume designer, you will work to ensure costume choices not only fit the character but also enhance the overall feeling of the scenes involved.

The costume designer must showcase creative imagination skills to perform on the job. You can earn creativity skills through professional development or higher education.

9. Start a designer lamp shades business

10. Start a hat designing business

11. Start a logo designing business

Creative logo design plays a critical role in getting brand recognition. Thus, startup owners ensure they have an outstanding logo that defines their professional assurance amongst customers. Do you have excellent art and design skills? Starting a logo design company can be a rewarding business idea. You can outsource a logo design service or do it yourself.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 5 hours/week

How I Productized My Design Service And Created Logo Maker Tool For Startups

Meet Craig Barber, founder of Logobly, an impressive new logo maker for internet startups that allows for designing and downloading a logo in just 60 seconds, which has helped 100s of entrepreneurs brand their startups and side projects, does around $1,000 a month in sales, and is productized based on his expertise as a logo designer.

Craig started Logobly about 4 years ago
Craig grew the business to $1K/month
It cost Craig $10000 to start the business
Read by 6,618 founders

12. Start a machine building and design agency

Imagine playing a vital role in the production of everyday items. Starting a machine building and design agency could make that a reality. At its core, this business concept centers around designing and creating machines for various industries.

Your firm would harness engineering expertise to build machines that can manufacture products, carry out complex tasks, and enhance manufacturing processes. The unique aspect of this business is the mix of creativity, engineering prowess, and technological knowledge it involves.

This business idea offers you a chance to shape the industries of tomorrow. The potential to build bespoke machines adapted to specific operational requirements sets a machine building and design agency apart in the industrial landscape. It's the ideal venture to explore if you have a penchant for problem-solving, mechanical design and harbour an entrepreneurial spirit.

To make this idea a reality, an understanding of mechanical engineering, strong problem-solving skills, and a team that shares your vision is crucial. So gear up and start designing for the future.

How much you can make: $100,000/month

Aiming to Build a Design Agency From Scratch to Seven Figures

Flexy Global, a UI/UX design agency, founded by Garik and currently a 15 person team, has a target of $2M ARR within their second year of operation.

They grew the business to $100K/month
Read by 616 founders

13. Start a packaging design business

Packaging design is an integral aspect of the manufacturing and supply chain industries. Manufacturers and those in the supply chain want to ensure they get the product packaging right, or else poor packaging might affect their business.

Take advantage of the high demand for innovative packaging designers and start your own packaging design business. Your target customers will be brands seeking an innovative and interesting way to stand out and create an amazing customer experience through unique packaging.

How much you can make: $6,000 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 7 days (?)

We Turned A Basic HP Printer Into A $12M/Year Custom Labels Company

Frontier Label started as a small digital label printing company with a basic HP printer and has grown to a $12M yearly e-commerce business that prints labels for companies of all sizes in various industries, with a focus on finding and meeting customer needs through SEO, content marketing, and exceptional customer service.

Dan started Sttark almost 20 years ago
Dan grew the business to $1M/month
It cost Dan $2000000 to start the business
Read by 4,520 founders

14. Start a throw pillow designing business

A throw pillow designing business involves creating decorative pillows that can add comfort, color, and personality to a room. The business typically involves creating unique designs, selecting fabrics and materials, and producing finished products.

To run a successful throw pillow designing business, there are a few essential tips to keep in mind:

Develop a unique and cohesive design aesthetic: Creating a distinct and consistent design style will help your business stand out in the market and attract repeat customers.

Source high-quality materials: The quality of your materials will have a significant impact on the final product, so it’s essential to invest in fabrics and fillings that are durable and comfortable.

Stay on trend: Keeping up with current design trends will help your business stay relevant and attract new customers.

Invest in marketing: Marketing your business and products is crucial to attracting new customers and driving sales. Use social media, email marketing, and other online platforms to promote your products.

Offer excellent customer service: Providing excellent customer service is key to building a loyal customer base and maintaining a positive reputation. Respond to customer inquiries and concerns in a timely and professional manner.

Following these tips can create a successful and sustainable throw pillow designing business.

15. Become a game animation designer

How much you can make: $330,000/month

Inspired By The Game Dev Industry, I Built A $5M/Year Game Art & Dev Studio

This case study article is about RetroStyle Games, a game art and development studio that has over 100 projects a year and a turnover of about 4.5-5 million dollars per year, despite being based in Ukraine during the war, and provides insights into the process of building and launching a successful game development business.

Pavel started RetroStyle Games about 17 years ago
Pavel grew the business to $330K/month
It cost Pavel $1000 to start the business
Read by 929 founders

16. Start a marijuana dispensary design business

17. Start a paper crafts designing business

A paper crafts designing business involves creating handmade items such as greeting cards, invitations, scrapbook layouts, and other decorative items using paper and other materials. It is a business that allows creativity and imagination to flow as entrepreneurs design and create unique and personalized items for their clients.

To start a paper craft designing business, entrepreneurs must have a good eye for aesthetics and a solid attention to detail. They will also need to be proficient in various crafting tools such as scissors, glue, and punches.

To run a successful paper craft designing business, entrepreneurs should focus on building a solid brand and marketing their products effectively. This can be done through social media, online marketplaces, and participating in local craft fairs and events. It is also essential to continuously learn new techniques and stay updated on the latest trends in the industry.

In addition, good customer service, working efficiently, and meeting deadlines are crucial for the success of paper crafts designing business. It is also essential to price products somewhat and offers a variety of options for clients.

Overall, a paper craft designing business allows entrepreneurs to express their creativity and turn their passion for crafting into a successful business.

18. Start a pool and garden designing business

If you have landscape architect skills, you can become a pool and garden, designing expert. Your role will be to provide master planning of landscapes, design of gardens and pools, consulting with advice for clients, and providing direction and supervision during pool construction. A garden designer also helps manage pools and other garden establishments.

19. Start an interior design consulting business

If you have a passion for interior design and want to turn it into a successful business, starting an interior design consulting company may be the perfect opportunity. As an interior design consultant, you will help clients create beautiful and functional spaces within their homes or commercial buildings.

To start an interior design consulting business, you must have a strong understanding of design principles and the ability to visualize and communicate your ideas to clients. You should also have a portfolio of past design projects to showcase your skills and style. In addition to your design skills, you will also need business skills such as marketing, budgeting, and project management to run your business successfully.

Some of the services you may offer as an interior design consultant include space planning, furniture selection, color consultation, and accessorizing. You may also work with contractors and other professionals to ensure that your design plans are properly implemented.

To succeed in the interior design consulting industry, staying up-to-date on the latest design trends and continually expanding your knowledge and skills is important. Building a strong network of professionals and establishing a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy designer will also help you attract new clients and grow your business.

How much you can make: $2,000 — $40,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $5,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

I Left My Dream Job To Build An Online Community For Creatives And Designers

The Design Database is an online platform and community for creatives that connects them with clients who are looking to hire now, providing tools and resources for them to successfully build their careers, and has gained over 200 creatives and 25 companies since its launch in late July, as well as receiving grant funding from the HerRise Pitch Competition by HerSuiteSpot and raising over $10,000 on Kickstarter.

Courtlyn started The Design Database over 2 years ago
Courtlyn grew the business to $5K/month
It cost Courtlyn $5000 to start the business
Read by 3,521 founders

20. Start an ad banner design creation business

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.