How to find your design niche: 70 ideas to get you started

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There’s a continuous debate in the design community (that I don’t plan on diving into today. If you’re interested, read here.) about whether or not a designer should specialize in one specific area or strive to be a jack-of-all trades. For designers who think it would be beneficial to find a super-specific niche, today we give you 70 ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

This list of possible design niches will jumpstart your creativity and help you decide where you want to focus your efforts as you work to build your design business.

There’s an endless number of niches not mentioned here. Please share your ideas for design niches by leaving a comment!

How to find your design niche: 70 ideas

  1. Find your design niche in designing web sites for small businesses
  2. Designing web sites that can be edited by non-programmer/coder clients
  3. Designing extremely original business cards
  4. Designing very fancy application icons
  5. Designing mobile web sites
  6. Find your niche in designing facebook pages
  7. Designing facebook tabs
  8. Designing twitter backgrounds
  9. Designing web sites that turn a ‘boring’ business into an exciting one
  10. Designing movie posters
  11. Find your niche in designing concert posters
  12. Designing microsites
  13. Designing portfolio sites
  14. Designing landing pages
  15. Working exclusively with Dentists
  16. Working exclusively with Doctors
  17. Working exclusively with Small Businesses
  18. Working exclusively with Large Corporations
  19. Working exclusively with Grocery Stores
  20. Working exclusively with Hair Salons
  21. Working exclusively with Animal Shelters
  22. Working exclusively with Restaurants
  23. Find your design niche in working exclusively with Clothing companies
  24. Working exclusively with Photographers
  25. Working exclusively with other designers
  26. Working exclusively with Online businesses
  27. Working exclusively with Brick and Mortar Businesses
  28. Targeting companies that have no well-established brand
  29. Targeting companies that have a rich brand history
  30. Targeting companies that are non-profit
  31. Targeting fortune 500 companies
  32. Targeting companies that have only a few employees
  33. Find your design niche by targeting companies that have never done business online
  34. Focusing on selling wordpress templates
  35. Focusing on selling HTML templates
  36. Focusing on selling stock logos
  37. Focusing on selling branding strategies
  38. Focusing on selling style guides
  39. Focusing on selling CSS stylesheets
  40. Specializing in HTML5 web sites
  41. Specializing in Flash web sites
  42. Specializing in Javascript applications
  43. Specializing in Jquery-rich sites
  44. Specializing in high-traffic design
  45. Specializing in usability design
  46. Specializing in logo design
  47. Specializing in print design
  48. Specializing in business card design
  49. Specializing in internet marketing design
  50. Specializing in web banner ads
  51. Specializing in branding & identity design
  52. Specializing in product design
  53. Find your design niche by specializing in transportation design
  54. Specializing in billboard design
  55. Specializing in flyer design
  56. Specializing in point-of-purchase design
  57. Specializing in package design
  58. Specializing in vintage design
  59. Specializing in modern techniques
  60. Specializing in style guide design
  61. Blogging about the business of design 😉
  62. Blogging about where designers can find inspiration
  63. Blogging about your own design projects
  64. Blogging about freelance design
  65. Blogging about printing techniques
  66. Blogging exclusively about print design
  67. Blogging exclusively about web design
  68. Blogging about logo design
  69. Blogging about design education
  70. Or, like me, find your design niche while blogging about design entrepreneurship
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About Preston D Lee

Preston is a web designer, entrepreneur, and the founder of this blog. @prestondlee

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  • http://newinternetorder.com/ Karol K.

    What do you mean by “internet marketing design”? :)

    • http://www.prestondlee.com Preston D Lee

      @Karol K.,
      Specializing in designing materials that are meant to be used in an internet marketing campaign. That could include banner ads, twitter backgrounds, facebook profile designs, landing page design, etc etc.

      What do you think? Good idea, bad idea?

      • http://newinternetorder.com/ Karol K.

        @Preston D Lee, Good idea, of course. I just wasn’t sure what you mean.

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  • http://sideradesign.com paul

    this list is gold!
    I really agree that to be successful, you need to find your niche. Up to now I was designing and coding WordPress themes. I’m thinking of concentrating on only building the sites and working with someone for the design.

  • http://www.ruevo.com Nelson Wijaya

    This is a great idea. Right now me & my business partner does websites, logo design, print design, social media strategies and copywriting. I’m thinking to create another website just to concentrate on logo design. Thanks for sharing the list!

  • Aleli Soliman

    Thank you for this article!

    I am now getting more involved in a Restaurant menu design, food photography project. This is only two restaurants and my time and energy is focused on both. I keep wondering if I should develop this into a full blown specialized area of Graphic Design. I am also slow in web design but maybe I could offer them simple web design services.

    Along with this I have been applying endlessly to get a full time job. My resume is starting to get confusing with none of my skills that stand out. So, perhaps specializing is a great way for me to be successful as a designer,

    • Aleli Soliman

      Thank you for this article!
      (grammar correction)
      I am now getting more involved in restaurant menu design, food photography project. These are only two restaurants and my time and energy is focused on both. I keep wondering if I should develop this into a full blown specialized area of Graphic Design. I am also slow in web design but maybe I could offer them simple web design services.

      Along with this I have been applying endlessly to get a full time job. My resume is starting to get confusing with none of my skills that stand out. So, perhaps specializing is a great way for me to be successful as a designer. Thanks again!

  • http://www.jeffreyhuynh.co.uk/blog Jeff Huynh

    Great list! Very useful. I’m a young designer myself, and I think I’d like to focus on branding for start-up companies.

  • http://justinthedesigner.com/ Justin

    Thanks for all the good ideas. I currently run my own Freelancing business called Justin The Designer, but its more of a general design company, not focusing on any niche. Im Interested in the Dental niche. Would you have any advice or anyone else have any advice on the dental niche field for web-design?

    – Justin The Designer

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  • http://greggdi.webbly.com Greg Groesch

    That is a long list, I really never thought about all the break downs/niches. I have learned web coding and flash animation but since I have been in the graphic design field since the 80’s, (when we did things by hand) I know more about print. right now I do more things such as mailers, brochures, logos. I haven’t took it down just to one area such as doctors, package design, or business cards. I think that is limiting yourself too much. If someone needs a poster for a event or a logo I can do it.

    Thanks, Greg

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  • http://www.alphagraphics.com/centers/grand-junction-colorado-us456/graphic_design Catherine Marshall

    Being someone who loves going to concerts, designing concert posters would be so rewarding, so many people would see and buy your product. They can also be digitized for the internet as a marketing tool. Thanks for sharing!

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  • http://www.flauntmydesign.com Tomas Fransson

    Great list! Thanks Preston! I would like to add “Working exclusively with Lawyers” and ” Working exclusively with Accountants.” You already mentioned doctors and dentists. They and lawyers and accountants are some of the most profitable types of small businesses (check the full list here.) Small business service professionals is a good start. Even better if they have some cash to spend. :)

    Also, check out my list of 40+ niche design businesses! They are all run by established graphic designers, illustrators or web designers. I’ve interviewed some of the listed creatives too.

  • http://www.echelongraphix.com jonathan nickens

    Bar none – finding your niche or personal skill in design IS the most rewarding and potentially profitable goal one can achieve in the graphic arts industry; especially when you discover the potential clients in this niche have a lot of disposable income. Case in point, my personal skill is photo manipulation and as a graphic designer going on his 22 year, I discovered mine about 10 years ago and have not looked back since. You see, I love automobiles so naturally, I began going to car shows and focused my talents on creating artwork of all kinds of a customers personal car, truck, or bike. Granted, you have to seriously be passionate about your niche for it to be successful, but once you are there and no one else does it, you in essence monopolize that niche – and that is a very good thing for a designer. FIND YOUR NICHE, and have a great day!

    Great article Preston and keep up the good work.