Is Graphic Design In Demand In Malaysia?

The fine line of creating something satisfying and getting paid for it is a bliss. There are a lot of jobs that can probably do that but for me, it’s graphic design. It fulfills the instant gratification of manifesting something amazing and best of all, you get paid every month for it. In fact, I became a graphic designer without a degree. Now, the question remains, is graphic design in demand in Malaysia? 

Yes, graphic design is in demand in Malaysia. Every business needs graphic designers to create the ideal outlook for their online and offline visual content. Skillful graphic designers in other areas such as web design, UX and UI design are high in demand. 

Does A Graphic Designer Job Pay High In Malaysia?

Does A Graphic Designer Job Pay High In Malaysia

There’s no easy answer to this. I’ll split the answer into 3 parts. There’s freelance, working for an agency and as part of the marketing team in a specific company. 

Despite graphic design being in demand in Malaysia, it doesn’t mean that it guarantees good pay and a life of glamor and luxury throughout. It’s just not a job of that nature. 

Here’s the breakdown of it.

Working for non-agency companies

Working for non-agency companies

As a fresh graduate graphic designer in Malaysia, you get a starting pay of a little over RM2000. This varies according to job roles and also company. 

In startups, you tend to be required to do more such as updating website content and social media management for that amount of pay. Don’t be disheartened. On the good side, you will learn more and gain more experience to detail out your resume for your next job. 

Sometimes you are also required to liaise with 3rd party companies such as those for printing and event management. Don’t fuss over having to do tasks that don’t involve graphic design. 

Treat it as a way to establish connection. These connections can be brought to your next job to make your life easier for similar responsibilities. 

The minimum increment that you can probably get is 3%. The market tends to devalue the importance of a good graphic designer in Malaysia. At least this is what happens in most companies. 

However, in companies that strongly relies on creativity such as digital animation and media will tend to give a higher pay. However, getting into these companies is quite strict and they tend to hire students from design institutions which are well known in the industry. 

It costs a fortune to study in these institutions but in turn, these certain companies tend to hire the graduates. Limited slots of course.  

These companies believe in the quality of these graduates and generously offer the pay for fresh level entry. Some even get paid RM8000 as a fresh graduate.



Freelance graphic design is one of the most underrated jobs in Malaysia. These are the people who work for themselves. So, they need to know marketing as well to keep on getting clients. 

The competition is very fierce with platforms like and Not forgetting to mention communities such as Facebook groups where anyone can drop a post to get hundreds of freelancers applying to it. 

The worst part is actually most of the job is a one time off kind of deal. People hire freelancers because they don’t want to have an in-house designer. 

It’s either they think that their business doesn’t need one or they just want to keep their operational cost running low. So, they will designate their marketing people to do it instead of getting a dedicated designer. 

So, when there is a need for design work, that’s when they turn to freelancers. 

For the designer, once the job is done, they have to keep finding new clients to keep the money rolling. 

I can’t exactly put a figure on how much you can earn to start. Most of the successful freelance graphic designers in Malaysia have a reputation that requires years to build. 

If you’re thinking of freelancing as full-time, it’s best to get a day job and do it part time. Build your own brand and connections as you go. 

When you’re famous enough and see the potential, that’s when you go full-time.

Working for agency

Working for agency ​

This is the ultimate rat race for graphic designers. With slightly higher pay like RM2500 to RM3000 for fresh graduates. If you can get a higher amount than that, you’re lucky!

Why do I call it the rat race? 

Well, you basically do one design and the next non-stop. One task after another. 

Agencies basically get as many clients as possible and get the designers to fulfill them. Usually, there’s a tendency to work overtime without the extra pay of course. Malaysian companies rarely give compensation for OT. 

This can be very tiring and cause early burn out. Have some stress-coping mechanism in hand if you decide to choose this path.

Having that said, you will get to practice your skills extensively. You will learn to use the tools faster to get things done quicker. 

These are pretty much the starting point that a beginner graphic designer will face. Life only gets better if you do manage to climb the ladder and become art director in some art companies.

What Do I Need To Do To Get Better Pay As A Graphic Designer In Malaysia?

Graphic design is definitely high in demand in Malaysia but to stand out, you need to know more than just that. There are a lot of other skills that go hand-in-hand with graphic design. Here’s some of them:

1. Photography


Just as altering pictures, the capacity to catch unique pictures is an incredibly valuable one for designers to have. As a photographer it implies you can lessen your dependence on stock symbolism and enhance the customer. 

Also assuming you’re working in a studio and dispatching different picture takers, your own insight into the discipline can assist you with speaking with them better and have the specific chances you want.

An image truly says 1,000 words. Assuming that you depend on programmed, similar to you get on a cell phone, you’re just truly catching a large portion of a photograph. The camera is settling on every one of the choices for you. 

It would be what might be compared to spreading out a wireframe and clicking a ‘plan’ button which chooses the shading bed, typography, pictures and so forth Just when you begin to comprehend the force of opening, screen speed, ISO and white equilibrium would you be able to begin to settle on informed imaginative choices.

Shoot in RAW rather than jpg, as you would then be able to settle on the handling choices yourself. Assuming you shoot jpg, then, at that point, your camera is settling on the choices on how your picture should look.

Crude permits you to explore different avenues regarding openness, contrast, immersion, Levels, Curves, White Balance and many different settings in post. Certain individuals contend that this makes you lethargic as you can ‘fix’ a photograph subsequent to catching it, however individuals have been changing their pictures in the darkroom for a really long time.


2. UX design

UX design

As the plan business turns out to be perpetually centered around advanced, client experience (UX) design is turning out to be increasingly significant. Planning the piece of items that individuals connect with is progressively popular among bosses. 

Information has become key to numerous items, which has made a requirement for individuals with UI plan abilities who can make those items simple for clients to utilize.

So what is UX, precisely? The job of the UX planner is to make a move to improve the other individual’s satisfaction in a finished result, outwardly as well as intellectually as well, eliminating deterrents and facilitating the experience.

UX configuration isn’t visual depiction nor website architecture; it’s an alternate discipline that goes a lot further and is more lined up with human conduct – however it is something that numerous planners are exceptional to perform assuming they have the discipline.

Also it’s not really about seeking after a profession change to turn into a UX creator, yet helping your capacity to do the work you’re right now in. Visual planners should focus on a wide and profound ‘T-shape’ with information and appreciation for different trains however with a specialism (and along these lines a perspective) that they dominate in.

It’s with regards to visual originators figuring out how to communicate in the language of UX planners, and to impart their perspective better, not to supplant them.

3. Print design knowledge

Print design knowledge

Many experienced visual architects have let us know they feel slow on the uptake on computerized abilities. Alternately, notwithstanding, there can be an abilities hole for certain more youthful architects with regards to print designing.

In spite of the ascent of computerization, the significance of print media to the plan business is as yet solid, so seeing how to appropriately set up your screen plans for the actual world is as yet a fundamental piece of an originator’s information base.

Assuming you are adequately lucky to have something to do with the last execution, this expansiveness of information could truly help you with regards to beginning thought age and completing specs. 

Numerous designers these days are excessively barely engaged, and this indispensable expansiveness of information can truly assist you with standing apart from the group.

4. Figure out how to get more from feedback

Figure out how to get more from feedback

As creatives, one of the most genuinely depleting things we can do is manage analysis. But then, it’s significant assuming you’re to work on your abilities.

Good criticism is extraordinary when it’s merited, however you don’t actually acquire a single thing from it other than an expanded sensation of self-esteem. What’s more, when it’s automatic and inappropriate (see: shared backslapping on numerous gatherings), it can really be counterproductive to your progress with improvement.

So regardless of whether you’re posting your plans on Dribbble, Behance or Facebook, or simply imparting them to a couple of select companions or partners, it’s vital to proceed with caution to inspire the greatest (productive) analysis.

For example, rather than trying to say ‘What is your take?’ (test reply: ‘It’s extraordinary’), it’s smarter to pose explicit inquiries. For instance, ‘This is the brief, do you think I’ve satisfied it?’ or ‘What portion of the plan did your eye center around first?’ That way individuals will actually want to study your work valuably, without falling off like a crude savage.

It can likewise be valuable for you to give your input on other fashioners’ work, assisting you with sympathizing work on your basic abilities in manners that you can apply to your own work.

5. Converse with different graphic designers

Converse with different graphic designers

Perhaps the most effective way to create as an designer is to interface with a great deal of different designers. Yet, here and there that can be troublesome. You may be the main planner in a major organization, a specialist who telecommutes alone, or maybe you’re utilized by a few man studios.

However, these are altogether pardons. There are numerous simple methods for getting out there and visiting with other creatives.

Go to meetups, occasions and gatherings. Hit individuals up via online media. Look at discussions. Make companions. Talk plan. Talk about issues, challenges, questions. Work together on a venture. Email an architect you appreciate. Request that they be your coach. Show up on their digital broadcast, or start your own so you can meet your legends.

To put it plainly, drive yourself to simply get out there. You’ll meet some intriguing individuals, and learn beyond what you might actually envision.

There’s certainly demands for graphic designers in Malaysia all over the place. This is even more true especially when everything is going online now since the pandemic. So, keep hustling.

Don’t forget to checkout these steps on how to be a graphic designer.

Any thoughts to share? Let me know in the comments! 

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