Very few designers freelanced when I was first starting out in graphic design. It was a lot harder to do then. Only highly skilled professionals with design training, work experience and connections to craftsmen (typesetters and stat camera operators) dared to enter the world of freelance.
Today, all it takes to call oneself a freelance graphic designer is to have a computer, preferably a Mac. Professionals are now forced to compete with self-proclaimed “experts”— students (both college and high school), and those who “dabble” for fun, plus let’s not forget nearly everyone in India — all willing to work for peanuts.
Correct me if I’m wrong but the last time I checked, professional training, work experience, good judgment, and talent were not keys on a keyboard.
Inferior work, be it graphic design, copywriting or photography, that was once considered unacceptable, is now “okay” because it was purchased cheaply and created quickly.
Marketing quality is declining and this is one of the reasons why. Sad.