Research by freelance jobs website PeoplePerHour showed that 36 per cent of freelancers booked through the site in 2013 and 2014 were employed to work on design projects.
This was followed by 23 per cent of freelancers being booked for web development projects and 14 per cent for writing.
PeoplePerHour says the number of businesses hiring freelance support has grown by 150 per cent this year, while the Office of National Statistics estimates that there are currently 4 million self-employed and freelance professionals working in the UK.
The Design Council’s 2010 survey of the design industry, which is the most recent comprehensive census of the sector, showed that there are 65,900 freelance designers in the UK.
The Design Council said that this number had risen by 39 per cent since 2005, while freelance designer fee incomes had risen by 22 per cent in the same period.