9 creeptastic Halloween costumes for freelance designers

Get into the Halloween spirit with these freelance design-inspired costumes.

Jeff Cardello
October 30, 2020

One of the greatest joys of Halloween is dressing up, especially now with all the virtual backgrounds and filters available. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy wearing a costume that makes it impossible to move or breathe while making an important presentation? But just because you're a freelancer doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun. Whether you're working from home or in an office, here are 9 costume ideas.

1. The phantom of the invoice

Black and white image of a transparent figure walking up the stairs.

Do you have an outstanding invoice haunting a client's inbox? The only way to put that invoice to rest is to get paid for it.

Don’t underestimate the power of a classic white sheet with eye holes. Pick up the phone and call that client who’s holding your invoice in limbo. In the spookiest, most disembodied ghost voice you can channel, chant, "Why haven't you paaaid meee?"

Continue this long past Halloween if necessary, until you get your due funds.

Trick or treat, indeed!

2. Zombie

tired cartoon

Were you up until 3 a.m. working on last-minute changes for a client? Have you said yes to so many projects you haven't had a day off in a month? Take a good look at yourself in the mirror — those dark circles under your eyes and the stumble in your gait require no further embellishments to pull off a very convincing zombie.  

3. Scarecrow

A scarecrow shot from below showing the shouders up.

Sick of interruptions? Take advantage of Halloween to be unbothered. A scarecrow costume is sure to send annoying disruptors scattering like crows. And remember — the scarier the better. Especially when answering video calls.

4. Scope creep

Distressed black and white image of man in trousers and a long buttoned jacket. A translucent alter ego appears bent over, looking angry or scared behind him. Almost coming out of him.

We’ve all dealt with this creature. A once-clear-cut project morphs into something fiendish. And much like finding out your friend becomes a werewolf when the moon is full, dealing with scope creep isn’t something we sign up for.

Your scope creep costume only requires your everyday work clothes. Throughout the day, apply gradual layers of makeup and fake blood until you’re a hideous, unrecognizable beast.


5. The invisible freelancer

empty office

You’ve been working hard — take advantage of Halloween to disappear and to do something nice for yourself. Skip work to enjoy the fall leaves and maybe treat yourself to something involving pumpkin spice.

Or — if you can’t miss work — record a GIF of yourself and set it as your virtual meeting background to prove you’re "present".

6. Ninja

ninja doing ninja moves

We've all seen the job postings — everyone’s looking for a ninja these days! Whether you're a copywriter, designer, or coder, channel that inner ninja by dressing up like ... an actual ninja.

Don't have the resources to pull off a ninja costume? How about rock star? Both costumes will do the trick when meeting a client or attending an interview.

7. Your own boss

tailored suit hanging on wall

You are your own boss — why not dress the part? You can really get creative with this one. Maybe you’d like to wear a top hat and monocle while scrolling through direct deposits to your bank account. Or maybe you throw on a tailored suit, fake a British accent, and tell clients you’re raising your rate.

Whatever being your own boss means to you, manifest it with your best Halloween costume.

8. Your portfolio

PDF icon

This is an easy one — have the letters PDF printed in white on a red shirt. Because what represents your work more than you do? And if your partner dresses up as an email — imagine the fun you’d have making jokes about forgetting your attachment!

9. A design that pops

Bubble wrap.

Make color prints of a project you’ve finished and stick it to your clothing with a glue gun. Carefully cover yourself with bubble wrap, using spirit gum as an adhesive. This costume works best if you wear it to client meetings. During the meeting, stare blankly while chewing gum, popping bubble after bubble, and repeating the question, “Is this what you mean? [pop] Is this what you mean? [pop].”

Guaranteed to frighten!

Trick or treat

While this years Halloween may feel different, we hope you’re inspired to go all out with your costume this year. Did we miss any ideas perfect for freelance designers? Let us know in the comments!

And remember, even if you’re working from home, you can still dress up for work this Halloween.

Jeff Cardello

Advocate for better design and professional writer excited by tech, entrepreneurship, and branding. Writes the occasional joke on Twitter.

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