Should you hire a design agency or a freelancer?
Graphic design needs a creative mind.
From colour combinations to proper curves and lines, everything needs to be in place while doing graphic design.
Nowadays, designing is no more conventional, and everyone wants a personalised touch to their graphics.
Moreover, the logos are not just names now but have become designs that depict stories of brands, owners, and their existence.
It involves creating stuff for social media too that is visually pleasing for the eyes.
The presentation of the graphics has to be top-notch, and the messages should be conveyed most immaculately.
And for this, you will need the best graphic designer.
Thanks to the expansion of the freelancing market, today you have options of not only hiring a freelance graphic designer or a design agency but even someone to do your homework. Yes, you heard it right.
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However, if we are to talk about whether to hire a freelancer or a design agency for graphic design projects, then we will need to understand their pros, cons, and budgets.
Whom to choose highly depends on your needs and the factors that we are about to discuss in this article.
So, let us now list out points to see which one could be a better option.
The initial thought that comes before hiring anyone is the expense.
So, talking about graphic design, if you have a limited budget and the project is small, you should consider hiring a freelancer.
A freelancer will design according to your requirements in a budgeted way.
They will use software like Photoshop and Sketch to design your site and the ideas you require.
On the other hand, hiring a design agency can be expensive.
Since they have a planned system for the entire process, they will first talk about your idea, give suggestions, and then make blueprints.
Moreover, the changes in the blueprints will be done according to the brainstorming ideas between you and the company.
Post that the colour palettes are decided, along with the themes that need to be followed for precision.
Only after things are settled this far, you can hire the company to design your entire graphic management for a particular time.
So basically, a design agency is known for its professionalism.
If you have an established firm and are looking for outstanding professionalism without having constraints on your budget, you should hire a design agency.
But if you are a start-up, just need some basic graphic designing work and have a budget constraint, you should look for individual freelancers.
A freelancer can give your project a very personal touch.
A freelancer decides their schedule so that they can work on your project with complete dedication.
Moreover, freelancers seldom have multiple projects on hand.
So maybe you can get your work done faster when you hire a freelancer.
Also, if the freelancer is working solely on your project, the result could be more focused.
They will have time to research and work with full zest concentrating on your requirements.
A design agency, as said earlier, has a professional and a standard way of dealing with you.
They are also working on multiple projects at the same time, so an informal approach may not be given to your project.
Nevertheless, they have their ways of working with offering limited revisions, which they will follow throughout the project management cycle.
So, if you need an informal approach, hire a freelancer, and if you need to get things done the official way, hire a design agency.
This is a very fluctuating pro and con for both options.
A freelancer generally will deliver projects before or on time if they are experienced.
They are their own manager, so they will want to finish off one project before jumping to another one.
But you truly need to hire the best freelancer for that. They should not be lagging and keep missing deadlines.
But when you hire a design agency, they may give you a longer timeline.
The team may be busy on multiple projects, and you never know what priority your project gets.
And if you need to get your work done urgently, you may have to end up paying higher.
Thus, if you have a strict timeline, you will need a dedicated freelancer, and if you have ample time, you should hire a design agency.
But timelines can be fluctuating in both cases, so no matter whom you hire, be sure to give a deadline way before the deadline is!
Hiring a freelancer can be a bit of a risky job, unless you know the review of the person and can rely on their professionalism.
They have to prove dedication towards you and the project.
Plus, if they do not deliver the designs up to your expectations, the rework can be tedious.
You may have to start from scratch again.
Also, you will need to do a thorough background check before hiring a freelancer.
However, when you hire a design agency for your graphic design work, you know that you are not dependent on one person to get the job done.
Even if the concerned person is absent, you have the assurance that your work is being carried on.
The risk factor of not getting the work done, or having the project left incomplete is pretty low with an agency.
Also, you have access to the previous clients that the company has worked with to get a good idea about them.
So, if you think you can rely on one person for your work and have full faith in them, you can go for a freelancer.
But if you have trust issues, a design agency might be a better idea.
Access to different resources
When you hire a freelancer, they have limited resources for your design services (that is the main reason they charge less).
They mostly use the free version of design applications and try to give you the best out of them.
Also, their skill set is limited.
If you need to design a cover ad or a presentation, you may need to hire a different freelancer.
Even if you need to design a landing page or a WordPress website, you may still need a different designer.
Now in such cases, you will have to coordinate between different people according to their skills.
Maybe you will also have to compromise on some design capabilities due to their limited resources.
Whereas when you hire a design agency, they have everything under one roof.
They will allocate you a project manager who will look after all your needs.
They will have licensed and purchased software for almost all design applications to give the best to their clients.
Secondly, their web designers will automatically coordinate with their graphic and logo designers to see all the work is in sync.
Thus, if you feel that your work can be completed with limited resources, you can hire a freelancer, but if you need a lot to do with your graphic design work, a design agency will be a better idea.
Agility and precision
This quality can be served by both but depends on your choices.
If you hire a freelancer, and they are good at their job you will get your work in no time and at the best prices.
Plus, he will be agile and dedicated towards your job, thus handling it with precision.
But if they fall sick or takes a leave, your entire project comes to a standstill.
So, think, can you afford that gap? If yes, choose the best freelancer and get your work done.
However, a design agency has a reputation to uphold, so it will seldom give a ‘non-agile’ approach.
But precision cannot be guaranteed in an agency either.
There are chances that too many cooks may spoil the soup.
If there is miscommunication between departments, the project can go haywire.
And when you have invested a massive amount in an agency you cannot afford to lose time and money.
So, in brief, both the options can give agility and precision, but none of them can guarantee so.
Thus, it ultimately depends on your project requirements on what you want and on what you can compromise.
Can you depend on one person to look after your entire project without any follow-ups?
Do you have a back-up if anything goes wrong?
It would be best if you asked yourself these questions before hiring a freelancer to get your work done.
Also, you need to see some previous projects handled by the freelancer and contact them for reviews.
The more you know about the person, the more convinced you can be about giving them the role.
A design agency, on the other hand, may have their own terms and contracts.
Read them properly before hiring them.
Sometimes the number of paid revisions is less. You need to read between the lines and understand their way of working before hiring them.
It would help if you also saw the reviews before handing them your project.
Their dependability will be determined by how satisfied their previous clients were.
So please do your research work well before handing over your work to them.
It would be best if you had a foolproof reason to depend on a person or an agency for their work.
Because for them you maybe just someone with a project, but for you, it is investing your hard-earned money, time, and sweat.
What is your goal?
Your goal of design also depends mostly on whom you should hire for your design services.
- Do you want designs to be implemented all year round?
- Do you want promotional strategies just for the launch or you want them at regular intervals?
- Does your brand need more advertising, or is it an established brand?
- Are there only minor design changes or the entire idea is to be redesigned and reframed?
These are several questions that you need to answer before you hire anybody.
In short, you need to define your long term and short-term plans.
Your business strategies, promotions, and budget play a large role in deciding the hiring process of the company.
You have to think through thick and thin before hiring anybody or anything.
The pros and cons of both options are not stagnated; they change with time and individuals.
So, decide your goal and approach toward your company before taking any decision.
Accordingly, you can list the pros and cons of freelancers and design agencies and then decide whom to hire.
So, should you Hire a Design Agency or a Freelancer?
We have seen the pros and cons of both the options now.
Ultimately it comes down to your business requirements to see which one to hire.
There are also companies out there who have the best freelancers under one roof.
So, you can have the best of both worlds.
And if you need different skilled freelancers, they are also available under a shared marketplace such as Upwork or Freelancer.
Of course, the coordination between them is your job, but you need to have a perfect background check of the people you are hiring!
However, if you plan to give your work to the design agency, they may be heavy on your pockets but will give your business an excellent professional outlook.
Plus, if you want a team of designers for a long-term, an agency is a better option, as they will have your history, and work accordingly.
In brief, your business theme will not be spoilt and need not be explained again and again.
So, understand your business prerequisites, prioritise them, and then take the decision.
After all, no one can make the best business choices for you except you!