How to Outsource Graphic Design?
If your business is growing and you need to keep up with the demand for high-quality designs, outsourcing graphic design can be a cost-effective solution. However, the outsourcing landscape has evolved over the years, and it's essential to understand the current state of outsourcing graphic design in 2023 to make the right choice for your business.
This guide will provide you with all the information you need to outsource graphic design successfully in 2023, including the different options available such as freelancers, marketplaces, and on-demand services. We'll also discuss the importance of considering both UX and UI in your outsourcing strategy and how to find the best fit for your specific needs.
Why Would You Outsource Graphic Design?
Outsourcing graphic design has become more common among businesses, especially during the pandemic economic crisis, as it can help reduce costs. However, outsourcing graphic design is about cost savings and getting the best possible design solutions for your business needs.
To outsource graphic design effectively, it's essential to understand the various graphic design services available and which business model can provide the most cost-effective solution. It's not just about choosing the cheapest option but balancing affordability and quality.
Outsourcing graphic design can help businesses with various needs, including creating logos, websites, social media graphics, and marketing materials. By outsourcing these tasks, businesses can focus on their core competencies while obtaining high-quality designs to improve their brand image and drive sales.
One-off Designs Outsourcing
Several affordable options are available for those who require one-time service from a graphic designer or are solo entrepreneurs. These services are excellent for those needing a design done quickly and not wishing to commit to a long-term contract.
One such option is Fiverr. With many designers available, Fiverr offers designs at a starting price of just $5. While the turnaround time for the final design may be a week or two, this is an excellent option for those on a tight budget.
Another option is 99designs, which provides a more high-end experience with a higher price tag. It is the perfect solution if you require a more complex design, such as a logo, website, or app. Expect to pay a minimum of $300 for a logo and upwards of $600 for a web or app design.
You can also consider PeoplePerHour.com, which provides a vast directory of freelance graphic designers with varying prices. They specialize in finding the perfect match for your specific project needs, making it easy for you to find a talented designer who can deliver high-quality work within your budget. With PeoplePerHour.com, you can rest assured that your graphic design project is in good hands.
Another option is DesignCrowd, a design marketplace that connects you with a community of designers who submit their proposals for your project. You can then select the design you like best and pay only for that design.
Long-term Designs Outsourcing
If you are looking for outsourcing services for your graphic design projects, investing your time and money wisely is crucial, especially for long-term work. We have compiled a list of the best outsourcing services to assist you in your search.
First on the list is Penji, a popular long-term design outsourcing provider offering unlimited designs at a flat monthly rate. They have a team of highly skilled designers who can work on various design projects, including logos, websites, social media posts, and more.
Upwork is another reliable option, offering a vast directory of freelance graphic designers for various budgets, though they tend to specialize in development and IT freelancers.
Freelancer.com is a freelance marketplace that can connect you with a large pool of graphic designers. However, finding the right designer for your business needs can be challenging for long-term outsourcing.
Guru also provides a strong pool of global design talent accessible through requesting quotes or posting job listings, although, like Upwork, graphic design is not their primary focus.
Finally, Toptal offers top-of-the-line designers primarily based in Europe and North America, making them the perfect choice for in-depth and high-level projects. Although it may seem unfair to classify Toptal as outsourcing, their dedication to perfection and quality makes them a standout option.
Graphic Design Outsourcing Solutions
Graphic design outsourcing solutions are an excellent way for businesses to get high-quality designs without hiring an in-house designer. Outsourcing can save time, money, and resources, and many online platforms connect businesses with talented designers worldwide.
These platforms offer various design services, from logos to websites and marketing materials. By outsourcing your design needs, you can focus on other aspects of your business while getting professional-quality designs that help your business stand out.
Freelancer rates vary depending on their location. Around 90% of US-based designers work as freelancers, which means many talented professionals are available to hire. Upwork and Fiverr are the most well-known freelancing platforms, but other options exist, including those specifically for designers.
It's important to note that location does not determine the quality of a designer's work. However, language barriers and time zone differences can make working with freelancers from other countries challenging. For instance, US-based graphic designers charge around $25-$30 per hour, while those in India and Southeast Asia can charge as little as $10.
Let's discuss the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer for your design project.
- You have access to a large pool of talented professionals with specialized skills who can cater to your project needs.
- You can hire freelancers on a per-project basis, giving you more flexibility in budget and workload.
- Freelancers don't require office space, equipment, or benefits, so they can offer their services at a lower cost than hiring an in-house designer.
- Hourly rates for freelancers can add up, especially for long-term or complex projects with multiple revisions.
- Freelancers usually work with various clients, so they may not be fully dedicated to your project.
- Communication issues may arise, especially if you hire someone who is not a native English speaker or in a different time zone.
To those who can afford it, hiring a design agency can provide an unparalleled level of service. A design agency that doubles as a full-service marketing agency can help develop ideas for your brand offer technical optimizations to your web design, and more. Working with an agency brings expertise, experience, professionalism, and a wide range of services beyond design.
While design agencies are generally expensive, various options are available depending on your budget. Although larger, well-known agencies like Pentagram may be outside your price range, thousands of smaller agencies may be more accessible.
Since an agency consists of a team of designers, project managers, and copywriters, hiring an agency costs more than a freelancer or full-time employee. Instead of set fees, agencies determine rates based on the complexity and scope of the project, as well as the size of the client's company. Designing for a large, global corporation inherently differs from designing for a small, locally-focused business.
If the high cost doesn't deter you, here are some key benefits and drawbacks of working with a design agency.
- Design agencies often have a wealth of experience and a diverse portfolio, and they may specialize in working with specific industries, making them a good fit for your needs.
- If you require more than design work, an agency can offer comprehensive branding and marketing services, providing a one-stop solution.
- Agencies are generally better equipped to handle more significant, more complex projects and can offer consistent quality across all aspects of your design needs.
- As previously mentioned, design agencies are typically costly, making them out of reach for most small businesses.
- Because you're working with a team, you may have less control over your project's details than working with a freelancer or doing it yourself.
Unlimited Graphic Design Service
Subscription-based design services are the third most popular type of graphic design service, and they work differently than hiring a freelancer or a design agency. Instead of paying for each project, you pay a flat monthly fee and can request as many design projects as you need. This model is especially beneficial for those who require regular design work.
Subscription-based design services typically charge between $300 and $900 per month for unlimited design requests, which is considerably less expensive than a single project with a design agency. With subscription-based services, you can enjoy all the advantages of working with a professional design agency, such as a vast portfolio and a large design team, as well as project managers who oversee the design process and help to address any issues.
As always, there are pros and cons to any solution. Here are some of the key ones.
- You can make as many design requests as you want, from simple marketing materials to complete brand design, without worrying about additional costs for revisions.
- Compared to hiring a freelancer or working with a design agency, an unlimited graphic design service offers a budget-friendly solution, typically costing a few hundred dollars monthly.
- You'll appreciate the ease of having one service handle all your design needs, similar to working with a design agency.
- Unlike other services requiring a contract or agreement, signing up for unlimited design service is straightforward, with no additional fees or hours required. You can also cancel anytime.
- Hiring a freelancer might be more cost-effective if you only need a single project completed.
- If you prefer in-person meetings, remember that most communication with an unlimited design service happens through chat rather than calls or video calls. While some services allow you to work with a dedicated designer, the communication is typically less personal than working with a freelancer or an agency.
Who Should Outsource Graphic Design?
Outsourcing graphic design is often seen as a solution for companies that cannot afford to have an in-house team. However, it is more effective for established brands with in-house graphic design teams. By outsourcing their design needs, the in-house designers can focus on the big picture instead of being burdened with every social media and email graphic.
Ad agencies are among the most common companies that outsource graphic design. Marketing agencies, like advertisers, often have a surplus of day-to-day design work that they outsource. They constantly need content for various platforms, including Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and digital and print ads. A/B testing also requires more designs than a single team can handle.
Web design agencies also outsource their work, as website design is not always as simple as creating a single design. A website comprises dozens of designs and illustrations combined into one form, sometimes requiring outside help. Marketing teams within companies also outsource their design needs, especially when high expectations and strict deadlines need to be met. Outsourcing can help ensure that all deliverables are completed on time.
Finally, established companies and startups often outsource graphic design to discover new content opportunities or to scale their output to meet the ever-changing demand. As their scale grows, their design team may become overwhelmed, and outsourcing can be a solution to manage the workload. In conclusion, outsourcing graphic design is not just for companies that cannot afford an in-house team but is also an effective solution for established brands to optimize their resources and achieve their goals.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
Outsourcing has become a popular business strategy for companies looking to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and access specialized expertise. However, it also has its drawbacks, including communication challenges, quality control issues, and potential loss of control over certain aspects of the business.
In this way, outsourcing has both pros and cons, and it's crucial for companies to carefully consider these factors before deciding whether to outsource specific tasks or functions.
Cost savings - One of the most significant advantages of outsourcing is cost savings. Outsourcing certain business functions to countries where cheaper labor can significantly reduce costs, especially in manufacturing and software development areas.
Access to specialized skills - Outsourcing can give businesses access to specialized skills that may not be available in-house. For example, outsourcing graphic design can provide access to a team of experienced designers with diverse skills and expertise.
Focus on core competencies - By outsourcing non-core business functions; companies can focus on their core competencies and strategic goals. It can lead to increased efficiency and competitiveness in the marketplace.
Scalability - Outsourcing can help businesses scale up or down quickly in response to changing market conditions. It can benefit startups and small businesses that may not have the resources to hire and train new employees.
Increased flexibility - Outsourcing can offer businesses greater flexibility in resource allocation. For example, if a project requires additional resources, an outsourced team can quickly ramp up to meet demand.
Communication issues - When working with an outsourced team, communication can be challenging. Time zone differences, language barriers, and cultural differences can all lead to misunderstandings and delays.
Quality concerns - Outsourcing can sometimes lead to quality concerns, mainly if the outsourced team is not managed correctly or does not have the necessary skills or resources to complete the work to a high standard.
Overall, the pros of outsourcing generally outweigh the cons, and outsourcing can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to reduce costs, access specialized skills, and focus on their core competencies. Companies can reap the benefits of this business model by managing the communication, quality, and security risks associated with outsourcing.
To choose the best design outsourcing option, consider your needs and budget. Hiring an in-house designer or using an unlimited graphic design service is sensible for regular design needs. Freelancers can provide quality designs at an affordable price, while design contests are best for brainstorming.
In-house designers may be more expensive, but they deeply understand your brand. Unlimited graphic design services are excellent for diverse and fast design delivery.
Hiring an agency may be worth investing in larger projects like a global rebrand or website design.