When experts say visual design is part and parcel of brand communication, they’re certainly not kidding. For instance, did you know that more than nine out of ten people will leave a website with poor graphic design? This is a big deal, especially if you’re like most ventures that get a massive slice of your earnings from website traffic.
But here lies the problem: hiring an in-house graphic designer can be expensive. This is especially true for small ventures still trying to get on their feet without a big budget to blow. Fortunately, you can outsource graphic design. That means being able to enjoy the benefits without having to break the bank.
How Does Graphic Design Outsourcing Work?
Traditionally, if you need graphic design as a business, you’ll need to hire a designer. This employee (or team, if you need a lot of designs) would be responsible for the visual design tasks that you need. These may include marketing visuals, website design, social media images, and any other materials that fall beyond and between.
In a traditional setup, companies that don’t have the capability to produce their own creative materials would hire agencies. Though this could be more practical, retainer fees aren’t exactly cheap.
When you outsource graphic design, you won’t need to hire anyone full-time, and you won’t have to be locked into long-term agency contracts. You just need to find the right freelance designer or design outsourcing company who can get the job done.
Outsourcing vs. In-house Graphic Design
When you have an in-house graphic designer, the graphic design production will be the same as any other business process. For instance, you may have a graphic design monthly or quarterly production calendar that states the designs you need for that period.
The in-house designer would have to set a timeline for brainstorming, drafting, revisions, and completion. Aside from that, the designer might also need to be on standby for any design tasks that need to be done right away. This may include visuals for last-minute promos or other announcements.
When outsourcing design, however, the process can be a lot different. Here’s a typical step-by-step scenario when you outsource graphic design:
- You subscribe to a graphic design service or hire a freelance designer from an online job marketplace. Before hiring someone, make sure that you’re on the same page in terms of the fee, the turnaround time, and the number of revisions.
- You send the designer a brief about the project. In the brief, you explain what type of materials you need and describe the project. You can also include certain requirements, such as color palette, file size, or image size. To make things even clearer, you can also include links to your peg images.
- Upon receiving the brief, the designer will start working on the draft. They’ll then submit it for your approval. And depending on the number of revisions that you agreed on, you may request changes.
This setup is practical because you’ll only need to pay for designs that you need at a time that you need them. As a result, you won’t be bleeding money during seasons when you don’t really need to produce a lot of visuals.
The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Graphic Design
Here are the main benefits of outsourcing graphic design:
- Whether you’re hiring a freelancer or getting a graphic design subscription, it will be cheaper compared to hiring someone full-time. You can check out the average price of graphic design work right now.
- When business is extra slow, you won’t need to bleed on salary or benefits.
- If you’re hiring a freelance designer, you can work on a project basis and not be locked into a long-term contract. This is useful in instances when you’re not satisfied with the visual style of the person you hired.
- On the other hand, getting a graphic design subscription gives you access to a team of designers. That’s akin to being backed up by a group of design experts with different styles and specializations.
- Graphic design outsourcing companies screen their designers well. As a result, you won’t have to go through the tedious interview and onboarding process yourself.
On the other side of the coin, here are the main disadvantages of the setup:
- Subscription services have graphic design outsourcing website or apps for designer-client communication. However, freelance designers may not have this resource. As a result, you may need to deal with the email back-and-forth during the design process.
- An in-house graphic designer would most likely be immersed in your company culture. As a result, they could have a good grasp of your tone, voice, and style from the get-go. For outsourced help, you’ll need to exert the extra effort to explain the business and what you’re trying to achieve.
Should You Outsource Graphic Design?
So, should you outsource graphic design or hire an in-house designer? It all depends on your needs as a business. Here are a few factors to consider:
Quantity of Output
If you need to churn out graphic design day in and day out, then perhaps hiring an in-house creative would be practical.
In addition to that, it would also be a better option if you constantly need someone who can take on tasks on short notice. Say, for instance, you’re operating a breaking news website. If you need someone who can produce current event content cards all day, it would be hard to entrust that to a freelancer.
Seasonal Graphic Design Needs
If, on the other hand, your graphic design needs vary depending on the season, then outsourcing it would be better. For example, if you only need a bulk of designs done during a certain quarter of the year, then a graphic design subscription would be optimal.
That said, if you need even less designs than a seasonal series of promos, then hire a freelancer. By paying only for the design you need, you won’t have to pay for services you don’t need.
Before you decide on the matter, make sure to introspect and weigh your business’ needs. Only by taking everything into account can you make a decision that would allow you to get the most value out of every operational expense.
How can I outsource graphic design?
Our recommended way to outsource graphic design is to use unlimited graphic design services that offer design work for one affordable flat rate per month. You can easily cancel anytime and many offer a money-back guarantee. Check out and compare different unlimited graphic design services here.