Don’t judge a book by its cover does not apply to the brands; otherwise, UI/UX and graphic designers would not be in high demand. In fact, businesses and influencers want the best design to pass the impression test and hook visitors on their websites/apps or social media profiles.
The consequences of the graphic designer demand are visible through its growing market size. The Global Graphic Designers industry is valued at $43.4bn in 2022 and is expected to grow by 3.7%. Everybody wants graphic design services to create a visually unique brand identity. But choosing a freelancer or design agency has been a painful dilemma.
We are not here to sabotage any approach but to open your eyes to how you should decide on your design partner. When you know the difference between a freelance graphic designer vs. a graphic design agency service, you can choose the optimum option for your design requirements. Given that every brand has a unique story to tell to its audience.
So, let us help you find the best graphic artist for your business.
Freelance Designers Vs Design Agency : The Archetypes
They are solo designers for hire.
Freelance designers usually gain experience by working in-house or at a design firm before offering their own distinct services. They choose to work as freelancers to improve their work-life balance, have more control over clients/projects they choose, or start their own agency one day.
- Hiring a freelance designer is often more cost-effective because of less overhead.
- You can connect with your designer directly and check up on the project at any time.
- They do not take much time to get started.
- You can also embed them into your existing team.
- Since they work individually, the creative work may be curbed by their expertise or aesthetics.
- Freelance designers often do not take on an adjacent project that may require their input beyond their scope.
- You need internal reviewers to inspect and provide feedback to ensure the design’s work fits within the requirements.
- They offer finite availability that can cause problems when your timeline changes.
- They could be exceptional at creative designing but lack professional skills, which can make your relationship bumpy with them.
You can find two types of design agencies: one that is a big company with a long-existed brand name and a team of full-time employees, including partners, creative directors, strategists, junior and senior designers, writers, accounting personnel, and other specialists.
Then there is a medium-sized agency that may consist of around 10–30 full-time employees. When you go with this agency, they offer dedicated designers for hire or split their working hours among their clients. (it’s all about the engagement models, we’ll see after this)
- You can access a significant range of talent pools, expertise, and ideology to work with.
- Designers working for years in the agency can bring leadership, deep experience, and connections to benefit you.
- A designing firm is constituted of work ethics and provides a high level of client service and support with designated managers and admin.
- When you associate with an agency, you can quickly scale up and down the team dedicated to your project to acclimate future work.
- You can always analyze and validate their expertise from their substantial work portfolio.
- Hiring agencies for designing can be pricey, but it also depends on the location as design firms in the USA, UK, and Australia charge dramatically higher than agencies in India.
- Some agencies could be inflexible in terms of the process; for example, they may not use your techniques or have their own preferable collaboration tools. However, before starting the project, you can work out this with a discussion.
Final Showdown: Freelance Designers Vs Design Agency
Hiring freelance designers is always like a gamble. You never know if the designer will finish the project on time or are credible enough to share your ideas (they could steal them, too). There is no guarantee if they are serious about your project and doing it themselves or getting it done by someone else.
Designers at agencies tend to be more professional and experienced otherwise, the agency would’ve kicked them out. In addition, you sign an NDA or similar agreement with the agency that guarantees their credibility (because if they breach it, they’d have to pay for it).
Freelance graphic designers work on more than one project simultaneously as this is how they make their living. And working only on your project would not pay all their bills. It’s very painful but working with these buddies, you might have to wait until they hear you, which isn’t specified.
Design agencies, on the other hand, are also busy working on numerous projects. But when there’s a backlog, they quickly communicate it within the team, so their clients (you) won’t have to wait. Besides, you will get specified hours for working calls to communicate your needs with the UI/UX designers.
You can expect your freelance designer to have endless skills and powers, all packed into a one-man army. It will still be one head regardless of how smart they are. Moreover, you also don’t know whether they have the skill to overcome challenges that may arise in the early and later design phases.
Hiring a design agency, however, reduces your stress about the quality of the design. Because their designers have been immersed in multiple industries and are experienced in solving bottlenecks at the various design and development stages. Above all, they follow a technical design process for mobile apps, websites, etc.
Freelancers are always on the move, and they are their own managers. So, they might deliver your project before or on time to take on another project. However, this is a dream scenario. You have to find the best freelance graphic designer. The one who does not clump and misses deadlines.
In the case of agencies, they care about the reputation they gain by delivering quality designs on time. They will not want to miss the chance to retain you as a client. Hence, they also bring the project manager to guard the timeline with the team.
There are barely any freelance designers that provide you with post-launch support along with the package. Their job is over at the time they send you the final design. So, what about further changes and updates? Well, you will have to find another freelance designer and explain the story of your design.
When you hire graphic/UI/UX designers from an agency, you get covered in multiple things in the contract you sign. And the real relief is that you will not be on your own after the design delivery. A mobile app development company will back you up so you can sleep tight at night.
The price is the one good thing that attracts major companies to freelance their designs. No doubt they charge at least twice as low as a designer from an agency would. Nonetheless, the rule of thumb is — don’t fall for low price + high quality.
Even though agencies charge higher, you can expect the design creativity to be up to the mark. If we see, collaborating with designers from an agency means more people involved in the project, profound experience with problem-solving skills. As mentioned earlier, rates of agency-based professionals vary from country to country. And you can find the best match based on some aspects from cost-effective countries like India.
If you are confused about how to hire a graphic designer, it’s better to figure out what you need first. Is the project well defined? Do you want the designer to work with your in-house team? Have you already established the design system? What is your budget? Is it flexible? Many such questions will help you select the right designers.
But if you don’t have time to list QA, you can connect with us to conclude in a half hour. Because we offer a 30min free consultation! So, see ya there!