When it comes to hiring a graphic designer for your business, there are a lot of different things you need to consider. Of course, the first thing you need to decide on is what sort of design projects you have to give whatever designer you end up hiring. But after you’ve done that, the most important decision in the whole process is now before you; should you hire a freelance designer or go to a design agency?
Truthfully, there isn’t a definitive right and wrong answer for the question. Both freelancers and design agencies can provide you with quality work that is worthwhile. However, though your final decision should have your personal preference taken into account, you also need to consider a number of additional criteria.
Flexibility and Availability
There are a number of secondary factors that are involved with a designer’s availability and flexibility. For one thing, a freelancer working as their own boss gets to pick and choose their own hours and own work pace. So when looking at freelancers, you need to be aware of the fact that they may not operate in the same time-frame you and your business might. If that could be a problem of contention with you, then you’ll need to find another freelancer, or begin looking into a design agency, which is much more likely to run more conventional hours. However, the flexibility of a freelancer can be a major benefit to you as well. As stated by Kalexiko, a flexible schedule allows a freelancer to make last-minute decisions to head out and visit you or another client, and it can also allow them to bend their work schedule to fit potential deadline changes or other adjustments.
That flexibility can work against you as well though. As Design Buddy points out, when a freelancer has some sort of emergency crop up, your project may be put on hold until whatever issues arose are resolved. And in attending to those issues, the designer may become difficult to contact until later. In cases like that, a design agency won’t suffer a hiccup in the design process; if they lose the designer working on your project for a few days, they can have someone else come in and continue work until things can return to normal.
As you might expect, cost can be a major factor in your decision to choose a freelancer or a design agency. If you haven’t created a budget for your design project, or haven’t created an entry for it in your overall business budget, then you really need to do so. However, you can spend some time contacting agencies and freelancers to get quotes and figure out a price range for your desired project.
Once you’ve actually created your project budget, you can then start looking at potential hires for your project. But when you’re out looking, you need to be aware of the fact that in just about every case possible, hiring a freelancer will cost less than a design agency. It’s not so much to do with experience as it is because of overheads. Arch Web Marketing states that most design agencies have a minimum project fee that can then rise to vast heights depending on the particulars of your project and the reputation and size of the agency.
This is a very important factor to take into account when hunting for a designer. If you have an absolutely massive design project in mind, hiring a freelancer might not be a viable option at all, unless you hire multiple freelancers. A freelancer won’t be able to deal with nearly the same amount of work as an agency. Just Creative explains it best; a freelancer has to not only deal with the design work, but also all the behind-the-scenes marketing, self-promotion, bookkeeping, and so on. An agency, on the other hand, has other people to deal with all that so the designers can focus on just designing. This is also part of the reason why agency prices are higher.
Resources and Specialization
Graphic design is a very large field. There are a lot of different niches and specializations that designers can focus on. As such, you need to keep this in mind when looking for a designer for your project. While it depends on the specifics of your project, Art Version states that in most cases, a freelancer might not have the resources and expertise needed to create 100 percent of the project. They may craft a marvelous web layout that’s to die for, but they might not really know how to properly optimize it for SEO. An agency should have multiple people of multiple specialties to deal with all aspects of your project.
A Third Option?
While you may be able to get more out of a design agency at the cost of paying a much higher premium, or get a wonderful finished product for cheap from a niche freelancer, there is a third option when looking for a graphic designer. That option is using design websites such as Designhill Graphic Design Marketplace that acts as an intermediary between an independent freelancer and a full-blown agency. Marketplace sites like Designhill can offer multiple options in your search for a freelance designer.