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How To Outsource Graphic Design?

Outsourcing graphic design

There are a million and one things to do when running a business—and often not enough hours in the day to get them all done. This is where outsourcing comes into play. When you outsource graphic design, you’re gaining access to a team of experts who can help you take your company to the next level. Here’s everything you need to know about outsourcing graphic design.

What Is Outsourcing Graphic Design?

Outsourcing graphic design means hiring a freelance designer or a design agency to create visuals for your company rather than hiring a team of designers in-house. This is a cost-effective way to get high-quality designs without hiring full-time employees and also allows for more flexibility in project scope and timelines.

Recommended Outsourcing Platforms of 2022

Best quality

1

Toptal

Toptal Logo
  • Price $60–$125+/hour
  • Skill Level Professional
Best on-demand

2

99designs

99designs logo
  • Price $200–$1,200+/project
  • Skill Level Entry to Professional
Best unlimited subscription

3

Awesomic

Awesomic logo
  • Price $699–$2,490/month
  • Skill Level Intermediate to Professional

Why Should You Outsource?

1. Lower costs

Outsourcing can help you save up to 88% on design costs. In the United States, graphic designers earn an annual salary of $50,710. A typical graphic design service costs $500 per month or $6,000 per year. So, outsourcing designs can be 8.5 times cheaper than having an in-house designer.

Premium graphic design services typically cost around $2,000 per month or $24,000 per year, which is still more than twice as cheap as hiring an in-house designer.

When you work with an agency or freelancer, you only pay for the time you spend on your project. You are not required to pay for benefits, office space, or other overhead. You also have to pay an in-house designer even if you don’t have any work for them. But when you outsource your designs, you can cancel your subscription or not hire anyone if you no longer need designs.

2. Access to a broader pool of talent

You can access a pool of designers worldwide when you outsource your design work. No matter your project needs, you can find the perfect designer.

Working with a designer who’s an expert in a particular field can also help you create a final product that better suits your client’s needs. Niches don’t just refer to specific industries but also to different styles or looks that a client might want.

For example, if you need a logo, it’s best to work with someone who’s done it before. In some cases, it can be more efficient to outsource projects to freelancers than to rely on an in-house team, especially if your company wants to draw on one person’s particular skills (for example, designing product packaging or creating infographics).

3. Faster turnaround times

Outsourcing can help you get your project done faster. Since you’re not limited by location, you can work with designers in different time zones to complete your project around the clock.

To help you with that, most agencies can match you with designers from the same time zone as yours. 

4. Increased flexibility

Outsourcing gives you the flexibility to adjust your staffing needs as required. Working with a freelancer might be ideal if you have a short-term project, but if you need long-term help hiring an agency could be a better solution. Regardless of your choice, it is easy to either upgrade or downgrade your plan or find more freelancers as necessary.

How to Outsource Graphic Design Effectively?

Step 1: Define your budget

Determine your budget for graphic design and what the work you need will cost if you work with a freelancer. Of course, everyone wants to spend as little as possible, but you must be realistic with your expectations.

Budget graphic design services cost around $400 per month, while premium services, which deliver higher quality results, cost $1,000+ per month.

Step 2: Pick a subscription or on-demand

Two ways to outsource your graphic design needs are subscription or on-demand. Subscription means you pay a monthly fee for unlimited designs, while on-demand means you only pay for the specific design services you need when you need them.

Subscriptions are best when you need to design regularly. They are like having an in-house designer but cheaper. On the other hand, the on-demand option is better when you don’t need designs regularly.

Step 3: Find the right agency.

When you have a defined budget and know what kind of design you need and how often, the next step is to find the right graphic designer or agency. The most important thing is to look at previous work and see if it’s up to your standards.

Another tip is to ask for referrals from people you trust. You can read our reviews of graphic design services (we personally tested each).

Step 4: Communicate your vision.

When you’ve found the right agency, it’s important to communicate your vision clearly. Provide them with examples of what you like, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything.

The better they understand your needs, the better results you’ll get. Most better agencies also offer a free trial or demo, as well as a 30-minute call with a representative who will show you around. It’s a great way to get a free insight into the service you will eventually buy.

Step 5: Review the results and give feedback.

After you receive the designs from your chosen agency, take some time to review them carefully. Be critical and provide feedback so they can make changes if needed. Remember, this is a collaborative process; it may take a few iterations before you get the perfect design.

Step 6: Approve the final design.

Once you’re happy with the results, approve the final design and provide clear feedback on what you liked about the process and what could be improved. You can often pick your favorite designers to work with them in the future.

When is Outsourcing Not the Right Choice?

1. You want full control over their design process

When you hire an agency or a freelancer to do your work for you, you give up some control over the design process. This can be a problem if you want to have a lot of control over how your business works in every way. If you need full control over the designs being produced, it might be better to bring graphic design in-house.

2. You need to create a consistent design style

Outsourcing your design work can lead to inconsistency in your company’s overall design style. You rely on multiple people or agencies to create cohesive designs. If all of your company’s marketing materials have the same design style, it might be better to do the graphic design in-house.

3. You want designers who intimately know your brand

When you hire other people to do your graphic design work, you may also work with designers who don’t know your brand. They might not be familiar with your company’s mission, values, and goals. Because of this, they might not be able to make designs that match your brand’s personality. If you want the designers working on your project to understand and appreciate your brand, then it is better to keep graphic design in-house.

However, most high-end graphic design services are excellent at connecting with your brand. They take special care of getting to know you, so you can get comparable results to hiring an in-house designer.

4. Avoid communication barriers

When you outsource your graphic design work, there is a risk of communication breakdowns. This is because you are working with people who might not be based in the same country or time zone. This can make it challenging to coordinate design projects and give design feedback on time. If you want to avoid communication barriers, then it is better to keep graphic design in-house.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can graphic design be done remotely?

Yes, it is possible to do graphic design remotely, although it may be more difficult to coordinate with other team members or clients who are not in the same location. Communication and collaboration may also be challenges when working on projects from different locations.

What are the risks associated with outsourcing graphic design?

Outsourcing graphic design comes with a few risks, such as the chance of getting low-quality work or missing a deadline. But you can reduce these risks if you work with a reputable company and set clear goals for the project from the start.

About your guide

Matic Broz profile image
Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire, Skylum, and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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