There’s no doubt that with every new client we are blessed with, there have yet to be two equivalent stories of how it came to be that they selected us. However, regardless of how they got here, there’s a strange similarity between the question they ask in the selection process, or should i say lack there of questions. For this reason I’d like to take some time today to hand over some insider knowledge about the best way to approach hiring a freelance graphic designer or graphic design agency.
The most significant advantages of hiring a freelance graphic designer is going to be flexibility, cost, and communication. On the other hand the most significant advantages to design agency is it’s stability, broader range of experience, and ability to handle complex projects.
1. [FREELANCE] When you deal with a single designer, he will have a greater flexibility of arranging his interaction to accommodate the clients schedule instead of dealing within the limitations of business hours. The disadvantage with the freedom of the freelance is that everything is dependent on the health and availability of one person, possibly leaving a project half done or never finished do to illness or other situations out of the control of the designer.
1. [AGENCY] When you deal with an agency you will more than likely keep in contact within business hours, although some agencies will allow select clients to contact account managers outside of business hours. The structure and system of checks and balances that is evident in a agency is key to the stability of the company and therefore the stability of your project and it’s deadlines. You won’t be dependent on the well being or state on one person, you’ll know exactly when the company is available. This is optimal for clients who live within similar timezones but can be a difficult situation for international clients that live within significantly different timezones.
2. [FREELANCE] If the freelance designer works from home and doesn’t have pay wages to other employees, the low overhead costs could in turn help you realize significant savings. Nevertheless, these savings come at a cost. I’ve always believed creative design is one part skill and two parts inspiration. The power of group brainstorming has been proven through out time, a single designer won’t give you the benefit of ideas being bounced around multiple designers which bring with them a broader set of skills, experiences and perspectives.
2. [AGENCY] Design agencies in general employee a multitude of designers that collaborate on ideas which allows for a broad range of outcomes instead of relying on the design style of one person. Paying wages will in fact increase a companies overhead and therefore increase the overall cost.
3. [FREELANCE] In general dealing with a single designer is going to allow you to have direct communication with the person making every decision. Communication is key in delivering a relevant iconic design, having this direct contact can be a great benefit. The only downfall is that designers are exactly that, they don’t hire account managers that have the much needed communicate skills to ensure the clients ideas are conceptualized.
3. [AGENCY] An agency will be better equipped to handle large or complex projects requiring multiple skill-sets such as copywriters, developers, designers, illustrators, etc,. Although freelance designers can call upon other freelancers to assist with lacking skills, agencies will have the facilities, relationships and personnel already there to handle these jobs efficiently, this will in turn ensure the quality of work better matches the clients expectations. As with what i mentioned before about the collaboration of designers, this increases an agencies overhead therefore increasing cost.