12 Essential Tips For Outsourcing Graphic Design

outsourcing graphic design

Every business has its own expectations from outsourcing graphic design. Some choose to work with individual designers thinking that this would be a cheaper alternative. Some choose to work with design companies for reliable design quality. Whatever suits your business the key is to leave no stones unturned when it comes to comparing your options. So, let’s talk about choosing designers for your business. And in particular, the best ones to suit your needs. 

But first, let’s tackle some basic questions. 

Why Should You Be Outsourcing Graphic Design?

What Are Your Options for Outsourcing Graphic Design? 

Laying the Groundwork for Outsourcing Graphic Design

There are a few things to do even before you choose your option for outsourcing graphic design. These preliminary details help you gain clarity and identify the right designers for the job. Ask yourself the following questions. 

If You Want to Hire Freelance Designers 

Hiring freelance designers is pretty easy today. The straightforward way to do this will be to post a project on a freelance marketplace and then receive bids from designers around the world. Or you can also compare existing designer portfolios and choose someone who you think will be the right person for your brand. 

If you are comparing designers on such freelance marketplaces keep the following points in mind. 

1. Be clear about the scope 

Some designers who provide logo and brand identity designs might not necessarily deal with custom illustrations. Some provide motion graphics services but might not deal with 3D animations. Understanding the scope of services provided by the designer is the first attribute in shortlisting relevant ones. 

2. Refer to past work samples 

Every designer has a style. It is hard to grasp this without referring to the designer’s past work. In fact, you can see how professional the designs look. And also understand the themes or visual styles that the designer is capable of delivering. If you do not find the visual style you have in mind for your designs, then the particular designer might not be the right fit after all. 

3. Compare the prices 

There are no industry standards and that’s why you might find different designers quoting different prices. The quote is based on their experience, skill set, and many other aspects. 

Some designers charge on an hourly basis. When you do not know how much time it might take for your design it becomes difficult to understand the total cost involved. To avoid these hassles, choose someone who is able to provide a rough estimate of the turnaround times.

If You Want to Choose a Design Crowdsourcing Platform 

Working through a design crowdsourcing platform is very similar to working with individual freelance designers. But unlike the hourly rates and communication with individual designers, your collaborations are moderated by the crowdsourcing website. Most of them have a standard model. Here are the steps involved:

So, if you are looking to compare design crowdsourcing platforms to find the right designer for your job, here are a few things to consider. 

1. Understand the services offered 

There are two things to look for when you look at the services offered. 

2. Compare the plans 

The first attribute that varies from one plan to another is the maximum number of designs you receive for your design brief. Some of the highest-priced plans can give you up to 200 designs. But the question is do you really need those many options? Because many of these designs tend to be somewhat similar since they are based on the style and colors you recommend in your brief. 

The other factor that varies is the contest duration. This tells you roughly how many days you have to wait until you get nearly all the designs as per the plan.

Finally, compare the number of revisions that are allowed and the number of designers who will be submitting your designs. Evaluating these aspects makes it easier to compare the plans and choose what’s practical for your brand. 

3. Understand the additional charges 

Besides the actual price for creating your designs, there are additional charges for extra features on most crowdsourcing platforms. For example, since many brands will be posting their briefs, if you want top designers to see your contest and respond quickly, you might want to highlight or promote your contest. This incurs additional charges. 

Some also support social media and blog promotions to reach out to a wider group of designers. On the other hand, if you do not want anyone else (like your competitors, for example) to see your contest and design brief, you can also choose to keep the contest private. This again will involve additional expenses. In short, your total expense for the design project will be a total of all these expenses. Do you have enough budget to handle this? That’s one way to compare the pricing of different design crowdsourcing platforms. 

If You Want to Work With Design Companies 

Traditional design companies help businesses tackle their design needs with their in-house design teams rather than working with freelancers (as crowdsourcing platforms do). Similar to choosing a crowdsourcing platform you compare the services and see if the scope covers the kinds of designs you need for your brand. But services offered by design companies tend to be slightly more expensive than those offered by individual designers. So, here are a few quick traits to explore. 

1. Clientele 

A design company’s clientele tells you a lot about the firm. Knowing the other businesses that sought the services of this company will help you understand the industries and business models that the design company has dealt with. 

2. Tools and technology 

One of the main reasons why businesses choose to outsource designs is that investing in design tools and the latest technology to support design projects is not always in the budget. So, to be sure that you are outsourcing graphic design to the right team, you should be sure that the team is using the best tools in design. 

3. A look into the case studies 

Looking at the actual progress made in the past will help you understand the kind of value the chosen design company creates for your business. After all, you want designs that enhance your marketing performance. And bring in plenty of business benefits. So, look at a few case studies to understand the kind of problems that the design firm had helped businesses tackle. And the type of approach the company had adopted. 

If You Are Comparing Unlimited Graphic Design Services 

Unlimited graphic design services offer designs on demand. Once you choose a design subscription, a designated designer (or design team) gets to know your brand and starts working on your designs. Month after month the same designers will be working on your requests. So, they start understanding your brand better with each design and each piece of feedback you give. Your designs appear consistent across different channels and thus building your brand’s visual identity becomes so much simpler. So, knowing that there are many unlimited graphic design services in the market, how do you find the one that fits your brand? 

1. Compare the subscriptions 

There could be several kinds of subscriptions like graphics-only, video-only, graphics & video, and illustrations & graphics.  And within graphics, some subscriptions include presentation designs while some don’t. Based on the list of designs you want to be created for your brand, find the right subscription that works.

Since there is no upper cap on the number of designs you can request in a month you should be able to make the most of the subscription you choose. So, find a plan that meets all your requirements. 

2. Know the turnaround times 

Knowing turnaround times, or the time it takes to deliver your designs, will make it easier to plan your content calendar. Depending on the type of design and the chosen subscription the turnaround times vary. Some unlimited graphic design services like No Limit Creatives and Kimp, support 2 active requests. Combined with fast turnaround times this results in an increase in the design output within any given period. So, you can conveniently plan campaigns even for the busiest times of the year when you choose the right design subscription. 

3. How easy is it to manage your design projects? 

Kimp, for example, lets you manage all your projects on Trello. You can also maintain email communications whenever required. Design Pickle has an in-house project management platform. Either way, you have your account dashboard where you place requests, track progress, and download designs after the required revisions. When you compare unlimited design services, choose one that makes managing projects easy for you. If there is an option to add multiple brands and team members, as in the case of Kimp, it will be even better. 

So, Are You Ready to Outsource Graphic Design? 

There is more to design than meets the eye. How well your design resonates with your brand and fulfills your campaign goals depends on the designers you choose. So, all the time you spend comparing your options and finding the best option for outsourcing graphic design will pay off. You will have designs that add value to your brand and engage your customers effectively. 

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