Hiring A Freelance Graphic Designer Vs Hiring A Design Agency

585 396 Derek Kimball

choose your designer

For clients wondering the difference between hiring a freelance graphic designer vs working with a design agency, here are some benefits of each:

Benefits Of Working With A Freelance Graphic Designer:

Pricing:

graphic design pricing

Freelancers typically are able to offer lower pricing than agencies. Many freelance designers work from a home office, so overhead costs are drastically lower than an agency who has the extra overhead. These savings for the freelancer can get passed down to the client.

Communication:

communication

When you hire a self employed freelancer, you have the benefit of one on one communication throughout your project. This may not be the case when working with a larger design company where a secretary or manager acts as the main point of contact, relaying messages between designer and client.

Flexibility:

flexible designer

Unlike design agencies who have set work hours, many freelancers will respond to evening and weekend emails. So if you find the M-F 9-5 schedule for communication a bit restrictive, working with a freelancer may be for you. With that said, there should always be boundaries. Calling anyone at 11pm is a bit rude isn’t it?

Expectation:

client expectation

One of the main considerations when hiring someone to help you with your graphic design project, should be that you like their work. When you hire a freelancer, what you see is what you get. Usually a freelancer’s portfolio consists of projects they alone have worked on. With an agency, the portfolio is going to consist of work from multiple designers, so it’s more or less a crapshoot as to who will be handling your project.

Benefits Of Working With A Design Firm/Agency:

One Stop Shop:

one stop shop for graphic design services

Design firms with many hands on deck are able to offer broader skill sets than their freelancer counterparts. This can be convenient for clients in need of a variety of services, but don’t feel like hiring multiple freelancers to get the job done. That’s not to say there aren’t freelancers who are versatile in the services they offer; but for the most part an agency with multiple designers employed will obviously be able to offer a more well rounded collection of services.

Larger Work Loads:

agency handle larger workload

An agency with multiple designers on board can handle larger work loads than a freelancer. This may be a plus for clients with constant flow of new projects that need to be completed yesterday. There’s only so much one person can do. A team can tackle a larger or multi-faceted project more quickly.

Availability:

availability

When a freelancer decides to take a vacation, gets sick, or has some family troubles; the client may have to wait until the designer is available to work again. This isn’t usually a problem with an agency, who can simply transfer a project task when someone is unable to work.

Because every agency / freelancer is different, there may be exceptions to the rule of thumb mentions above. Have I forgotten any important aspects of working with a design agency vs a freelancer? Please let me know by commenting below. Thanks for reading.

AUTHOR

Derek Kimball

Thanks for reading my blog. I'm a graphic designer who specializes in logo design and brand identity. If you'd like to receive periodic updates to useful design resources and writings, subscribe to the newsletter.

All stories by: Derek Kimball
2 comments
  • Robert Moon

    Pretty neat stuff I must say but no matter how much you explain it and lay down the facts, its still extremely difficult to choose mainly because there are just too much pros and cons of both on the similar weight which makes it really hard to pick an option. I’ve seen many of friends make a bad decision in a dubious state of mind, my advice to everybody out there is that please do ample research and consideration before opting in.

    Robert Moon

  • Derek Kimball

    Thanks for the comment Robert. You’re right… it is a tough decision, and out of frustration many folks end up choosing the wrong fit. The biggest mistake for the client is often choosing price over quality and not hiring a designer / design firm who’s style matches their expectations. The biggest mistake designers make is taking on a project that doesn’t fit well within their design abilities.

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