Freelance Graphic Designer vs. Design Agency: Here’s How to Outsource Graphic Design Right

Besides a freelance graphic designer and an agency, there is an even better option to outsource your graphic design. Read our article to start saving time and money.

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February 23, 2022

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If there is one word that sounds like music to any company’s ears, it’s efficiency. And if there is one thing that helps you be efficient, it’s outsourcing. But what is the best way to outsource your design needs? A freelance graphic designer, a design agency, or something else? Here’s how to outsource graphic design right.

Even the biggest companies on earth use outsourcing to scale up. Which makes sense because why wouldn’t you delegate a task to someone else who can do it more efficiently?

Outsourcing your company’s design may be daunting at first. Putting a stranger in charge of your brand’s looks is a big step. And so, it must be done the right way. There are numerous ways to go about outsourcing graphic designs. But before you do anything, read our article and find out how to outsource graphic design right.

The importance of graphic design

The looks of your company hold power to transform it into an established brand. When professionally done, your graphic design can increase visibility, create a unique identity for your brand, and show people you’re legit.

Effective and striking visual communication pushes traffic towards your brand. Whether you’re a startup in need of graphic design or an established brand, we all want more traffic.

Graphic design has become readily available; a simple Google search will get you thousands of designs. With that accessibility, the competition is growing as well. Everyone is bringing their A-game, so it matters that you do, too.

The role of a graphic designer

A graphic designer is responsible for all visual communication. That includes the obvious things, such as website design and business cards. But let’s not forget about the less obvious things, such as signposts and prototypes.

The role of a graphic designer usually depends on their specialization and their employer. The workday of a freelance graphic designer specializing in UI/UX design will look completely different from a designer at a design agency.

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What is a freelance designer?

Let’s first establish an answer to the question: What is a freelance designer? A freelance designer is an independent graphic designer that is self-employed. They are responsible for every aspect of their own business and therefore need more than only design skills.

As a freelance graphic designer, you work with clients to create visual designs for them according to their design needs. You bring their ideas to life by using various tools, creating a design as specified in their brief.

What does a freelance graphic designer charge?

Now that you know how much responsibility a freelance graphic designer takes on, you may wonder: What does a freelance graphic designer charge?

A freelance designer’s hourly rates vary from $25 to $150. That’s an extensive range, but hourly rates can vary a lot depending on experience, qualifications, and specialization.

Graphic designer working for an agency

A graphic designer working with an agency usually specializes in one or more types of design. The expectations of a designer working at an agency begin and end solely with the process of designing.

One of the major differences is that a graphic designer at an agency might have more access to various tools as well as co-workers with various specializations.

Whereas a freelancer sets his own hourly or project rate, a graphic designer working for an agency usually gets a monthly salary.

What is a design agency?

A design agency is an organization that focuses on providing clients with high-quality design. They usually have a range of graphic designers employed, specializing in different types of design. This means they are versatile in delivering various design needs.

What does a design agency cost?

A design agency is a premium service with an equally premium price. A single project could set you back a couple of thousands of dollars. Depending on how big your project is or whether you need special tools or a fast turnaround, prices increase.

Why you should outsource graphic design services

So, you’re ready to revamp your brand with some fantastic graphic design. Why shouldn’t you just do things in-house? There are a few reasons why outsourcing your graphic design services is the way to go. Let’s take a look.

Benefits of outsourcing


Speed up your workflow

Instead of having one in-house designer take on a single project, outsourcing design means you can have multiple designers work on various projects simultaneously. Look at you, killing two birds with one stone.


Increasing your company’s headcount not only comes with high costs, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities. It’s cost-effective to hire a graphic designer. In fact, outsourcing design is one of the most affordable ways to get your design needs done.

Break free from habits

When you hire a graphic designer, they can help you think outside of the box. As a business owner, you are fully immersed in your brand, and outsiders' perspectives can lead to even better design.

Focus on the bigger thingsWhen you have a freelance graphic designer work on your design needs, you can focus on other aspects of your business that need attention. Additionally, you can outsource mundane design tasks, and your own designer can then focus on the bigger projects.

Quality design

An established graphic designer has the experience and the tools to guarantee good design. Instead of taking a swing at things yourself with a free program, chances are the quality of outsourced graphic design services is much higher.

Things to consider

Outsourcing your design needs can be a great choice and help you scale up fast. Sounds like something you would want to get to straight away, right? But before delving into the outsourcing traject, there are a few things you should consider.


Money makes the world go round. Before you hire a graphic designer, you must specify your budget. How much will it cost to get the work you need done? And more importantly, can you afford it?

Communication preferences

How often would you like your designer to check in with you? Also, should your designer work in-office or remotely? Remember that hiring freelancers from a global pool may come with time zone differences. Setting ground rules regarding communication in advance will save you a lot of hassle and sleepless nights.


In the long run, outsourcing your design will save time. However, especially in the initial onboarding phase, it will cost time. Scheduling interviews, getting on the same page regarding your design brief and going over draft versions, providing your feedback etc. With this in mind, it is essential to consider who will manage the project.

How to outsource graphic design

By now, you’re almost an outsourcing pro. You know the importance of graphic design, the benefits that come with outsourcing, and you’ve got your checklist with considerations. Time to take it to the next step; let’s lay out the outsourcing options.

When it comes to outsourcing graphic design, there are different possibilities. So which one should you choose? Your budget and your design needs are most likely the deciding factors.

Hire a freelance graphic designer

One of the options to outsource your graphic design needs is hiring a freelancer. Most freelance design jobs consist of one-off projects. If you have one of those, hiring a freelancer may be the right choice for you.

Platforms to post your freelance graphic design jobs are popping up left, right, and center. They allow designers to find freelance graphic design work and cater to companies looking for a freelancer.

However, there are some cons. The whole process of finding a good freelancer and discussing your needs could take weeks. On top of that, there’s always the risk they are not who they say they are and don’t know the first thing about basic design.

Hire a design agency

Another option is to hire a design agency. A freelancer may lack experience and professionality, but an agency definitely ticks those boxes.

Design agencies keep up with the latest trends and have specialized designers using high-end tools. Unfortunately, that comes with a hefty price tag.

Apart from digging deep into your company’s pocket, another con is that agencies aren’t exactly known for their personal touch. Your project will most likely end at the bottom of a big pile of other clients.

Hire unlimited design for a flat rate

Didn’t see any option stand out yet? Then you might like the third one. Did you know that it’s possible to get unlimited graphic design for a flat monthly fee?

A subscription-based graphic design service might be exactly what your company needs. It’s a model that will help you get graphic design services on an ongoing basis instead of project by project.

It’s like Netflix for your graphic design needs, but you’re the director.


At ManyPixels, we believe good graphic design should be more accessible. And so we developed a variety of plans, depending on your design needs. Each of them includes unlimited design requests for a flat monthly fee.

Our plans let you easily communicate with your designers through our user-friendly platform. You can cancel anytime or switch plans according to your fluctuating design needs.

A reliable and hassle-free design service with affordable rates may just be what your company needs.

Simone is a writer, dividing her time between native Netherlands and 'home away from home' Malawi. Whenever not stringing words together, she's either on her yoga mat or exploring any off the beaten track she can find.

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