Three Affordable Ways to Outsource Graphic Design Services
Outsourcing graphic design services can help you cut costs. But where can you find quality designers, and how much will you pay? You’re about to find out!
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Is hiring a graphic designer the only way to get quality design at an affordable price? Definitely not! Why outsource instead of hiring? How much for graphic design services should you pay? Where to find the right people to outsource graphic design services? We’re here to answer your burning questions!
Why outsource graphics design services?
Design is an integral part of any business and marketing strategy. Just think of it: your logo, website, any piece of marketing material - they all must be designed. People also process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. So, graphic design is integral in building a powerful first impression with your clients.
It makes sense, then, that every business would want to have a full-time employee on the job, someone who knows the ins and outs of your brand. Why is it then that outsourcing graphic design services has been on the rise for several years now?
Here are a few reasons:
According to Deloitte’s 2021 Outsourcing Survey, the number one reason to outsource is cost reduction, with 88% of the respondents claiming so.
When it comes to design, it’s pretty easy to see how much money outsourcing can save you. Just consider how much for design services you need to pay. Let’s compare:
- Full-time employee: average monthly salary $4,000
- Freelancer: average hourly rate $25; monthly average $1,000
- Unlimited graphic design services: around $500 monthly
But it’s not just the cost of work. Hiring full-time employees includes admin and overhead costs that you can avoid with outsourcing.
Many business owners are misguided by the assumption that outsourcing is only ever a short-term solution. Wasting hours going through freelance designer applications is off-putting and, naturally, raises some concern about the cost of time.
As we’ll discuss later, there is a way to avoid this issue. Keep reading to find out how you can make a long-term commitment to outsourcing graphics design services and still pay a lot less than you would hiring someone full-time.
Access to specific skills
Believe it or not, the question of graphic design cost should never be the first one you dive into. Instead, you first need to understand what you need and what you’re willing to pay for.
Graphic design is a vast field, and there are several hugely different types of design, such as:
- branding design
- advertising design
- publication design
- web design
- UI/UX design
- application design
- and more.
No single designer can be proficient in all of these. When hiring in-house, you’ll probably look for someone with a diverse skillset who can handle most of your day-to-day needs. But, we guarantee there will come a time when you need something out of the ordinary.
This is where outsourcing can become a huge benefit. With the variety of affordable design outsourcing options, you’ll be able to find the person whose skills, previous experience, and even personal style fit the project ideally. It doesn’t just mean work gets done faster. You’ll also get much better results, which align with your vision to a tee.
Traditionally, this has been why people sought the help of a graphic design agency. For example, they’d want to launch a complex and expensive campaign, and agencies helped them devise, develop and implement different marketing tactics and ad materials.
Nowadays, there are definitely less expensive and equally creative routes than traditional agencies, as we’ll discuss below.
So, outsourcing can save money and provide better results. What else is there? Time!
Although it may sound counterintuitive, outsourcing design can be a superb time-saving tactic. Sure, it can be somewhat time-consuming initially. There are thousands of graphic artists online, and even looking for one can be daunting at first.
But, if you’re lucky enough to find the right fit, you’ll be surprised just how much quicker work gets done. There’s a common misconception about freelancers that they will deliberately work more slowly to accumulate billable hours.
Although this does happen occasionally, these freelancers usually get called out on it pretty quickly and, therefore, struggle to get clients. Quality freelancers, on the other hand, know that the faster they produce good results, the quicker they will be able to get more projects. And there’s always a demand for quality workers.
This is also why many creative agencies outsource graphic design, even when they have their own design team in-house. Outsourcing smaller, day-to-day tasks means they can focus on creative thinking and developing a marketing strategy for their clients. It also means they can offer more to their clients (more variations or different types of work) and charge more for it.
Affordable options to outsource graphic design services
So, outsourcing graphic design saves time, money and provides better results. Time to get practical. Let’s get to know three of the most affordable types of graphics design services:
When they consider outsourcing, most people immediately think of freelancers. There’s a good reason for this. Around 90% of US designers do freelance graphic designer jobs.
When it comes to the variety of choices, nothing beats big platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. You should also always use a reputable freelancing website like this to avoid scammers and ensure you can get a refund in case of disputes or a scam.
So, how to price graphic design services on a platform like this? There are several factors that freelancers take into account when determining their rates:
- Experience: Although experience doesn’t always equal quality, it’s fair to say that someone who’s been in the industry for a long time has earned their bragging rights and a right to charge slightly higher rates.
- Customer satisfaction: Word-of-mouth referrals are a fantastic way to get new gigs, but most people will check client reviews when looking for freelancers. Fiverr even has a tier system that helps freelancers with good reviews and lots of experience get recognized.
- Complexity of the project and duration: Ultimately, freelancers are around for the length of the project. If a particular piece of design will take a long time to complete, freelancers may charge lower hourly rates (think of it as bulk buying). On the other hand, if a project requires extensive research and testing, this may increase the price.
With so many varying factors, it can be difficult to provide a definitive estimate of the cost of graphic design on these platforms. Still, in the interest of information, here are some ballpark figures for graphic designer hourly rates on a few popular platforms:
- Upwork: $15 - $150
- Freelancer: $10-$120
- Fiverr: $10-$150
- Toptal: $70-$150+
Unlike freelancers, this option is still relatively unknown to most clients. Essentially, a design contest means submitting a project request, and then several designers pitch their graphical solutions. You can then choose the winner and pay for it, or, in most cases, if you don't like any of the work, you don't need to pay anything other than admin fees.
You can probably instantly see the significant pull of this outsourcing option: a variety of choices. If you don't have a clear sense of art direction, this is a way to bring different ideas to the drawing board.
The downside is that you may waste without any quality insight or work.
The prices of design contests differ according to the type of project. So here are a few figures to give you a rough idea:
- Logo design: $299
- Website design: $599
- Illustration design: $299
- Banner ad: $169
- Logo design: $295
- Website design: $595
- Illustration and graphics: $225
- Banner design: $195
- Logo design: $249
- Website design: $549
- Illustration and graphics: $299
- Ad design: $149
- Logo design: $299
- Landing page: $499
- Illustration design: $499
- Banner ad: $299
Unlimited graphic design services
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the big problem with graphic design outsourcing is that few people think of it as a long-term solution. When designers decide how to price graphic design services, you can see that they usually think in terms of hourly rates or one-off projects.
But what if, like most contemporary businesses, you need design daily?
Online graphic design companies are a relatively new type of design provider, also known as unlimited graphic design services. The premise is straightforward: you pay a flat monthly fee for as many design requests as you like.
Of course, unlimited design doesn’t mean that you actually get an infinite number of design projects (you’re still working with people, not robots). But, most services provide an estimated daily output, so you can more or less calculate how many projects you can get done in a month.
Most of these services charge between $300 and $900 per month. So for the price of a few projects with a freelancer (or a single bigger project like branding design or a website), you get daily or weekly graphic designs.
The math is pretty simple when you think of it, and unlimited design is the most affordable graphic design solution. However, while it's easily more affordable than hiring a freelancer for a complex one-off project like a logo or website design if you only need a single small project, a monthly subscription is probably not worth it.
But then again, who has ever needed just a single piece of design?
Moreover, this type of service also includes all the benefits of outsourcing, such as:
- Flexibility: Most of these services (including ours at ManyPixels) allow you to cancel or modify your subscription at any time without any additional admin costs.
- Variety: You get access to a team of designers (we have around 50 of them) with diverse skills and styles, so you can find a professional for any type of design.
- Professionalism: Like renowned freelancing platforms, most design services have a vetting system to ensure that designers can produce high-quality work.
- Fast turnaround: These services serve dozens, if not hundreds of clients daily, so they usually have a pretty stellar organization. If a designer is ill or on holiday, there’s always someone to take over. At ManyPixels, we complete most smaller projects in just 1-2 business days!
Do you want to save money on graphics? Do you need lots of designs? Do you want to have more time to focus on your work instead of looking for designers?
If the answers to these are yes, you definitely should try unlimited design services. There are many excellent ones out there, but we believe a few reasons make ManyPixels stand out.
If you want to know what we can do for your business, make sure to check out our scope of service and our work page. However, if you’d like a more personalized overview, book a free 1:1 demo with one of our representatives. It’s just a commitment-free chat on how we can help your business outsource design and thrive!
Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.