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DIY Design: Time vs. Cost for Popular Graphic Design Services

Tackling graphic design services yourself? Tread with caution! DIY may not always be the best option out there. Compare time and costs to see for yourself.

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August 31, 2022
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DIY-ing your design is gaining popularity, with more and more foolproof tools available. We get it; as a small business owner you want to save up where you can. But is all that time spent on DIY design worth it? Let’s look at the most popular graphic design services, how long they take to complete and how much they cost.

Whether it’s an old-school business card or a digital animation: hardly any business can get away without the need for graphic design.

Graphic design doesn’t come cheap. With vast amounts of platforms available to take matters into your own hands, no wonder many business owners are trying to save by DIY-ing their design.

Many people don’t realize how much time goes into each graphic design service. Calculate your hourly rate x the hours spent, and you’ll often notice hiring a graphics design company or freelancer is actually cheaper.

Don’t believe us? We’ve listed the most popular graphic design services with an estimated completion timeframe, plus the costs of hiring a pro. Let’s dive in!

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What are graphic design services?

Before delving into terminology, let’s establish an answer to the question, “what are graphic design services?” The term graphic design services can refer to a type of design project, as well as a type of service provider, such as freelance graphic designers, design agencies, and unlimited subscription-based design companies, to name a few.

Graphic design services cover a wide range of visuals created to portray your brand. A logo is a graphic design service, just like a banner ad. Numerous services exist, and with technological developments, the amount will only grow.

You may need a variety of graphic design services, depending on the field you operate in. If you have multiple social channels, a webshop, and a sizable client base, you’ll need much more graphic design than when you’re a freelancer working in construction, for example.

How to price graphic design services

Chances are if you’re reading this, you need graphic design. Which leads to the age-old question: “how to price graphic design services?”

Of course, there are numerous factors at play here. Do you need a simple set of icons or the whole shebang containing a complete branding package? Are you opting for freelance graphic design or hiring a graphic design agency?

As you can see, it’s nearly impossible to come up with exact numbers before knowing all the details that apply to your situation. However, we can work with ballpark figures. Let’s look at a list of graphic design services and their prices.

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  • Logo design – As tiny symbols that need to capture an entire identity, logos may be small in size, but they’re massive in what they need to portray. A good logo often doesn’t come cheap. The average logo costs from $200 to $800.
  • Landing page – If you want to have a landing page created from scratch, be prepared to spend anywhere from $1000 to $1500.
  • Display ad set – Solid ad design can make the difference between skyrocketing conversion rates or skyrocketing bounce rates. Luckily, this graphic design service is rather affordable at around $100.
  • Social media posts – One of the most affordable design services is social media design. Freelance graphic design will set you back about $4 to $20 per post. A graphic design agency charges much more. Remember that you need a steady stream of social posts, so costs can increase quickly.
  • Website design – Getting a custom website made? Be prepared to spend upwards of $3000. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that web design is one of the most popular DIY projects, with many website builders offering easy drag-and-drop tools.
  • Print collateral – DIY-ing print design is a risky move since you need to consider printing. A small slip-up could mean you have unusable material printed. Having your print collateral designed professionally could range anywhere from $10 to $100 and more.
  • Books and ebooks – Depending on the length and complexity of the design, prepare to spend $200 to $2000 on ebooks to longer print publications, respectively.

Time it takes to complete popular graphic design services

Now that you know how much graphic design services cost on average, it’s time to have a look at how long it takes to complete them. This is where things get tricky.

Again, there are numerous factors at play. But this time, they are even wider in variety. Does the person who is designing know a thing or two about good design? Which tools are available? Are the brand assets already established? What purpose does the design serve?

Running a subscription-based design service, all we can do to estimate how long a design takes is look at our own experience. Bear in mind that ManyPixels works with top-notch designers who immerse themselves in graphic design day in and day out. On top of that, our clients create clear design briefs via our platform and upload brand assets. So our own process is usually much quicker than the norm.

The numbers listed below are estimated time frames in the situation where a professional graphic designer does the work, according to a beforehand established brief.

Therefore, depending on your situation, it’s safe to add at least another third on top of the total hours listed.

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  • Logo design – A logo may look like a small and simple graphic at first glance, but a true designer knows how much effort, research, and energy it takes to create a memorable logo that portrays a brand identity. Therefore, you should be aware that it takes a professional designer at least 10 to 20 hours to create a logo.
  • Landing page – Even though a landing page is usually a single page, it must pack a serious design punch to successfully advertise the product or service listed. Creating this clear structure and flow, including testing it, will take a pro anywhere from 15 to 80 hours.
  • Website – Web design is one of the most complex graphic design services, so naturally, it’s also one of the lengthiest projects. The initial design may take a couple of weeks, but after that, it’s time to test and redesign, causing the whole project to take approximately 6 weeks.
  • Display ads – Your audience’s feeds are flooded with ads, so scroll-stopping design is essential when it comes to display ads. A professional designer will take about 1 to 8 hours to create one.
  • Social media graphics – As with display ads, social media graphics need to grab attention instantly. Luckily they are often small, so they only take a designer about 2 to 4 hours to create, depending on the complexity.
  • Presentation – If you’re presenting, complementing visuals can really help bring your message across. It takes a designer about 10 hours to complete a presentation of 15 slides long.
  • Email – Email campaigns or newsletters with graphics have a much higher opening and click-through rate than those without. As long as you have your content ready beforehand, the design will take about 2 to 4 hours.
  • Custom illustration – Custom illustrations can help you go the extra mile and ensure a unique look for your brand. An experienced designer can whip one up in 2 to 4 hours. DIY-ing illustrations are not for the faint-hearted; if you’ve never done anything like it before, it could take days to complete one.

The risks of DIY design

Hiring someone is a big step. You may be scared about costs racking up or hiring someone that has a completely different vision. After all, you know your brand best, right? Still, going down the DIY route of design comes with a lot of risk factors:

1. The design represents you, but not your audience

This is a pitfall many business owners fall into. Your audience should be put first, always. And your audience can have completely different views and opinions than you do. As a business owner, you spent countless hours at the frontline, establishing your company.

A professional designer is capable of taking a step back and offering a refreshing overview. Additionally, they’ll design with the audience in mind first and you as the client after.

2. You lack access to professional tools

A professional designer has a wealth of tools readily available and is proficient at using them. Sure, you could also purchase Adobe Photoshop, but learning the ropes of a tool like that will take a lot of time.

That’s why most DIY designers opt for platforms with foolproof templates. There is nothing wrong with that to start out with, but you’ll soon realize that your design is going to have this generic look similar to others. In order to grow your business and stand out from the crowd, you need unique and custom design, which is best created with professional tools.

3. The design looks amateurish

You can spend a lot of time perfecting your design skills, but you still risk an overall amateurish look. Let’s face it; there is just so much to consider when it comes to good design.

From picking perfect color combinations to formatting it the right way for its intended purpose: graphic design is no walk in the park. No wonder good design doesn’t come cheap!

Overdesigning, using wrong fonts that don’t portray your brand, not keeping up with design trends, slightly altering other people’s designs, crowded designs. We could go on listing the things that are a dead giveaway your design looks amateurish.

4. You lose a lot of hours you could have spent doing something else

Last but not least, consider this: is it really worth your time? As a business owner, you already wear many different hats and juggle countless tasks. Do you want to add more to your plate, or should you spend your precious time doing what you do best and leave the design up to a professional?

Outsource for a flat fee

Don’t think the risks of DIY design are worth it and still need graphic design help? Time to outsource! From diving into the world of freelance graphic design to hiring a graphic design agency, which option should you choose?

If you hate the idea of fluctuating costs every month, but still need a variety of graphic design services, a subscription-based graphic design company is likely your best ally.

One of those companies is ManyPixels, where you can pick from three different plans. Each of them comes with unlimited requests and revisions, so you’re sure of a steady stream of design. The designers at your fingertips are highly skilled professionals ready to tackle your design needs.

Custom graphic design that costs you minimal time for an affordable, flat monthly fee? You got it! See our plans here, or book a demo to see our platform in action.

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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