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White-Label Design Services vs. Design Agency

Hiring a graphic design agency is costly. Freelancers are unpredictable. Discover why unlimited design beats both & makes the best graphics design solution!

Get a designer
June 3, 2022
5
min

Table of Contents

Not interested in hiring an in-house designer? Or need some support for your existing team. There are several ways to outsource graphic design. We will compare two popular routes - a graphic design agency and freelance designers - to a modern solution fit for almost any business: unlimited graphic design!

Getting professional design is a no-brainer these days, but finding the right design partner is not quite so straightforward.

Today, we’ll compare two popular design outsourcing options, a visual design agency and unlimited design services.

We’re here to help by answering burning questions, such as “how much do agencies charge for graphic design”. We’ll also compare some of the key aspects of these graphic design services (speed, quality, additional services) to what unlimited design services can offer.

But before we get into it - why outsource design in the first place?

Reasons to outsource your design needs

Here’s the thing: you can only do so much as a business owner. So, you need to spend your time and efforts wisely. 

If there’s one way to do this, it’s outsourcing. Delegating tasks allows your business to take flight, leaving you with enough time to focus on what you do best. 

On the other hand, many creative agencies use outsourcing as a white-label design service, so that they can access specific skills and expand their offer to their own clients.

Here’s a quick rundown of the main benefits of outsourcing.

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Cutting costs

An in-house designer sets you back $53,170 a year on average. And that’s just salary, without taking overhead costs into account. 

Opting for outsourcing, you omit the costs you’ll make during the hiring and onboarding process. Additionally, you often don’t need to purchase specific tools or programs, as most outsourcing options will provide them for you. 

Access to specific skills

Did you know that graphic design is an umbrella term for numerous fields? For example, a packaging designer probably won’t be able to help you with your website design. 

If you hire a full-time designer in-house, you have access to the skills and knowledge of that employee only. However, if you decide to outsource your needs, you can select someone based on your project's specific needs. 

Do you need a logo design, but your in-house team only has capabilities for simple marketing materials? No problem! With different outsourcing options you can find a dedicated design professional for just about any task.

Saving time

Last but not least, outsourcing will save you time. If you outsource your needs to skilled professionals, they will likely finish your project faster than you will. Additionally, you will cut back time on countless revisions.

With the outsourcing options we’re looking at in this article, you also don’t have to worry about long hiring processes and training newcomers.

Hiring a graphic design agency, a freelance designer, or an unlimited graphic design service are all ways to outsource design needs.

Since you may know a lot about the first two options, we’ve decided to compare them to a relatively new form of graphic design outsourcing. Let’s see - what makes the best option?

Unlimited design vs. design agency

Although there are various ways to outsource your design needs, we’ll look at a design agency and unlimited graphic design. These options are most suitable when you have a consistent need for graphic design.

You may think of your design needs as multiple one-off projects, but in reality, they’re not. Having a consistent and coherent look for your brand can work wonders for your success. 

Those social media posts you need, your monthly newsletter, versatile banners on your website. Add all of them up, and you’ll see that you need more graphic design work than you think.

Design agency

A design firm functions as a workspace for designers, focusing on the appearance of brands, products, and services

A graphic design agency is quite a broad term. You're not the only one if you have questions like “what does a design agency focus on?” and “how much do design agencies charge?” floating through your mind. 

Let’s shed some light on these questions. 

What does a design agency focus on?

First and foremost, they will focus on one or multiple graphic design services. But an agency goes further than purely aesthetics. 

A full service design agency will take every marketing aspect out of your hands, from strategic planning to analytics to public relations. 

Graphic design agencies consist of a group of people, each working in their respective fields. This allows clients access to a whole team with a variety of skills. 

Here are some tips to make sure you pick an agency that fits your needs:

  • Match their skills to your projects - A design agency that can create stunning websites but has no experience designing product packaging is an obvious mismatch if you need packaging. 
  • Ask for track records - From case studies to reviews from former clients, make sure the agency you’re interested in has a proven track record of delivering quality designs.
  • Focus on long-term - If you need consistent design, ensure the graphic design agency is long-term relationship material. You can do this by asking about their longest-standing collaborations.

How much do design agencies charge?

An average graphic design agency consists of a whole team of employees. They can take a big chunk of your marketing out of your hands because, in addition to designers, they also have project managers and copywriters working for them. Naturally, this comes at a price

A single project done by a design agency will most likely come with a 3-figure price tag. They typically have hourly rates of around $50 for junior designers and between $75 and $150 for senior designers. As a rule of thumb, big design firms are on the more expensive end of the range.

Since most agencies price their services on a per-project basis, you will only really get a ballpark by asking an agency for a quote. 

Pros and cons

Joining forces with a design agency is a great way to work with professionals and access their variety of skills. This all-in-one solution saves you a lot of time since it can even take care of the tasks accompanying a design, such as copywriting. 

We are the first to admit that good graphic design comes at a cost. But a graphic design agency is definitely the most costly option out there

Especially if you’re running a small business, working with a design agency isn’t a financially viable option. 

Unlimited graphic design services

There is another option to outsource if you need graphic design regularly. This increasingly popular way of meeting your design needs is called an unlimited graphic design service.  

Like a design agency, you can request different graphic design projects and have different skilled designers work on them. The big difference is that unlimited graphic design services often work on a subscription base. There is no issue of costs racking up; you can submit unlimited requests for a flat monthly fee

You get all the perks of a design agency, such as a vast portfolio, a large design team, and project managers that oversee the design process. But without the gigantic price tag attached to it. 

Many marketing agencies also use it as a white-lable graphic design service to expand their offer and decrease their turnaround time. 

What does unlimited really mean?

Graphic designers are humans, not robots. Having a complete rebranding done with all the trimmings in one day is not realistic. 

Since we know ourselves best, we’ll give you an idea of what unlimited really means here at ManyPixels

If you pick any of our plans, you can submit unlimited design requests. These will automatically go into your queue. You can prioritize tasks in your queue with our simple drag-and-drop interface. 

You can expect an update every working day, also known as our daily output. This daily output differs per project. However, here’s a rough estimate of what you can expect to receive on a daily basis:

  • 2-3 social media graphics
  • or 1-2 custom illustrations (more if they are not too complex)
  • or 2-3 display ads
  • or 4-5 pages of a brochure, e-book, report, or slide deck
  • or 1 GIF draft (2-3 sec)
  • or 1-2 flyers
  • or 1 logo draft
  • or the first draft of a landing page

If you opt for our top-tier subscription plan called Dedicated Designer, you’ll have one of our designers working almost exclusively for you. They will also be available in real time via Slack.

What are the costs of unlimited graphic design? 

As mentioned before, an unlimited graphic design service is often subscription-based. Therefore, it’s financially much more predictable. Contrary to most design agencies, you’ll know the costs upfront. 

The budget companies offering unlimited design start as cheap as $150 per month. Bear in mind that these services usually work with inexperienced graphic designers to keep their costs as low as possible. This often means the output needs multiple revisions. 

Then there are the high-end companies, with plans going well into the five figures. These guys often work with the biggest names in the league. 

ManyPixels offer a happy medium, ranging from $549 to $1,199 per month. You’ll find that this is a price range most of the top unlimited design companies fall into.

Pros and cons

We’ve already touched base on each of the pros: this is an affordable solution with a flat monthly fee. You can submit unlimited requests, and as with an agency, you have a team of skilled professionals at the end of your fingertips

However, an unlimited graphic design service may not be for you if you only have a one-off project. You’ll most likely be better off hiring a freelancer. 

Additionally, if you are unsure about what you want, you may need a different outsourcing option. 

To make unlimited design work as white-label graphic design service, you need to submit detailed design briefs. Although most designers are happy to give you creative insight, you roughly need to know what you want, and what you need the designs for. 

It’s your choice

Do you need consistent, high-quality graphic design? If the answer is yes, you’ll benefit from outsourcing your design needs to one of the options above. Outsourcing saves you time to do what you do best and leaves the rest up to professionals. 

Your choice between unlimited design vs agency depends on your needs and your budget. Do you have a large marketing budget and need an all-in-one solution for your brand? Then, by all means, pick a design agency that fits your needs. 

But an unlimited graphic design service may take the upper hand here. You get most of the perks a design agency offers for a significantly lower price

If you’re ready to scale up your creative content output with unlimited graphic design, give us a call

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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