How To Find a Low-Cost Graphic Designer

Discover three strategies you can adopt for producing quality graphic design at an affordable price.

Graphic Design
Graphic Design

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If you need to hire a designer for your branding and marketing needs, but are on a budget, here are some strategies to help you find the right professional without exceeding your planned costs.

Hiring great designers with a wide range of skills and a rich designer portfolio can be a hard task if your budget is thin. Depending on the types of design and years of experience, hiring a graphic designer can cost you from a few hundred dollars for a temporary project, all the way up to more than 60 thousand dollars yearly for a med-level or senior designer.

On the other hand, branding or web design projects, for example, can cost you a couple of thousands if you are looking for a quality project designed by an agency or studio.

So, the easiest way to find a designer that is affordable, but also dedicated and skilled, is to find a freelancer. At least that is what your first instinct would be.

In this article, we’re going to offer the pros and cons of freelance professional designers, as well as other graphic design services that can help you create amazing designs for a reasonable price.


Freelance graphic designers

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Freelancers are undoubtedly the most commonly hired professionals in spheres like web design, development, marketing, etc. Graphic design is no exception. You can hire a freelancer to do virtually anything related to graphic design, from logo design, branding and business cards, to colorizing old family photos.

The best and most experienced graphic designers on freelance platforms will have an hourly rate bigger than 50 dollars, and that is not exactly affordable. However, there are newcomers on the market each day, and if you’re open to the idea of hiring a newbie, or perhaps an experienced design that only now joins an outsourcing company, you can find a designer for a moderate or low fee.

You can find freelance graphic designers on some of the most popular platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr, but also on specialized design platforms like Behance, Dribbble and 99Designs. Usually, the more popular a platform is among freelancers, the harder it is to reach out to a cheaper designer. So, perhaps you would have more success searching for some of these alternatives that usually don’t make the top 5 of search engines when you look for other choices.

However, keep in mind that freelancers usually have multiple gigs they are working on and can be hard to communicate with. Time management, as well as revisions, can be a problem. Additionally, sometimes the gap in terminology and knowledge of design can be an issue, as well as different time zones that limit your overlapping time and burdening your communication further.

Still, if you find a freelancer that you like and deliver good products in the planned time frame, you will see the perks of having a designated professional without covering the extra costs of employing them full-time.

Unlimited graphic design service

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Unlimited graphic design service will get you not just an affordable designer, but a whole team of them, each specializing in their own field.

Basically, for a flat monthly rate, you can get as many design works as you need, and an unlimited number of revisions until you perfect your design idea.

The most tangible benefit of using a subscription-based service is definitely the price. It goes without saying that you’ll really get your money’s worth if you make several design requests every month. But a monthly fee that ranges from $300 to $800 is usually a fraction of the cost you’d pay a design agency and sometimes what you’d pay a qualified freelancer for a single, more complex project.

At the same time, one of the biggest benefits of using this kind of service is that you get the best designer for the job assigned to you. If you need branding and logo, you get a branding specialist with great knowledge of market research, characters of different typography and knowledge in color scheme creation.

You need a web design: there is someone for that too; someone that knows UX, UI, market trends and intuitive design. Anything from custom illustrations to social media posts and print design can be done with the help of a specialist.

A third and very relevant factor is that services like these have internal management and quality control. No matter how many times you ask for a revision, a quality control specialist will make sure that the design you receive lives up to the standards and your requirements. Assuming you aren’t an expert, you probably don’t want to spend hours researching design tips and trends. Someone can do that for you in a service like this.

And, not to be forgotten, is the fast turnaround time. Depending on the complexity of your project, you can have it delivered as soon as one business day after you posted a request. Branding guides, animations and web design usually take longer, but a simple task like a social media post can be delivered back to you the same day.

The only logical con in this section is that unlimited graphic design is based on a subscription, and if you need a one-time designer for a temporary project, it might be cheaper to simply find a freelancer for one task. However, if you need design done on a regular basis, you should give it a try.

In-house contractor

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A third approach you might consider is to hire a freelancer with a contractor deal, to work part-time or full-time for your business. Whether they work exclusively for you, or juggle more projects, the good thing about having a contractor is that you can expect a certain number of hours in their workday dedicated only to your projects.

At the same time, a big benefit is that they will know your company, brand and style, so it’s much better than working with a different freelancer every now and then.

You would also have more control over the quality control and revisions, as they would work closely with you and you can communicate regularly with them.

However, a contractor that is dedicated to your brand in the long run, can cost you more than a freelancer or unlimited graphic design service. But, less than a full-time employee.

Which one should you choose?

The deciding factor, apart from the budget itself, should be the length and scope of the design projects you need to complete.

If you have a one-time task, definitely opt for a freelancer. There are plenty of talented professionals working for an affordable hourly rate that can help you.

If you need a designer for a longer period of time and a myriad of different tasks and styles, unlimited design service is the best option for you. You will have a designated designer for any type of task you might need, and the rate is flat. You cannot be charged more or less based on how many requests you make or how many revisions you need.

Finally, a contractor is best if you only need one type of design often. They can learn the ins and outs of your brand and work with you, but at the same time they can specialize only in a limited number of design styles and types.

Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.

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