Small business owners will agree that graphic design is last on the budget when starting a company. But to be visible and attract customers, good design and marketing are inevitable. Here is how to create great design for a small price.
Whether you need to sell your products or services online, step up your social media game, or create a memorable brand with professional design, there are ways not to break the bank, but still have a brand that looks high-quality, trendy and most importantly, recognizable.
As a marketer and employee at a graphic design firm, I have come across many cool websites, marketing tools, services and resources that taught me how to make design quickly and, well, good-looking.
In this article, I’ll share with you the ones that saved me many, many times when it comes to graphic design, landing pages and web design.
Affordable brand identity design
Brand identity is incredibly important in making a first impression. Audiences expect a defined, consistent and relevant look tied to a strong brand. Logo design, colors, typography, elements, alternative logos, backgrounds and photography and illustration use are only some of the rules you need to decide on when designing your brand.
Branding consultancies and design agencies can be pretty expensive, albeit thorough and creative. But there are ways to get branding design without breaking the bank.
Unlimited graphic design
Unlimited or on-demand design services are monthly or yearly subscription-based platforms that can get you as many projects as you want, unlimited revisions, large scope of work and a dedicated designer that matches best to your requirements.
Some unlimited graphic design services are ManyPixels, Penji, Design Pickle, etc. They are very affordable, with prices ranging from 459 to 959 dollars a month, depending on your needs and the number of dedicated designers.
Anything from logo design, branding guidelines, web design, custom illustrations, presentations, social media ads, product packaging, banners, GIFs… All can be done and revised as many times as you need.
See some of ManyPixels’ best design works
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An unlimited design service is perfect because it’s cost-effective and the designated designer is managed and quality-checked by an experienced team leader, and you can expect a fast turnaround time of 1-2 business days based on the complexity of your request.
Some of the works done by ManyPixels
If you don’t need a design service in the long run and would like to have a one-time project or an outsourced designer on a short-term basis, freelancer platforms can be a great place to start looking.
Upwork, Fiverr, Behance and Dribbble are only some of the places where you can find vetted, experienced and talented designers, which work for hourly rates ranging from 20 dollars an hour all the way to more than a 100 (for industry leaders and brand designers).
However, time management and communication can be a bit of a hassle, and there are no unlimited revisions when working with freelancers.
Designers on Behance
Throwing a design competition is a cool solution that saves you money and gives up-and-coming designers recognition. For a certain reward, you can get hundreds of designers creating your brand identity on a platform like 99 Designs, for example. They pay fee money to the platform, and you are in charge of rewarding the winner.
Contests on 99 Designs
Useful builders for small businesses websites
A professional website with a custom domain and web hosting can be very costly for a small business. But instead of a web design and development agency, you can adopt a DIY strategy and create your own website for an affordable price, with a website builder.
Shopify is the perfect destination for an ecommerce website. With dozens of integrations, features and a drag and drop builder, Shopify can help you create an online store and be seen by a global audience.
Its templates are mostly optimized for an ecommerce website, but they also offer great customer support, their own payments platform, payment in plenty of currencies and the ability for a custom domain.
Wix is a more intuitive and easy-to-use drag and drop builder, which, unlike Shopify, isn’t only limited to ecommerce. It has a much richer templates library and is by far the best website builder that supports WordPress business sites.
You can check out our comparison guide on Wix vs Shopify to see which one is better for you.
If you need a landing page rather than a website, Instapage is a perfect solution for you.
Landing pages have a huge impact on your conversion rates and SEO, and ultimately the success of your business. And this is where Instapage is really worth the investment. Instead of hiring a web developer and designer to create each one of these pages, you can easily create dozens of different variations with Instapage. It’s also a very useful tool in a/b testing.
You can choose one of over 200 templates available from Instablock manager, the platform’s page editor. Or you can create a completely custom landing page yourself.
Since the platform operates on a drag and drop model, landing pages and templates are easily customizable. When it comes to ease of use, Instapage is definitely one of the best landing page builders.
If you are only starting your business and cannot dedicate a lot of money to make your marketing and graphic design work, there are plenty of online tools and platforms that can help you create cheap solutions, and teach you how to design on your own.
If you need professional graphic design, still, a vetted and talented team of graphic designers will do much better and help you create anything, from the simplest things like business cards and presentations, all the way to unique and consistent brand identity or website design.
Check out the service and plans at ManyPixels, to discover all the things you can create for only 449 dollars a month.