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Unlimited Design Services vs. Design Agency: Who Takes the Crown?

Unlimited Design Services vs. Design Agency: Who Takes The Crown?

Graphic design
June 3, 2022
9 minutes

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A steady flow of high-quality graphic design is an absolute necessity to boost your brand and amp up conversion. Are you still debating whether a design agency would be your best ally or an unlimited graphic design service? We’ll delve into the details of both so that you can choose wisely!

Reasons to outsource your design needs

Here’s the thing: you can only do so much as a business owner. Unfortunately, you don’t magically get another couple of hours each day once you start running your company, so you need to spend your time and efforts wisely.

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

Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular, which makes sense, considering the benefits.

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Cutting costs

Let’s stay in our lane and choose graphic design as an example here. An in-house designer sets you back $50,034 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 user interface designer most likely won’t be able to help you out with your business card design.

If you hire someone 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.

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.

Find out how and where to outsource your graphic design needs

Download our guide to find a solution that suits your business

Design agency vs. unlimited graphic design

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 can apply graphic design services to more of your assets than you think.

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Design agency

A design firm functions as a workspace for designers, focusing on the appearance of brands, products, and services. Design agencies can take several graphic design services out of your hands, depending on your needs.

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 frequently asked 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 results.
  • 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.
  • Check if they’re listening - A massive part of design is communication, so you want to work with an agency that is listening. Ask critical questions to check on their response time and willingness to help.

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.

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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. Premium service comes at a premium price, after all.

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.

It’s an instant giveaway that this is a desirable solution for anyone needing a steady stream of graphic design. 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.

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. Graphic design is a creative process that comes with certain strings attached.

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

Learn how to get started with our unlimited graphic design service

Download the ManyPixels User Guide — you’ll find all the useful information there

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. Every morning, our Operations team will look at your queue and decide what should be delivered for the day in collaboration with your designer.

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

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’ plans offer a happy medium, ranging from $549 to $1,199 per month. They are affordable without compromising on quality. You’ll find that this is a price range most unlimited design companies fall into.

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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.

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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 graphic design work for you, you need to submit requests containing design briefs. Although most designers are happy to give you creative insight, you roughly need to know what you want.

Designer's Work Tracking Checklist

Learn how to work effectively with designers: from writing a brief to giving feedback and tracking work.

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 will most likely depend 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!

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Guest Writer: Simone Timmers

June 3, 2022

Simone is a Dutch writer, currently living in Malawi. Whenever not stringing words together, or on her yoga mat, she is preferably exploring any off the beaten track she can find.