Freelance or Design Agency?
In life, often there is more than one way of achieving a task. Let’s say you want to make an omelet. You can slice the vegetables or chop them. However, most would prefer their veggies chopped fine in their omelet. Adding them as sliced isn’t “wrong” in any sense but they might not be best suited for the dish.
Similarly, when it comes to designing a brand, you can go about it in several ways. You may choose to hire a freelance web designer or perhaps you may decide that a design agency would be best suited to handle your website design. Since both options provide professional web design services, who you choose depends entirely on the task at hand.
In order to make the best decision, you need to be well informed about what exactly a freelance web designer and a design agency have to offer.
Freelancers are people who are experts in their industry but refuse to be tied to any team or an agency. According to Wikipedia, the exact definition of a freelancer is “a person who is self-employed and not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.” Although some freelancers are represented by a company or an agency temporarily, they mostly choose to provide their skills and expertise as individuals. They can be a valuable asset especially to those who have launched new start-ups or have budget restraints.
A design agency is made of individuals that are experts in their particular niche. For example, a design agency may have someone who is a professional logo designer, someone who is an expert web designer and another individual who might be responsible for social media handling and so on.
Agencies are more about the complete package and they often take responsibility from the beginning: from when you have just launched your start-up, to the future when you aim to expand your brand awareness and recognition to much bigger audiences after achieving some success.
To understand the difference between the two, let’s compare them in more specific terms.
Where To Find Them
When considering hiring a web designer, you might think “I need to find and hire a web designer near me” but you are mistaken. Online marketplaces for freelancers are in abundance on the internet. You can find countless popular online platforms where you can hunt for freelancers such as Taskshift.
In addition, these platforms allow you to browse through their profiles where you can view their qualification, skills, experience and check out sample works that they may have posted. By looking at the portfolio you can immediately get a sense of what quality of work to expect and whether it is the style you desire. You can also read testimonials for verification from their previous clientele.
Designer agencies can be found both by reference and online as well, depending on how
popular the agency is. Although you may not have access to a plethora of designer agencies
online to choose from, they do have their own websites where you are free to take a look at
some of their previous projects. Big names tend to be much easier to find, otherwise, you
can always go by references.
When communicating with a freelancer, most if not all is done remotely, however, since you will be communicating with only one person it’s easier to keep track of tasks you have assigned or final decisions you need to approve of.
If your freelancer is across the world, you may need to take the time difference into account, however, unlike a design agency where the working hours are much like that of an office, the contact hours with a freelancer are much more lenient and flexible. It is up to you and your designer to mutually come up with a time of communication that suits both the best.
Design agencies tend to have offices or headquarters at a designated place. The one you like may not necessarily be close to you. Although communication can be done via phone calls, video calls, or emails there are chances that there will be miscommunication due to the fact you most likely will be required to stay in touch with several people.
A logo designer might need to show you some samples, the social media designer might need you to meet in length about which platforms you prefer promoting your business on, or maybe perhaps your brand and product designer needs a final decision on which packaging design to finalize for your products. This back and forth may cost you additional time and energy when the meetings are required to be in-person.
Costs And Added Expenses
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a freelancer for professional web design services is that they come with all sorts of price tags. Depending on the experience and skills they are offering, you can easily find one that comes with a price that has far fewer digits than what an agency might demand. Keeping your budget limitations in mind, you can conveniently choose which price range for hiring a web designer would be most practical for your needs. Business owners only need to pay freelancers when work has been assigned to them. The salary is solely dependent on the project at hand and once it is over, you no longer have to worry about finding yourself paying any further.
Although you may come to a settlement in case the project runs longer than expected, you still are saved from the added expenses such as health insurance, retirement benefits, bonuses, paid leaves, workers’ compensation, and so on. Since there are no time constraints, both the freelancer and you have the flexibility to adjust working hours as per
Because agencies are able to offer you a wide range of expertise they come with a much higher price tag. Since the fee is not project-based but rather by the hours, it is very difficult to control the expense in case there are any delays. Any additional hours means higher bills and if the project is long-term it can take a serious toll on your budget.
The Final Decision
Now that you are well aware of the characteristics of both, you need to ask yourself some
1. What is my budget?
2. Do I have a limit or can I afford to go excess in case it’s needed?
3. How much does convenience matter to me? How much time can I dedicate to the
4. How flexible is my routine?
The answer to these questions will guide you to which option would be best for your
company or brand: a freelancer, or a design agency.