You want to hire a designer or an agency for an upcoming project. Sounds easy enough, right? Just like any other vendor you work with, you need to be sure that the individual or firm you select is qualified to complete your project. This series of blog posts will help you find the designer or agency that is the perfect fit for your project.
With many marketing budgets being slashed, cost is often the first consideration when looking at design consultants. Since freelancers do not carry the overhead that agencies do, they can typically charge less. However, because a freelancer is only one person, there is a limit to the amount of work they can take on. An agency will often have multiple designers on staff and can take on more projects at one time. Think Tank Creative, and other start-up agencies, are often hybrids of the two — since Think Tank Creative does not have a designated “office” space, we have low-overhead and pass the savings on to our clients; and since we maintain relationships with other freelance designers in the area, we can bring on other designers to support our workload when necessary.
Each agency and individual has their own formula for calculating budgets. The type of project (print vs. web, flyer vs. catalog), the lifespan of the piece, and the man-hours involved in developing the piece all factor into the cost of the piece. Some designers will work on an hourly basis, while others prefer to work on a per-piece basis. If working with a designer on an hourly basis, consider asking for a cap on the number of hours as a form of insurance that your project will not go over budget.
It is important to remember that the lowest cost designer or agency may not be the best choice. They may lack the proper software, technical skills, and relationships necessary to properly execute your projects. In our next post, we’ll explain what software your designer should be using to complete your project. Check back next week, or click here to sign up to receive our blog posts in your inbox!