When deciding whom to hire for design work and branding, there is much more to consider than just the initial cost of the project. It’s time to evaluate the pros and cons of the available options and ultimately what you will get for your money.
Crowdsourcing is essentially putting a project in front of a large online community for them to develop a design and submit their work for a client to review. The client then selects one design from the many presented. The pros to this option are that it is cheap, and can have a fairly quick turnaround. However, many times the quality of work is lower due to rushed jobs, and amateur designers just getting their feet wet in the realm of design. It is also likely that many of the designs have been previously presented to other clients, so the originality factor can be very low and/or the design may already be in use out there.
Crowdsourcing designers won’t take the time to get to know your company or the goals you have set for your brand and marketing efforts. The designs they come up with might look aesthetically pleasing yet have nothing to do with your company or your brand. Also, crowdsourcing, while cheap, can be a compromise for your company as there is no continuance of service or focus on supporting your branding efforts.
Designers who freelance are good at what they do. They are very specialized in their talent and can often crank out great quality work fairly quickly. Many times their overhead is lower than an agency, and they can pass the savings on to their clients.
While this may result in a great design, and is a good option for many companies, there are also several drawbacks. Once you receive the work from the designer, it is then up to you to complete the project management and ensure that the design is implemented in a branding strategy. Another factor is that freelance designers don’t often have as much cross-platform experience as an agency, and cohesion between the initial logo or collateral design and your website or online presence may be harder to achieve, or missing altogether. And it will be up to you to get it done.
Design & Marketing Agencies
With an agency, you not only get a design that works for you, but you have someone to handle the development of your brand and project management. The design is part of an entire plan handed to you, rather than you assembling the pieces on your own. This will usually mean quicker results, with team members offering a wide skill set assuring that things move forward. An agency will get to know your company and develop a solid design with your whole brand in mind, not just a single element. You will have experts at your fingertips that are necessary for solid brand development. The result is a cohesive look and feel with the strength of a cross-platform branding strategy because without that, a pretty design isn’t worth much.
The agency will ensure that this strategy is executed through the proper avenues to get you the highest visibility. Your company will also receive the added benefit of brand maintenance to increase the effectiveness of the designs they have created. An agency might cost more overall, but you will get much more bang for your buck when you end up with a strong brand and more effective marketing possibilities.