Hiring an in-house design team is the best solution for building a brand, but it can be a really expensive option. So, you need a middle ground which is outsourcing.
It’s basically delegating all your design tasks to a third party, such as a design agency that specializes in providing such services. This allows you to leverage the expertise, creativity, and resources of external professionals at a more cost-effective rate.
But the troubling question isn’t why you should outsource, but how to outsource graphic design services. Even though it has become quite a popular practice, there’s still a lack of clarity in finding the right outsourcing partner, streamlining communications, and setting expectations.
That’s why we are writing this article to summarize the entire outsourcing process in 9 simple steps. This guide will help you in building a roadmap to successfully outsource graphic design services and achieve desired results.
How to Outsource Graphic Design Services
- Assess Your Requirements
- Know Your Option
- Review Portfolios
- Read Testimonials
- Evaluate Their Workflow
- Check What Tools They Use
- Determine Preferred Communication Channels
- Define Ownership & Usage Rights
- Compare The Prices
Let’s take a more deep dive into how to outsource graphic design services.
1. Assess Your Requirements
Determining your specific design needs is important in choosing the right outsourcing partner. For example, are you looking for a logo, website design, marketing materials, or other specific design tasks? Do your design requirements pertain to a one-time project or an ongoing basis?
If you have a clear understanding of your requirements, you can look for service providers who have the expertise and experience in these specific design tasks. It’ll also enable you to evaluate the portfolios of potential service providers more effectively, ensuring that it aligns with your design requirements.
2. Know Your Option
Graphic design outsourcing can be done in various ways, depending on your specific needs and preferences. For example, there’s freelance outsourcing, where you can hire someone from Upwork or Fiverr; subscription-based outsourcing, where you sign up for an unlimited graphic design service like Digifloat; and even contest-based outsourcing, where you can receive submissions from a community of designers.
Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider before choosing the best outsourcing method. If you have a one-time project like a logo design, you can consider hiring a freelance designer or contest-based outsourcing. But if you have multiple projects that will require long-time commitment, a design agency would be more suitable.
3. Review Portfolios
Once you have made a decision regarding the outsourcing method that suits your needs, the next step is to find a good and reliable agency or freelancer. This is where you’ll have to gauge the portfolios of the designer or the design agency. You can assess the quality and style of their work, the diversity in projects they can handle, and their relevance to your specific design needs.
Needless to say, if a company or designer doesn’t have a portfolio, you should stay away from them. They might tell you that they cannot show you their portfolio since they offer white-label services, but even in this case, you should expect them to provide design samples or examples of their work.
4. Read Testimonials
Reading reviews and client testimonials is a great way to assess the credibility of the freelancer or design agency. If you’re hiring someone through Upwork or Fiverr, you can see the overall rating and reviews on the freelancer’s profile page. Whereas in the case of a design agency, you can look for client testimonials on third-party websites like G2 and Trustpilot.
5. Evaluate Their Workflow
This is a crucial and often overlooked step when it comes to graphic design outsourcing to an agency. You need to understand how the company manages client projects and its overall workflow, ensuring that it aligns with your specific needs and expectations. This usually includes familiarizing yourself with their collaboration methods, the project management tools they employ, their revision process, etc.
A reputable company would have this information mentioned on its website. Or else you can reach out to their sales or support team and ask questions regarding how they’ll handle your projects.
6. Check What Tools They Use
The tools used by your designer should be compatible with your existing design workflow and infrastructure. It’s because different design tools support different file formats, and by having compatible tools, you can achieve seamless integration. This could also help in avoiding technical challenges and the need for complex workarounds.
Furthermore, you’d want to make sure the designer is using the latest and up-to-date design software that allows them to leverage advanced features, functionalities, and design capabilities.
7. Determine Preferred Communication Channels
Most challenges faced during outsourcing are caused due to miscommunication or improper communication. Therefore, we’ll advise you to discuss and establish a preferred communication channel with your freelance designer or a design agency before getting started.
And if, in any case, the company or the freelancer doesn’t offer seamless communication, you should proceed with caution, as it can lead to unnecessary delays and misaligned expectations.
8. Define Ownership & Usage Rights
Although it’s rare, there is a chance that you might face potential legal or intellectual property issues for the projects created during the outsourcing process. To avoid this, you need to define ownership and usage rights before outsourcing design services.
Some design agencies, like us, mention the ownership rights in terms of service, but in the case of freelancers, you can ask for a written agreement specifying the ownership and usage rights.
9. Compare The Prices
Yeah, we have purposefully put this step quite late on the list. We understand that the price is an important factor that will ultimately decide which design agency or freelancer you can hire. But you should come to this step after doing everything that is previously mentioned.
Once you have shortlisted a few good options after doing what we discussed, you can compare their prices to check if it aligns with what they’re offering.
For example, say you come across a freelancer with a good portfolio offering their services at an exceptionally low price, but they aren’t disclosing the ownership rights, or they don’t have a streamlined communication process for submitting requests and sharing feedback; then the price would be inconsequential.
That’s why you should compare and shortlist your options based on multiple factors, like past reviews and their workflow, before making the final decision based on the prices.
Summing Up: How to Outsource Graphic Design Services
Outsourcing graphic design can yield amazing results for your brand. But you need to invest a lot of time and effort in finding the best outsourcing partner as per your business needs. This includes assessing your specific requirements, understanding your options, reviewing portfolios and testimonials, evaluating the company’s workflow, and establishing clear communication channels.
The good news is that our unlimited graphic design services tick all the right boxes. This is a risk-free option that will allow you to delegate your graphic design tasks to professionals. Go here to get more information!
How to Outsource Graphic Design Work Without Losing Quality first appeared on Digifloat