In the modern age of online marketing, looks are half of everything and functionality is everything else. This applies to mobile apps, more modern web apps, logos, brochures and any other aspect of online marketing.
At the startup of any such online publicity project one question always arises– Do you we hire a graphic designer to be a full time member of the team or would it be equally effective to outsource the project to a freelancer and continue to do so in the future?
The Economy of Outsourcing
Graphic design is such a great job to have outsourced. First of all, hiring a local graphic designer in a western country (UK, US , Canada or Australia) tends to come with a prohibitive price tag. Additionally there seems to be a plethora of highly talented designers operating out of other countries, including India, Brazil or Eastern Europe.
Now having a smaller task like the design of a logo or a website may be fairly easy to outsource– the graphic designers you will outsource to, are usually quite proficient in the design area of their work- when considering your options for the production of a web or mobile app, it is a completely different story.
From the startup of the creation and maintenance of a web app or mobile app there is the constant need to update and develop the work, this is when the service of a reliable in-house graphic designer will be much more effective to your purpose.
Additionally, imagine the task in question calls for the design and production of physically printed material, e.g. brochures, banners, posters, business cards etc. An outsourced designer may provide a very impressive design but when it comes time to produce the printed material, you may have to have the design rebuilt from the file to be compatible with the local print shop.
This brings us back to the need to hire a local graphic designer, however start ups — who need the skills of a qualified graphic designer– may find it hard to retain the services of high caliber designers as their fees are not only exorbitantly high but they are often too busy or unwilling to commit to a start up.
Taking Advantage of the Situation
When faced with the decision to outsource work or have the task done at home, it is vital to remember that you have many options at hand and can use various means to have your purposes addressed.
When working with top level local designers you can expect them to complete exemplary work in little time. Do the groundwork as much as you can and present them with requirements in clearly defined chunks.
Plan to have work done regularly, like once or twice a month, this will help you keep regularly updated on your design features and will keep your designer on topic as well. The longer you wait in between update sessions the more work it will be for the designer.
Another option is to post projects online and offer tasks to student designers who will often be happy to improve their portfolio, at a reduced price.
As mentioned before, freelancers can save you a bundle on projects that don’t get too technical. A simple logo from a US based graphic designer can cost you upwards of $500, and that’s not even getting into the really expensive figures.
You could get the same done from a talented designer based out of the Czech Republic and it will only cost you $20. Having said this there are a major caveat to having work outsourced and it has to do with file type. Properly constructed files must have certain specifications so that their information can be transferred and produced with no loss of quality.
This has to do with the way the information is stored and processed. Vector files keep a binary information code of 1s and 0s while bitmap imagery records a sequence of colored dots. Making sure your graphic designer on the other side of the globe understands this important concept will save you time and frustration.