Should you hire a freelance designer or a branding agency?
Often, before a customer knows anything about your business, they know your logo. It’s the first impression of the business world, and you want it to be perfect so people are drawn to your brand and want to learn more.
Think of the most iconic logos — Target, McDonald’s, WalMart — while they’re a small symbol, they represent the brand’s name and are easily identifiable by customers. When it comes to designing your company’s logo, you have options!
Hiring a freelance designer or a branding agency are great ways to bring your logo dreams to life, and depending on your needs, one might be better suited for you than the other.
After all, branding your business isn’t just about a logo — it’s about the entire customer perception of your brand! The colors, fonts, layouts, and more that you choose to visually represent your company have an impact on your customers, and you want to make sure your brand is represented exactly how you want it to be.
So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a brand agency or a freelance designer. But first, here are some key factors to keep in mind when researching your options!
How much do you have to spend on your logo?
If you’re a small business or just starting out, you probably don’t have a ton of money to drop on the designing of your logo. However, your company’s logo will stick with you for years to come, so make sure to put aside who you think is a sufficient amount to spend. You want a logo you’re proud of!
If you’re a larger company, you probably have a good amount of money to spend on a logo. This gives you much more freedom in your decision of who to hire, so make sure you’re doing proper research and that money is going to a good place!
You can find a crazy cheap logo for as little as $5 on Fiverr, you can hire a freelancer at varying rates, an average being around $100-$200 an hour, you can hire a small agency at varying rates, an average being around a few thousand dollars, or you can hire a very established branding agency which could be up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How quickly do you need the project done?
Large agencies can spend months creating your perfect logo. A freelance designer might be able to get your logo to you in as little as 24 hours. It’s important to ask how long the project will take before hiring anyone so you know you’re getting the logo when you need it!
How flexible are you with your established timeline and the designer’s availability?
Branding agencies generally operate in normal business hours, 9-5. This can be a challenge if those hours are inconvenient for you to communicate with your designer. On the other hand, a freelance designer works for themself, so they could be working on your project at any time. They often work at odd times and are generally much easier to reach if you ever need anything after normal business hours!
However, because a freelancer works by themself, external factors might prevent them from finishing your project on time. They could get sick, have a family emergency, go on a vacation, etc. While you shouldn’t ever expect this to happen, it’s a possibility you can’t totally avoid. After all, they’re only human! At an agency, if problems arise with your logo or with your designer, they have more resources and more people on staff to come up with solutions to make sure the project never goes off track.
Experience and Quality
Do you need a designer with a specialty in one area? Do you want someone with a specific amount of experience?
It’s often said that you get what you pay for, which can definitely be true when hiring a designer. When hiring a branding agency, you get an established reputation that comes with their company. You know that you’re getting what you pay for! A large agency also has a big team of people, so they are bound to have someone who specializes in the type of logo you want.
While a freelancer might not have the same experience as someone working for a branding agency, this is not always the case. Sometimes, freelance designers have previously worked at major agencies and decided to leave to work on their own schedule. You might be getting the exact same quality for so much less! It is important to ask a freelancer about their past work before hiring them. See who they’ve worked for, and take a look at their portfolio. Freelancers also often have expertise in one area, so you can hire someone who is perfectly fit to accomplish exactly what you need!
Once you get your logo, do you need anything else? What other services could benefit your business?
Branding agencies can take it to the next level, spending time to get to know you, your brand, your audience, and your goals. Agencies often go a step further in helping you brand your company by forming a partnership.
A freelance designer might be able to create your perfect logo, but there are so many next steps to establishing your brand after deciding on a logo. With a branding agency, there are often add-on services you can buy to further expand your brand and your online presence.
Here at Bloguettes, for example, we offer a Brand Identity Development service. We work with you to create a custom brand identity — including your logo! And after we’ve collaborated to perfect your identity, you can add on to our Web Design service. Together, we create your ideal online presence that works for you! Along with Brand Identity Development, we offer a Brand Strategy service, which is a written analysis of your business aimed at identifying the ways in which you can grow as a company.
Our various other services can help you develop your brand even further, and that kind of help can generally only be offered by an agency.
Now that you’ve thought your needs through and considered all the options, let’s take a look at some pros and cons for hiring a freelancer or a branding agency. It’s a big decision — you want to make the right one for you!
Hiring a freelance designer
- Dramatically cheaper.
- Could be the same quality as an agency — check out their portfolio and where they have worked before!
- Can potentially work at more convenient hours. If they operate outside of 9-5 hours, that could work better for you!
- Can have better communication and flexibility because they are following no one’s rules but you and their own.
- You can research and choose a specialist in exactly what you want for your brand.
- Often, you get what you pay for, so it might not be as high of quality as you would get with an agency.
- Might not have an established reputation. Ask to see previous work or see if people have reviewed them online.
- Could be more likely to be unreliable — since they are just one person, they could have an emergency that could prevent them from finishing your project on time.
Hiring a branding agency
- You know for sure you’re getting a professional, quality product.
- There is an established reputation behind them that you can trust, and the designers generally have more experience.
- They have a larger pool of designers to choose from and more resources to perfect your logo based on your specific needs.
- Agencies often have an experienced team specializing in different areas that can bring their expertise to your project. With a team, any issues that arise can be solved more quickly.
- May have other services that you can take advantage of to maximize your brand’s potential.
- Dramatically more expensive than a freelancer.
- They usually operate during normal business hours which may be inconvenient for you.
- The designer on your project may have many other projects to work on and might not be as dedicated as a freelancer.
In the end, it all comes down to what you need! The most important takeaway is to do your research when choosing who to hire to design your company’s logo. Evaluate what’s best suited for your brand, use this guide as a good reference, and start researching some agencies and freelancers that might work for you. It may seem overwhelming, but you got this!
Thinking an agency is the best option for your brand? Our Brand Identity Service is perfect for you! We’re here to be on your team and really take your company to the next level. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can work with you!