When your design ambitions outgrow freelancer capabilities, it’s time to bring in some extra creative clout to push your business forward; you need the benefits of working with a design consultancy.
One of the biggest decisions to make is whether you’re going to join forces with a freelance designer or enlist the help of a design consultancy. While there is a huge temptation to go with the cheapest option – which is very often a freelance designer – there are unique advantages to having an entire design consultancy in your arsenal. Here are a few ways that a design consultancy can offer you more for your money.
More people = more ideas
You’ve probably heard of the infinite monkey theorem – if you had limitless monkeys bashing away at typewriters, you’d eventually get the complete works of Shakespeare. While most design agencies are slightly less like a zoo, they do have the advantage of bringing together numerous designing minds in a hive of creativity.
A single freelancer can come up with great ideas, but having a whole team of people developing your brochures, images, logos and digital work can generate something truly brilliant.
Access to the latest technology
Ask any aspiring freelance designer… the initial setup costs can be rather painful, and it’s far from cheap to keep up to date with the latest software and equipment. This is a crucial part of being a professional designer – you don’t want the printers calling to say that they won’t be able to print those menus that you need tomorrow because they’ve been sent over in an outdated file format! A design consultancy has more to spend on equipment and software, so tend to stay ahead of the curve.
Design consultancies often have other hardware that can make working on projects easier, such as large format printers for proofing, servers, raids and cloud backup to make sure all your project files are safe.
This sort of kit also comes at a cost – but it’s important for larger projects – you need to know your files are secure – not simply stored on a laptop.
If you are looking for a new agency, you might like to consider a different form of relationship with them. Check out our new Design Subscription options, tailored to the needs of professionals looking for quick turn-around, high volume and no-nonsense design.
Even the best designers are only human. They have lives, they get ill, they go on holiday… and they don’t have anyone to cover for them. One of the advantages of using a design consultancy is that an unexpected illness or absence doesn’t mean that your projects will come to a grinding halt.
Similarly, there is something reassuring about employing a company with a bricks-and-mortar office. Their reputation means that they’re very unlikely to disappear overnight, and if you have a problem, you know where they are.
More than just designers
A great design consultancy can do more than just help you create your next brochure. They can advise you on everything from printing and distribution to digital marketing strategy and social media. And if this isn’t their first project with you, you’ll be able to skip the ‘getting to know you’ portion of development and get straight to work! It can be a life saver to have a range of different services available to you in one place.
I’m a content editor at Toast. Content is king and I am its most humble advisor. I help clients to find the right words for what they want to say, as well as copywriting, proofreading and editing. My naturally nosey demeanour means that I also help out in other bits of the business, and will go and get milk as long as it isn’t raining.