How to choose a contractor by budget and tasks? Here’s how freelancers, design studios and branding agencies differ from each other.
They work individually and often do everything at once – they draw logos and corporate identity, make up websites, and do not specialize in one thing. Usually they just follow the customer’s instructions – listen to the wishes and make the design.
Freelancers often have a cheaper design than studios. But there are exceptions – some professional designers with extensive experience ask about the same amount for an order as a studio. Depending on your budget and needs, you can turn to a novice freelancer or a professional.
They know how to use programs and freelance to build a portfolio for themselves. They take a little for work, but only simple tasks are able to perform well.
We are ready for a flexible schedule, however, due to the lack of experience, the deadlines for newcomers vary from order to order.
Usually they work without a formal contract, so submitting financial statements when working with a beginner will not work. If a freelancer does not complete the work on time or if you are not satisfied with the result, you are unlikely to get a refund.
In which case it is suitable: if you need to do clear and simple design work on a small budget.
Budget: 0-5000 rubles.
The easiest way to find newbies is through freelance exchanges. Examples include Illustrators, FL.ru and Weblancer.
there is no guarantee
may be busy
no clear terms and prices
Designer Andrey Nasuto
Designers with extensive experience who decided to work for themselves and switched to freelance. They develop a full-fledged design – a logo, corporate identity or website.
Usually professionals work well in one direction. Therefore, if a designer who specializes in creating characters has lettering, they may not do the job as well as you would like.
In this sense, such freelancers lose to studios where several designers work at once who specialize in different directions.
Many professional freelancers are individual entrepreneurs who work under a contract. These designers have flexible schedules, but they tend to be busy as newbies, because they have more clients, and orders are more difficult. Therefore, the timing of the work will have to be negotiated personally.
Essentially, these designers work like mini-studios. The main difference from the studio is that only one person works on the project, so the result depends on his individual vision, which may not coincide with yours.
In which case it is suitable: if you need to make a high-quality design, but cheaper than in a studio.
Budget: 20,000-30,000 rubles.
designer Yuri Akulin
low price compared to design studios
experience in one specific direction
lack of view from the outside
may be busy
may turn out to be a good designer, but poorly cope with managerial tasks
Full-fledged studios where several professional designers work at once. Their service cost is higher than that of freelancers. The design studio only answers customer questions during business hours, unlike freelancers who can be contacted on Saturday nights.
Depending on the specialization, studios can only deal with design or provide other services – for example, the development of mobile applications or printing printing.
Studios without office
Studios that either do not have an office, or only managers work there, and designers execute orders remotely.
Usually such studios bring together several freelancers and transfer orders to them. Some do not even collaborate with designers all the time, but place orders on freelance exchanges. Due to the studio’s extra charge, the work is more expensive than if you ordered it directly from a freelancer.
The specialization of such a studio can be quite wide if it works with different freelancers – designers, website developers, copywriters.
When is it suitable: if you need to quickly solve several problems at once with a small or medium budget, and there is no time to look for freelancers on the exchanges on your own.
Budget: 10,000-80,000 rubles.
the ability to perform several tasks at once
communication with managers, not with designers
in such a studio there may be an art director who controls the quality
quality like a freelancer, but the price is higher
Studios-advertising agencies or studios-typography
Broad-profile studios that not only design, but also print booklets, packaging and more.
Design in such studios is not necessarily the main activity, so designers with little experience or low qualifications can work there.
Suitable for: projects with an average budget, for which the design itself is not so important as the solution of several turnkey tasks.
Budget: 20,000-100,000 rubles.
the ability to perform several tasks at once
complex of works
design is not the main profile
studio-typography Aedus Design
Profile design studios
They specialize only in design, more often even in certain areas.
Such studios value their name, so they closely monitor the quality of work and the qualifications of designers. Several designers can work on one project at once, so development takes more time than freelancers – from two weeks to six months. Intermediate design options are reviewed by the art director.
The cost of design for specialized studios is higher than for printing studios or studios without an office, but the quality of the product is also better. The more famous the studio, the more its work will cost.
In which case it is suitable: if you need a high-quality design and there is enough time and money to develop it.
Budget: 50,000 – 500,000 rubles.
several designers are working on the product at once
design development can be time-consuming
corporate identity for Heisenbug
They develop not only design, but also marketing strategies. They conduct research, analyze market trends. They can create a product promotion strategy or help with rebranding.
Professional designers and other experts work together in branding agencies – marketers, PR specialists, business analysts, consultants.
As a rule, such agencies do not do design separately, without brand analysis, and their work costs more than the services of design studios.
In which case it is suitable: if you have a large budget and need not only design, but also a full-fledged development and brand promotion strategy.
Budget: from 100,000 rubles.
the ability to develop a marketing strategy
usually only design cannot be ordered
branding agency Plenum
A table to quickly understand who is right for you:
Good luck to you and your projects!
Cover photo: ShutterStock