Hiring Design Staff Or Using An Agency - What’s The Best Option For You?

Running a business can be tough. While taking on lots of clients is rewarding and shows that your business is growing from strength to strength, it can be a struggle for your maxed-out team of workers. The time may come where you have to make the decision to get the support of additional designers to help you keep on top of things. However, should this help come from an agency or should you recruit more designers for your in-house team?

Things To Consider When Deciding Between In-House Or An Agency


Deciding between in-house and agency workers isn’t as simple as weighing up whether a monthly salary works out to be less expensive than paying for agency staff. While it may be cheaper in the long-run to employ someone to work for you, there are other things to consider. Hiring someone to work for you in-house means that you would have to pay for paid holidays, sick leave and pensions– something that would not be the case if you went down the agency route. You also need to consider the cost if the work does dry up, can you afford to keep an employee on the books if you lose clients? An agency can help to reduce the risk by working on a project-by-project basis.


While it may well be more expensive to hire in-house staff, ensuring consistency in your work is also essential. Consistent usually comes from the in-house team that live and breathe your brand. Work that you decide to delegate to an agency will need to be consistent with your brand, which will mean setting clear projects with brand guidelines. Get this wrong, and you will not only have to pay the agency, but you’ll also give your team more to do. Most agencies will spend a great deal of time getting to know your style and brand before a project, however, so there is less chance of a fundamental mistake.


An in-house team may well need specialised equipment to do the job. This is equipment that you as an employer would be required to purchase, so this should also be taken into consideration. An agency will usually have access to the latest equipment they need. While sometimes it will be added to the cost of the project, most of the time an agency will work out cheaper than buying additional licences and equipment.


One of the most important things to consider when deciding between in-house and agency is an experience. Being able to hand-pick your employee is one of the benefits of in-house employment; whoever you take on, you can be sure that their experience matches your requirements and your expectations. You will be able to oversee their development within the company, ensuring that their work is reflective of your own.

At the same time, a company wishing to flourish should look at how outsiders can effectively influence their work- in this case, someone working for an agency with an outside perspective and different skills may well be of more benefit to you.

So, which is best?

At the end of the day, whether you decide to employ permanent design staff or outsource using agencies, ultimately you should go with the choice that is best for you and your business. Weigh up all the options, costs, pros and cons, and the answer will likely be right in front of you.

If you'd like to explore your options working with an agency, don't wait, drop Brand+Code an email today!

Five Groundbreaking Graphic Design Projects Of The Last Decade

  1. The Calendar Puzzle

We take the mundane desk calendar for granted, often complete with dull stock images and a logo from the supplier who gifted it. However, in 2017, Katsumi Tamura took the desk calendar to the next level with his Calendar 2018 Puzzle. As well as being attractive and fun desk accessory it is also useful and inspires your creativity. The users that the ability to create their own designs and forms thanks to its pieces of square, triangle and circle shapes.


  1. Dropbox Redesign

Dropbox has long been used as a useful business tool, and its design showcased this with simplicity and functional design work. In 2017, Dropbox delivered a somewhat controversial redesign. The focus of their design was to celebrate the creative work of their customers although some corporate users found the bold design unprofessional. However, the purpose was to shift the brand message of Dropbox away from the file storage system to a collaborative tool and undoubtedly celebrated design professionals.


  1. Sound Meets Type

A finalist of the 2015 Fast Company’s Innovation By Design awards, Sound Meets Type is a creative typeface, that looks like someone sounds. Combining simplicity with complexity, it is a letterform that is designed to be used in both a technological and artistic context using sounds to create new letterforms.


  1. 2014 Norwegian Passport Designs By Neue Studio

With inspiration from the lakes and mountains of Norway, the covers feature calming colours of red, turquoise and white. These are fun, sharp, stylish and contemporary. Furthermore, they are a long way away from the stony-faced designs that we hand over to the often stony-faced officials.


  1. Réka Baranyi - Souldrops Detergent

When it comes to laundry detergent, you’d think it was hard to stand out when placed on an aisle of similar products all vying for attention. However, Réka Baranyi’s innovative design for Souldrops really does catch the eye. Undoubtedly revolutionary in the industry, the beautiful pastel colours and unusual bottle shapes certainly makes the product unique.

How To Write Your Design Brief

When planning a project, on whatever scale, a design brief allows you to identify the direction, image and core details of it, ensuring that everyone working on it is on the same page. The design brief is one of the most powerful tools for companies. It can influence design decisions and guide a project from its initial conception to its completion.

Having a design brief ensures that there is no miscommunication between client and company. This means that you reduce the risk of unnecessary revisions and complaints that the final product doesn’t match your or your client’s vision.

A successful design brief provides designers with the expectations of the client, as well as budgeting time and money, and underlining the do’s and don’ts attached to the project.

What Should You Include In A Design Brief?

While design briefs come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the project itself, but most briefs follow a particular template to ensure their success.


1. Company profile

Making sure that your designers are very familiar with your client and their brand is important, so include a company profile detailing their company information, mission statement, their competitors and so on. The target audience of the client should also be stressed; this ensures that the design correlates.


2. Project overview and objectives

In this section of your plan, you should provide your designers with a detailed description of the project, ensuring that you meet the client’s needs for the project. Finding out what your client is looking for from you is key, so learning their objectives before putting together your design brief will help you out considerably.

Establishing these goals and objectives before starting your project ensures that you make the most informed decisions for meeting these goals. What you want your project to look like, in terms of dimensions, themes and colour schemes should also be included in the design brief.


3. Budget and schedule

Sticking to a budget and a time schedule can be difficult and particularly where money is concerned, having a budget well and truly established before design starts is key to avoiding any uncomfortable situations further down the line. Discuss whether you’re going to be regularly checking in with your client as the project progresses or whether they want to receive your work at completion. Every client is different and has different preferences; find out what your clients are and stick to it.

While a design brief may well seem like hard work, ensuring that your vision matches your clients is important and makes the process a lot easier in the long run. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.