How does my thinking and way of working differ from an agency or a freelancer?

Updated by Alok Prateek

A freelancer

There’s a pile of independent freelancers out there. How should you decide whom to get? One approach is to decide what kind of thinking your project requires. Let’s say you need a logo. Many independent graphic designers (and companies offering cheap logo designs) are glad to dive in and come up with logo concepts for you. But sometimes these freelancers get caught up in making packaged deals and can’t see the forest for the trees.

They will fail to ask questions like “How is your company positioned among others in the marketplace? Who are your ideal customers? What appeals to those people? What are your goals? Why are you doing this business anyway, and how is that purpose connected to your products’s design?”

If questions like these are important to you (and they should be), not just any freelancer would be a good fit for your project. You might need bigger-picture thinking.

An agency

Agencies have more resources at their disposal than a freelancer does. For projects that are large, complex, and require many different skill sets, consider hiring an agency.

In-depth market research, copywriting, motion graphics, web development, SEO… all sorts of specialties might live under one roof. Tasks will be better coordinated than if you hired separate specialists. A larger budget will be required to cover an agency’s greater overhead, however, and in general, turn-around time will be longer. And large agencies have been known to spoil client projects by making young interns do the work, and A-team comes for the meetings.

Be clear on the outcomes you’re looking for. Months of meetings on just one project can be useful for some companies, but they can bog down others who need deliverables quickly. (Not every logo update requires a 27-page rationale like the infamous 2008 Pepsi document that referenced the earth’s magnetic fields. I like big picture thinking, but outer space goes a little too far!)

In general, the more risk an organization faces if they get their project wrong, the more likely they are to allocate a bigger budget and hire a large agency. For some businesses, this might be overkill.

Appropriate solution : Me

Best of both worlds.

I serve startups and small to medium-sized businesses who need big-picture thinking to shape their web design. In other words, I’ll look not only at your “tree,” but the forest where it’s growing. But I also believe in doing only what’s practical to get you to the next step. I value working quickly and efficiently. I want your investment in good design to start having immediate impact. I believe I can help make your organization more recognizable and admired.