How & Where to Outsource Graphic Design – Complete Guide

Being a business owner or just getting a startup off the ground, you understand how essential it is to have a decent design to distinguish your business from its competitors. From designing a logo to developing promotional materials, graphic design is vital for your company’s success.

However, only some have the expertise or time to create professional-grade designs. Hiring a full-time graphic designer can be expensive and sometimes impractical for small businesses.

Thus, outsourcing your graphic design needs is an excellent option to save you time and money while providing high-quality designs. But finding the right designer and outsourcing your project can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the process.

This outsourcing guide will walk you through the steps to successfully outsource your graphic design needs and introduce you to some of the best places to find quality designers for your business.

99 Designs
A platform for holding design contests to find the best designer for your project.
Access to a large group of professional designers, customer reviews, and design contest results.
A platform for finding experienced freelancers or posting jobs for qualified professionals to apply.
Quality talent approved by the Upwork team.
The world’s largest marketplace for digital services, where you can find designers for various tasks at affordable rates.
High-quality freelance graphic design work without breaking the bank.
A hub for talented freelance graphic designers where you can contact individual designers or post job notifications.
Ability to launch contests, view designers’ portfolios, and verify their capabilities through tests.
A platform for finding the best graphic designers, where only the top 3% of designers available online are listed.
Strict skill evaluations and tests and assistance from Toptal to find the best graphic designer for your needs.
The world’s largest professional network, where you can find freelance graphic designers by posting job openings.
Easy to use and filter for freelance job types.
Facebook Groups
A resource for finding freelance graphic designers by posting job openings on job boards in relevant Facebook groups.
Wide variety of groups with different focuses and job boards.
Design Agencies
Companies with teams of skilled designers who can bring your vision to life and manage the design process from start to finish.
Time-efficient and professional design services.

Outsourcing Graphic Design – What Does It Mean?

Outsourcing is delegating a project or task to an individual or company outside your business.

In graphic design, outsourcing means hiring an expert designer or a design agency to create graphic designs for your company.

This means you won’t have an in-house designer on your payroll; instead, you will contract with someone to handle your design needs. The designer will work remotely, and you will communicate with them to ensure the designs meet your requirements and specifications.

How To Outsource Graphic Design?

When outsourcing graphic design, locating the right designer who can accurately translate your ideas into reality is crucial. 

So, before you can begin your search, ensure you have a clear view of the results you hope to achieve.

Once you have a clear idea of your need, you can start outsourcing your graphic design needs.

Hence, to assist you in outsourcing graphic designing, we’ve come up with a set of steps that you should take to fulfil your needs:

Define The Scope Of Work

Before beginning a graphic design project, defining the scope of your work is essential. It involves identifying the project’s specific goals, your target audience, the design elements and style you want to use, and other requirements or constraints.

To get started, consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of your design project?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are the key messages or ideas that you need to convey?
  • What are the specific deliverables that are required? For example, logos, brochures, posters, flex etc.
  • What are the dimensions and file types needed for the deliverables?
  • What is the timeline for your project?
  • What is your budget for your project?

You’ll create a clear and detailed brief for your graphic designer by answering these questions. This will help ensure everyone involved in the project is on the same page and working towards the same goals. It will also help the designer to provide you with a more accurate quote and timeline for the project.

Remember, the more specific you can be about your needs and requirements, the better the result will be. Moreover, communicate clearly and openly with your designer throughout the project to ensure everything stays on track and meets your expectations.

Understand The Contracts

Outsourcing is more than a one-size-fits-all situation. Every business has unique requirements, so the contract for your graphic design project should be tailored to your specific needs. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s crucial to understand the terms of the agreement to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on, and everyone involved will be sure of what the project requires.

There are several types of contracts you can enter into with your freelance graphic designer. Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Fixed-Price Contract: This type of contract involves agreeing on a fixed fee for the project upfront. Having a clear idea of what you need and how long it will take to complete can be beneficial.
  2. Hourly Contract: An hourly contract is where you pay the designer based on the number of hours they work on your project. This can be more flexible than a fixed-price contract, especially if the project’s scope is likely to change.
  3. Retainer Contract: A retainer contract pays the designer a set fee each month to work on a specific number of projects. It is a good option if you need ongoing design work but don’t want to hire a full-time designer.
  4. Pain Share/Gain Share Contracts: They’re an exciting and rare option where the service provider agrees to share a portion of the project’s profits or losses. This could be a good choice if you’re working on a project with great potential but need more funds to pay standard rates.
  5. Task-Based Contracts: These contracts can be an excellent choice if your project has a specific goal. With this contract, you pay a set amount for each completed task, making it simple. It’s a great way to ensure you only pay for the achieved work without surprise fees or charges.

Above all, ensuring that both parties clearly define and agree upon the terms is essential no matter which type of contract you choose. It will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and the project runs smoothly from start to finish.

However, finding the perfect graphic designer for your task is vital before signing the agreement!

Find Freelance Graphic Designers

Searching for the right person to work on your project can be challenging, but don’t worry. There are numerous outsourcing platforms where you can find stellar graphic designers.

99 Designs

99 Designs is an excellent platform for people who need help expressing their design desires. Through this platform, you can hold a competition where a large group of professional designers show you what they got. You can either pick from many applications or work with one designer. Also, you can access their profile with customer reviews and find out how many design contests they have won to make informed decisions.


Upwork is the place to be if you’re looking for an experienced freelancer. You can post a job and wait for qualified professionals to apply, or go through the Upwork database to find the graphic designer who fits your needs. The Upwork team approves all the freelancers listed on their platform, so you can be sure you’re getting quality talent.


Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for digital services. The exciting part about using Fiverr is that you can find designers to perform various tasks for as low as $5! It’s the ideal platform for anyone looking for high-quality freelance graphic design work without breaking the bank.


Freelancer is one of the oldest sites that is a hub for talented freelance graphic designers.

You can contact individual designers or post job notifications for open applications. You can also launch contests, allowing freelancers to showcase their ideas. You can also look into the designers’ portfolios to get more data and use tests to verify their capabilities.


Toptal is one of the finest places to look for you to find the best graphic designers. Their strict skill evaluations and tests limit the prospects to the best 3% of designers available online.

Furthermore, it works with each of its customers to find the best graphic designer or a team of designers to meet their specific demands.


LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It is an excellent resource for finding freelance graphic designers. Merely posting for a position on LinkedIn will result in proposals from qualified people.

But, ensure to pick the ‘Freelance’ job type, so only freelancing graphic designers apply.

Facebook Groups

Nowadays, Facebook serves a much wider purpose than just sharing pictures and communicating with friends. There are a lot of Facebook groups that focus on almost every topic you can think of. The groups also have job boards where you can post openings for freelance graphic designers.

You can easily find pertinent groups by typing “graphic designing jobs” or “freelance graphic designing” into the search bar.

Find Agencies

Sometimes, finding a suitable graphic designer takes a lot of work. So, working with an agency can efficiently get your job done. Agencies have a team of skilled designers who can help bring your vision to life and manage the process from start to finish, leaving you with more time to focus on other areas of your business.

To find a graphic design agency, search online using keywords like “graphic design agencies” or “design firms.” You’ll likely find a range of options, so take some time to research and compare their portfolios, rates, and reviews to find one that best suits your needs.

Assess Your Candidates

After you’ve posted the job listing, you’ll start to receive applications from potential candidates. It’s then your responsibility to evaluate the applicants to determine if they meet your criteria for the role. When examining their portfolio, make sure to review the following carefully:

Previous Work

When bringing on a professional rather than a student, you should ask to view their portfolio of past work.

If they don’t present one, that’s a warning sign you should be careful of.

Quality Of Work

Consider the quality of the candidate’s work when making your decision. If they don’t have a good set of examples to show, it’s probably not worth your while to have an interview with them.

Scope Of Their Work

It’s best to hire a graphic designer with prior experience with the designs you need them to create.

For instance, if you need to get a logo made, it would be great to find someone who has already done something similar.

If this isn’t possible, look for someone who has a broad range of experience, since the more kinds of designs they have made, the better.

Communication Skills

When searching for a freelance graphic designer, ensuring your communication is on point is essential. You need to be able to express your vision for your design to the designer, and they have to get it. If there’s a disconnect, the design might turn out differently than you’d like.

To ensure you’re on the same page, ask them about their process and see if they can explain how you understand it. If not, you should look elsewhere.


Before making your choice, you must consider the designer’s price. Explain the kind of agreement you want and see what they can do for you.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate, but also don’t try to undercharge them. It would be best if you came to a reasonable rate that works for both of you.


When you’re dealing with a freelancer, promptness is essential. You should ensure they can stick to your timelines; otherwise, you’ll be left helpless at the last moment.

To check that, you can begin with a small paid task that’s more manageable to verify if they can give you the work on time.

Referrals and Testimonials

One of the advantages of using online platforms is that you can read the reviews and testimonials of freelancers before engaging in their services. It will allow you to gain insight into their past work and see if they can fulfil your requirements.

You can also request a referral from someone you know who has already worked with a graphic designer.

Benefits of Outsourcing Graphic Design

The ever-growing gig economy has enabled people to find a highly-qualified graphic designer without breaking their budget.

Here are a few advantages of outsourcing your graphic design requirements:

  • Cost-efficiency: When you outsource your graphic design requirements, you don’t have to invest in expensive software or hardware.
  • Adaptability: When you employ a freelancer, you can easily adjust your needs up or down according to the situation.
  • Access to worldwide talent: When you post your graphic design project on a freelancing platform, you can receive bids from designers worldwide.
  • Getting the job done quickly: Freelancers are highly driven to meet deadlines to gain positive reviews and acquire more future tasks.

Challenges of Outsourcing Graphic Design

Before you delegate your graphic designing needs, you should also be aware of possible issues. They are as follows:

  • Language Barriers: Language issues can arise if your designer is in a different country. However, this can be minimised by clearly communicating your expectations and providing detailed instructions.
  • Time Zone Differences: The freelancer’s time zone can affect communication, so it’s essential to establish communication expectations and give specific instructions.
  • Work Quality: Quality is a risk when entrusting creative control to someone else, so look at the freelancer’s portfolio to minimise the chance of disappointment.
  • Data Security: Data leakage is possible when working with a freelancer or a remote team that is not part of your firm. The designers you employ may work with your rivals and share your intellectual data. So, work exclusively with freelancers or teams you trust and who have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).


Outsourcing your graphic design requirements is an intelligent approach to ensure that experts design your work without breaking your budget. But, before handing over your assignment, do your homework and assess the freelancer.

Additionally, before starting with the freelancer, you should be clear about your requirements and budget; this will ensure clarity and understanding.

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