Let’s have a frank discussion about the pros and cons of “low monthly fee” or “on-demand graphic design” services.

I tried a few of them myself while I was the Marketing Director of Cupid’s Charity and honestly, they sucked.

Maybe I’m biased because I run a production design agency, but then I asked a few friends that had tried other services and guess what?

My friends said they suck too.

on-demand graphic design

Interestingly enough, it was for a similar reason – so let’s dive into it.

The Pros.

Cost. With sites offering “Unlimited graphic design for $39 a month” you would think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

If working with a company for that price gets you exactly what you need, fast and consistently – then by all means I won’t stop you.

24/7 Access. A lot of these services offer “hotlines” or Slack integrations that put a “talented graphic designer at your fingertips” any time you want.

Ease of Billing. Giving over a credit card and letting it ride is a pretty easy business model. As long as you’re getting the results you need, this can be great!

The Cons. 

Okay, here’s where we get to the main gripe that my friends and I all had: DESIGN AMNESIA.

What do I mean by that?

on-demand graphic design

Dealing with these companies can be like that movie 50 First Dates, where Drew Barrymore doesn’t have any short-term memory and has to re-introduce herself to Adam Sandler for the entire movie. Pretty painful right?

So let’s boil down how those companies probably operate.

Low Monthly Fee. aka so low you’ll forget to cancel it when you’re not using it.

Or they’re hiring graphic designers that are so cheap to work with, they can afford to do the work on such low margins. In all honesty, you can find a graphic designer in Kenya or Bangladesh for $4/hr if you want. 99.9% of the time you will get what you pay for, trust me – I’ve done it. Never again.

24/7 Access Means. Read: around the clock shift changes. My experience using one of the services that had a Slack integration was that every time I contacted my “Project Manager” I had to reintroduce myself, my company and our brand requirements.

It was a nightmare.

Not only were projects dropped between shifts, but the quality was bad, turnaround was dismal and I spent more time correcting the work than I did putting it to use.

Anything I gained in “savings” I absolutely lost in time spent.

As the old adage goes “nothing good happens after 2am” (or midnight or whatever) there’s something to be said for the clarity that develops waiting until the morning. In my experience, late night rush projects often get botched or canceled, wasting your time and money.

Out-of-context quality. Generic Work. Companies that offer cheap graphic design, are typically hiring from emerging markets where the talent is not aware of US trends.

Often this will manifest in several completely worthless, irreparable drafts, or else generic template designs that just have your info plopped into it – trust me, I’ve seen it.

One colleague told me about using a flat rate logo design service that was to give him “X” number of options. He said “basically I paid $300 and got literally nothing for it.”

What’s the Solution?

Building a relationship with a consistent production design team is the best cure for “Design Amnesia.”

What we offer our clients instead of low monthly fees and 24/7 service, is a bulletproof partner that churns out so much production artwork, we’re practically guessing what you need before you finish your sentence.

We love to get to know our clients. It makes it more fun for our team, and our clients love the level of anticipation that we bring to the table.

Fast. Accurate. Ready. That’s our mantra.

Our clients work with us to handle 100% of their production artwork needs, often for less than the cost of a single graphic designer.

If you’re tired of wasting time to “save money”, I invite you to book a call with me.

We’ll find out pretty quickly if we can help you out.


Background vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com

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