Cost-effective design firm options

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You know your job. You pretty much have to in the world of entrepreneurship. Beyond your speciality, small business ownership also demands you learn a few things about accounting, marketing, as well as a healthy dose of the laws pertaining to your line of work. Of course there are some things you don’t know, and given how precious time is in your life you are not prepared to learn. For many people –inside and out of the small business world– creative or artistic pursuits is a black hole. Personally dipping your toe in the worlds of graphic design, video production, or even professional photography is an endeavor you may waste weeks, if not months of your time and come out the other end less than satisfied with the result. Thankfully some people live in this world and are a few keyboard taps away from covering your creative needs.

Now just like you, there are tons of local freelance graphic designers and small creative shops that are eager to take you on as a client, but if you’re time is truly precious you may be ready to hunt out the right fit for your firm. Maybe one day you can develop an outside creative team relationship, but for logos, banners, and marketing materials on the fly you need something more immediate.  Thankfully some forward thinking creatives have foreseen your predicament and turn design shopping into a plug and play affair.

Long before your business was a twinkle in your eye design marketplaces such as 99 designs, Design Contests, Design Crowd, Crowdspring, 48 Hours Logos, and more connect you with a hive of eager designers looking to whip up marketing materials for you in mere hours. The benefits of these sites is literally hundreds of designers are available to commission work from. The pricing is generally a sliding scale based on your needs. If you’d prefer to fight for the lowest bid sites like 48 Hour Logos or Design Contests, allow you to post a project wherein you detail the materials, design style, and/or file types you and interested designers can bid on the job. On the other end if you’d like to retain a designer for a month sites like 99 Designs offer a month-by-month fee starting at $299 to work with a specific designer that you pick out. Finally another option is to simple grab stock design materials through sites like Graphic River. Here you can purchase  generic logos, website designs, letterhead, and other creative templates until you can build a local design shop relationship.

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb


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