Custom graphic design involves working with a professional graphic designer (or agency) who will create a unique design tailored to your specific needs. This option provides the most flexibility and allows you to have complete control over the design process. You can work closely with the designer to ensure that the design meets your expectations and is aligned with your brand.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of custom graphic design is that it allows you to acquire a design that is truly unique and tailored to your brand and its business goals. A professional designer can create a design that stands out and sets your brand apart from your competition, especially if that designer or design agency understands advertising, promotions, marketing theory, and your specific industry. Unlike other options, a business-savvy design firm or freelancer will ask you clarifying questions about how the design must perform in the marketplace, rather than simply “building to suit.” Additionally, custom graphic design provides a level of personalization that is difficult to achieve with other options.
However, custom graphic design can be more expensive — actually much more expensive — than other options. You will need to pay for the time and expertise of the designer, which can add up quickly. Additionally, the design process can take significantly longer than other options, as you will need to work closely with the designer to ensure that the design solves your specific needs.
This approach involves using a crowdsourcing platform (such as 99designs or Designhill) to connect with multiple designers who will create designs for you. This option is typically less expensive than custom graphic design, and you have the opportunity to see multiple designs before choosing the one that best meets your needs.
Unlike working with a graphic designer or firm that specializes in your industry or your customer culture, crowd-sourcing puts all of the responsibility for “getting it right” on you. Where an experienced design firm will bring a context of their clients’ successes and failures, crowd-sourcing means your intuition at picking the “right” design from a group of contestants takes all the glory — or the fall.
One of the benefits of crowd-sourced graphic design is that you have access to a wide range of designers and styles. This can be particularly useful if you are not sure what you want your design to look like, as you can see multiple options and choose the one that resonates with you the most. Additionally, crowd-sourced graphic design can be faster than custom graphic design, as you have access to multiple designers who can work on your project simultaneously.
However, crowd-sourced graphic design can be hit or miss. You will definitely receive several designs that are not aligned with your brand, are crafted with lesser design skills than you’d prefer, or simply do not meet your content expectations. Additionally, because you are working with multiple designers, the design process can be less personalized than custom graphic design. It’s usually “design a la carte.”
AI graphic design involves using artificial intelligence to create designs for you. This option is typically the least expensive (or even free) and can be the fastest. AI graphic design utilizes algorithms to create designs based on your specifications. This option is often used for simple designs such as logos or social media graphics.
One of the benefits of AI graphic design is that it is incredibly fast and affordable. You can have a design created in a matter of minutes at a fraction of the cost of custom graphic design. Additionally, AI graphic design can be useful if you need a simple design quickly and do not have the time or budget to invest in custom graphic design.
However, AI graphic design has limitations. AI is not able to replicate the creativity and personalization that comes with custom graphic design. Additionally, the designs created by AI may lack the uniqueness and personality that is essential in creating a successful brand identity. Another challenge is AI’s limitations at being able to create a design that synchronizes with an existing brand’s standards.
Using the “Jobs To Be Done” lens, you can develop innovative solutions your customers will love.
In conclusion, each option has its pros and cons. Custom graphic design provides the most personalization, the most flexibility, and the most business accuracy, but will most likely be more expensive and time-consuming. Crowd-sourced graphic design can provide access to multiple designers and styles but can be hit or miss and saddles you with all the responsibility of guiding and choosing the winning work. AI graphic design is fast and affordable but lacks the personalization and business relevance of custom graphic design.
When choosing an option, it is important to consider your budget, timeline, goals, and the level of personalization you require. By weighing the pros and cons of each option, you can make an informed decision.
If you’re curious about the feasibility of going “full custom,” we invite you to set aside 15-minutes and share your specific design need with us. Our discovery calls are open-ended discussions dedicated to fully understanding your situation, and determining if our services might be right for you.