Outgrowing My Own Graphic Design Skills

Design Wordart

I’ve been working on a post about e-commerce business models. It’s over 4,000 words so it definitely needs some graphics to break up all of that text.

And after looking through a few different stock image sites for over an hour here are the images I could come up with.

While these are all relevant they’re all vastly different styles. And as much as I tried to find graphics with a similar style I couldn’t. Finding similar graphics for one post is one thing. I also want my graphics to be consistent across my entire blog.

So what are my options?

Spend Time Finding More / Better Stock Photography

I could certainly spend more time looking for stock photography. I could use multiple websites or look large sets of photography so it’s all the same style. And when I don’t find something in that style I could spend time customizing the art.

Instead of spending an hour looking for stock photography it might be 4 hours to find art and then customize it.

A Part Time Designer

I’ve hired freelance designers in the past and they do amazing work. I had a project earlier this year that cost me about $2,000 and the work was phenomenal. Unfortunately my business doesn’t generate enough revenue that I can drop $2,000 on all of my projects.

I can probably do one project like that a year and have a few smaller projects.

Hiring a freelance designer – or if you have enough work hiring a full time designer is definitely the way to get the best quality work that matches your brand perfectly. Of course it’s expensive but that’s what it costs for high quality.

A Design Service

I’ve seen ads for a service called Design Pickle. They’re one of those businesses where you pay a fee every month and then you get unlimited work from them. There are plenty of places where you get unlimited tweaks to your website for $80/month. This is similar but for design.

In this case it’s $370/month. That’s a lot of money and if I don’t use it in a particular month I’d feel like I wasted a lot of money. And they do have a list of things that are out of scope (ex. no logo concepts)

$370 per month is $4,440 per year. So if I use it consistently it’s just a little more hiring a freelancer for one big project and a few small projects per year. And I’d feel like I can use them to tackle these small problems – like getting consistent graphics on my blog posts. Something that nags at me but I don’t have the skills or time to solve.

In Between

As businesses grow it can be awkward to move from a do-it-yourself mentality to using professional services to hiring full time professionals. There isn’t a perfect time. You just have to take your best guess and then move forward.

I’m going to try this service for a few months. I should have enough work to make it feel like it’s worth my while. The biggest unknown is what is their bandwidth? How fast can they turn projects around?

If I can get a small task (ex. make a header image for this blog post) back in 1-2 days I think it might be worth it.

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