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Digital Design Agency vs. Freelancer: Which One to Choose

Digital Design Agency vs. Freelancer: Which One to Choose

Hiring designer
6 min

Decided to outsource your product’s design? So, you’re probably torn between hiring a digital agency or a freelancer.

As a business owner, you understand the significance of working only with experienced experts. And studies show that 79% of such remote specialists want flexibility.

How do you determine the best strategy for streamlining your product’s design process? You probably want your employees’ productivity to remain constant and offer them the flexibility they desire. That’s something we’ll talk about today.

Arounda has prepared a handy guide outlining the difference between hiring an agency and a freelancer. Here we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these two approaches and give reasonable advice on choosing the one that suits your business best.

Working with an Individual Freelance Designer

Today, we will begin our guide by describing the features of cooperation with an individual designer. Let’s get down to business, starting with the basics.

What is a freelancer? It is an individual remote worker that you can hire as needed. The responsibilities of a freelancer will depend on factors like skills, experience, or this specialist’s expert niche. It means that you have the freedom to choose a professional with particular skills or hire the one who can perform various tasks.

A freelancer is a self-employed professional who is fully responsible for their work, workload, and service cost. This specialist can be hired for as little as a few hours per week to as much as full-time.

The number of freelancers is constantly growing every year. By 2020, there were about 59 million such workers in the United States alone. The Upwork press release suggests that by 2027, almost half of the US workforce will be freelancers. Among all these individual specialists in the United States, about 129,359 are freelance designers.

Thus, the choice of individual remote workers is significant. And geography is no longer a critical factor in employing such specialists. Let’s see what the advantages and disadvantages of hiring freelancers are.



Freelancers can tailor their schedules to your needs. Such workers may operate outside the standard work schedule, such as on weekends.

Specialized Skills

Freelancers are often those who have exceptional skills in a particular niche. So if you need a professional who will perform specific tasks, a freelancer will come in handy.


Freelancers are probably the most profitable outsourcing option. You know the price for the employee’s specific services in advance and control the number of his working hours.



Remember that a freelancer is a self-employed person. As a rule, such specialists work with several clients simultaneously. Because of this, freelance services may not always be available to you.


The freelancer is an individual worker, and therefore the human factor plays a significant role here. Illness or other unforeseen personal circumstances can knock such an employee out of your standard workflow. Compensating for such a specialist’s temporary absence can be challenging.

Hard to Replace

If you have been working with a freelancer for some time, it is clear that he is well acquainted with your product. Thus, when this employee leaves your company, it won’t be easy to replace him. You will have to start working with another specialist from scratch.

Working with a Digital Design Agency

The second approach to opt for is working with a digital product agency. How do such agencies function?

These are established businesses with an internal team and an art director that engage with several clients simultaneously. The workforce differs per organization; however, if we’re talking about a digital product agency, the following professionals may be available: graphic and UI/UX designers, product managers, project managers, and business analysts.

These agencies, like freelancers, are outsourcing vendors. That is, you can find a contractor anywhere on the globe.

A digital design agency learns all your product’s features and is ready to provide long-term and post-project support. As a result, you get a remote team fully immersed in your project.

Here is how the communication process takes place in our company:

Now let’s look at digital design agencies’ main advantages and disadvantages.


Highly Experienced Professionals

Instead of one freelancer, you get access to the expertise of an entire team. Every agency employee can use their strengths to make your project flawless.


An outsourcing agency is just as flexible as a freelancer. You determine the workload in advance and can change it to suit your needs.

Guaranteed Results

Digital agencies are businesses that value their reputation. They can also provide a portfolio and feedback from real clients so that you are confident in the successful collaboration on the project.

Post-project Support & Long-term Cooperation

Most agencies offer ongoing support for your project, which is crucial in a changing digital environment. Employees of such agencies will adjust your product following current needs and trends.

Moreover, digital agencies prefer long-term cooperation because this is how they stabilize their workload and grow. Therefore, it is your best choice if you are interested in long-term cooperation.

See other benefits of working with digital design agencies below.


Higher Cost of Services 

Compared to an individual employee, the services of a design agency will be more costly. However, this drawback is easily compensated since you can access a comprehensive working approach, get a guaranteed high-quality result, and hand off your project to a dedicated and experienced team.

Not Feasible, If Small Project’s Scope

Although agencies work with both startups and large companies, such cooperation might not suit you if your project’s scope is small. Nevertheless, the agency may see the potential to grow your project into a bigger and more scalable product.

Freelancer vs. Agency: The Main Differences

It can be challenging to choose between a freelancer or a digital agency, even knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. So let’s compare these two approaches for better clarity.

Skills and Experience

Freelancers usually specialize in a particular niche or specific tasks. Working with the agency, you have access to a team of qualified experts with the ability to create a product from scratch.

Services Quality

Freelancers work well with specific, niche tasks. Even if you hire a diligent and responsible worker, you should understand that this is an individual employee. Accordingly, such a specialist can not take care of all your product’s design tasks.

You get access to a wide range of quality services in digital agencies since such companies care about their reputation and have extensive experience working with different clients.


Hiring freelance designers is cheaper than a digital agency if you have a small scope of work.


Both freelancers and digital agencies offer flexibility in collaboration. It all depends on the work schedule. Freelancers usually do not have a stable schedule, while digital agencies work according to a standard schedule. However, it all depends on the specific contractor.

How to Make the Best Choice for the Business?

If you are still hesitant about which one to choose: digital agency or freelancer, here are some points to consider:

  • Does the contractor have experience in my niche?

Carefully research the portfolio of your potential candidate. It is your best choice if a freelancer or digital agency has worked in your field and has shown successful results.

  • Can the contractor prove his high efficiency?

Ask a freelancer or digital agency to provide you with information about their effectiveness. Further, judging by the information received, you can conclude the need for cooperation with such a contractor.

  • What is the general feedback on the contractor’s work?

Study the reviews of real clients of a freelancer or digital agency. Look for feedback on their personal websites and forums or other platforms.

Both outsourcing approaches, such as hiring freelancers or digital agencies, have their particular pros and cons. When choosing, you need to start with the specific needs of your business.

If your goal is long-term cooperation, support, and guaranteed high-quality results, then a digital agency is your best choice. We create successful design projects for mobile and web applications, corporate websites and platforms, and more. Just a few of our services include product strategy, business analysis, UX audit, UI/UX design, and brand identity.

If you are interested in such cooperation, please contact us at Arounda.


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