Brand activation is a mixture of project work and some on-going pieces of graphic design. Packaging development for example can be quite a specialised area. Because it not only requires good graphic design skills, but it also needs a solid understanding of how printing works. Designs and colours are printed on to packaging materials and this impacts the final output. Often, this is a niche specialism within graphic design.
But brand activation can also cover areas like social media content posting. Here, there might be a case for regular and less specialised graphic design skills. A post can be generated quickly and removed quickly if there’s an issue. The same can’t be said for packaging designs.
And finally, customer experience is again a mixture of project and on-going work. It’s unlikely for example you would regularly update signage in a store or key brand visuals. But there can be all sorts of regular updates to icons on a website or items for sales promotions, for example.
Cost, time and quality
The choice to manage graphic design for your business really comes down to a cost, time and quality calculation.
The average salary of a graphic designer in Australia is AUD$54k. But more experienced designers will likely be on higher salaries. Will you have enough graphic design projects over the course of a year? And will those projects generate enough return to justify the cost of the hire? Does your business need the quick access to an in-house resource? Or can it live with the longer time frame when you have to outsource the work?
Of course, in-house graphic design skills bring other benefits to the business. In particular, around the understanding of key design principles and creative thinking.
While we believe anyone can learn the basic design principles like Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity, professional graphic designers will bring a much wider repertoire of design knowledge in to your business. Having an in-house graphic design professional will make sure the quality level of your graphic design outputs stays high.
The key question is whether the graphic design for your business needs are big and regular enough that an in-house resource makes sense. How important is graphic design to your business over the next 12 months, and how often will you need it? If your needs are more ad-hoc, you do have other options. Because when you use freelancers or agencies, they can also bring that knowledge in to your business. Just on a more ad-hoc basis.