Find us

73a Hulme Hall Road,
Cheadle Hulme, Stockport,
Greater Manchester,

Design agency vs in-house designer: which is best?

It isn’t a straightforward choice to employ an in-house designer or hire an external design agency. Either represents an investment, and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The best option may depend on your requirements and vision for your marketing, but here we’ll look into the pros and cons of each.

In-house designer: advantages

Solely invested in your brand – An in-house designer will be purely focussed on your brand rather than spreading their time across multiple client projects.

Often cheaper – You have a pre-determined monthly spend with an in-house graphic designer. Although this is good for cash flow, the designer’s limited capacity may affect creative output.

In-house designer: disadvantages

Lack of diversity – a single person working on your brand means that all of your output is coming from one person’s mind. An agency would likely have multiple people reviewing every project, giving their input.

Setup costs – if you need more than just design and require services such as animation, web development and videography, you could end up with some hefty set-up fees as you buy your lighting and recording equipment, all the different softwares required, up-to-date MacBooks, and more.

HR – consider the costs and implications of sick pay/leave, holidays, personal issues, career progression, motivation, and the recruitment costs.

Turnover – when an in-house designer leaves, there is usually a period of time before a replacement starts, which may temporarily impact creative output.

Agency: advantages

Blended skills – A single in-house designer may have a limited skillset which could hold you back. When working with an agency, you tend to get more bang for your buck, with agencies often having multiple professionals under one roof. At Dawn, we have web developers, graphic designers, animators and brand strategy experts all in-house, and a little black book full of contacts for anything we don’t do.

Quality – Agencies have high standards. At least, they should have. There are stringent rules they hold each other accountable to, and work is quality-checked by peers. Combined, the agency will have decades of experience, through projects across a variety of industries.

Direct access – When working with an agency, you’ll have direct access to the team all year round. Need help with a web design project? You can speak to a web designer. Want something animated in a certain way? Speak to the animator. And when one person is away, someone else will be there to support you.

Agency: disadvantages

Cost – having an agency support you with your creative output can be expensive, depending on how many projects or hours you require. However, this can be scaled up or down throughout the year as a variable cost rather than a fixed cost.

Account managers – some larger agencies use account managers, who act as an intermediary between you and the creative. This can cause some loss in translation when communicating a brief or feedback.


The answer to the question “which is best” is… it depends. If you’re a company with a relatively small output not looking to increase that, an in-house designer could be perfect for you. It’s a fixed monthly cost, and they can be there with you in person.

If your goals are to develop your brand in a big way, and have a consistent output varying in creative mediums, then an agency is likely your best bet. There will be more they can do due to varied skill sets, and you can scale up or down the cost depending on your monthly/quarterly marketing goals.


Working with Dawn

Partnerships with Dawn are easy. Here are some reasons we know you’ll love us, if you choose to work with us:

  • No contracts – what’s the point in forcing someone to work with you if you’re not happy with their service? We have a stop, start, pause system so you can be as flexible as you like with our design and development support.
  • Direct access – Speak directly to the designer or developer working on your project with no middle-person and no delays. That means accountable, professional client relationships with direct access. So you can have all the important conversations you need when you need them.
  • Transparent partner access – We can’t do everything. But we have a partner for everything else. Whether it’s filming, OOH ad management, PPC, SEO, you name it, we have a trusted partner for it. Let us know what you need, and we’ll share their direct invoice, and you can just pay through us. No need to raise multiple POs, we’ll sort it.

Get in touch

If you would like to discover more about the benefits of working with a design/web development agency, then why not get in touch with us?

Let the team at Dawn Creative collaborate with you to complete a project on time, within budget and that achieves the results you want.

Call us on 0161 711 0910 or send an email to

We have complete faith that you’ll love what we do, which is why we promise to return your money if you don’t.

arrow-downarrow-left-greyarrow-leftarrow-right-cutout2 arrow-right-greyarrow-right-sliderarrow-right-whitearrow-right-white2arrow-rightarrow-up-cutoutarrow-up-cutout2 arrow-up-primaryarrow-up-whitearrow-up-white2closeclose2plus-smallplusplus2process-listsocial_facebooksocial_googleplussocial_instagramsocial_linkedin_altsocial_linkedin_altsocial_pinterestlogo-twitter-glyph-32social_youtubetickweather