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Businesses need to enlist the help of a web designer every so often. However, the cost of hiring a professional or setting up an in-house team can prove daunting for some companies, resulting in the most affordable options- crowdsourcing or hiring an agency.

The two are distinct approaches to obtaining design services but present unique differences.

On the one hand, crowdsourcing allows you to solicit design concepts or solutions from a large, diverse group of individuals, typically through an online platform.

You only need to post a design brief outlining your requirements, and designers from around the world submit their ideas. This means you can select the best designs and compensate the winning designer handsomely based on your budget

On the other hand, hiring a design agency entails engaging a professional firm that specializes in various design services to help you design your website, logo, etc.

The agency has a team of experienced designers who work collaboratively to meet your needs. As such, the agency handles the entire design process, from conceptualization to final delivery, and provides ongoing support and revisions as needed.

The two approaches help solve your design needs or problems, but understanding their differences can help you make an informed decision.

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing is outsourcing tasks or projects to a large group of people, typically via an online platform.

Design crowdsourcing platforms allow you to post a design brief or contest, and multiple designers submit their ideas or designs. You then choose the one you like the most. Clients who choose this route enjoy the following benefits:

Reduced Cost

Crowdsourcing can be more cost-effective than hiring a design agency, as you’re tapping into a large pool of designers who may offer competitive pricing.

Access to a Wide Pool of Skills

With crowdsourcing, you have access to a diverse range of design styles and ideas from multiple designers. For example, you can compare designs from various professionals and choose one that suits your needs and preferences best.

Idea Screening

You’re best placed to know your design requirements, and crowdsourcing gives you the freedom to compare designs and choose the most suitable.

Professionals leverage open-source computing and software to develop designs allowing you to conduct idea screening more democratically.

High-quality Designs

Quality can vary widely depending on the platform and the designers who participate. The ability to compare designs from various professionals increases your chances of receiving high-quality designs.

Ownership of Final Design

Ownership of the final design may be clearer with crowdsourcing. Most platforms have policies regarding intellectual property rights, but with this approach, you’re confident about using the design however you like.

Design Agency

A web design agency has a team of experienced professionals with expertise in various design disciplines. They can provide comprehensive services tailored to your specific needs.

There are different types of web design agencies. Some specialize in developing custom websites, while others create responsive web designs and eCommerce solutions.

Why Hire a Web Design Agency

A web design agency has a team of web developers and designers responsible for designing and maintaining websites. As such, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

Expertise and Experience

Design agencies often have a team of experienced professionals with expertise in various design disciplines. They can provide comprehensive services tailored to your specific needs.

Personalized Attention

When working with a design agency, you’re entitled to more personalized attention and collaboration throughout the entire design process. This approach allows you to communicate your vision and feedback directly to the designers.

Commitment to the Project’s Success

You feel confident when working with a web design agency because the team is committed to making your project a success. In fact, you could ask about their customer service from the onset to understand the kind of support you’ll receive throughout the project.


Agencies can maintain consistency across various design projects, ensuring that your brand identity remains cohesive. Your logo, website, design, and other web aspects are in sync because you’ve engaged one team to develop them.

Proven Track Record

An agency will likely have a track record of its work and won’t shy away from sharing it with you. Inquiring about past projects, online reviews, and portfolios gives you a sense of their capabilities.

Reputation and Accountability

An established design agency has a reputation to uphold and is more accountable for the quality of its work. As such, the team is keen to understand and meet your needs, making adjustments where necessary.

Long-Term Relationship

It’s easier to build a partnership with a web design agency than to engage crowdsourcing services. This relationship can lead to long-term partnerships and continuity in design services.

How to Choose between Crowdsourcing and a Design Agency

The choice between crowdsourcing and hiring a design agency depends on several factors:


Crowdsourcing often offers more affordable options since designers compete to win projects, which can drive prices down. Design agencies, however, charge higher fees due to their overhead costs and expertise.


Design agencies usually offer higher quality work due to their experienced teams, refined processes, and access to resources. Crowdsourcing, on the other hand, may yield varied results in terms of quality since it relies on the skills and creativity of individual designers.


Design agencies can provide more personalized and customized solutions tailored to the client’s specific needs and brand identity. Crowdsourcing may offer less customization since designers are working independently with less collaboration or understanding of the client’s unique requirements.

Communication and Collaboration

Working with a design agency allows for direct communication and collaboration with a dedicated team throughout the design process. Crowdsourcing platforms may offer less direct communication and may require the client to manage interactions with multiple designers.


Crowdsourcing results in faster turnaround times since multiple designers are working simultaneously on a project. However, this may also lead to rushed or less polished designs. Design agencies typically offer more predictable timelines and can dedicate more resources to ensure timely delivery.


In summary, if you’re looking for a cost-effective option and are willing to trade off some control and customization, crowdsourcing may be suitable. However, if you prioritize quality, customization, and a streamlined, collaborative process, hiring a design agency is likely the better choice. Ultimately, the decision should align with your specific project requirements, timeline, and budget.



Paul Simiyu

Founder and Team Lead of Simpaul Design, a brand strategy and design agency in Nairobi, Kenya. Here at Simpaul Design, we work with brands across various categories with a focus on connecting with consumers and building brands that people want to be a part of. We specialize in brand identity and strategy, UX/UI, and brand transformation.

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