How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Agency?

The cost to hire a design agency will depend on the size and scope of your project, the level of expertise you require, and how much development support you’ll need for digital assets like websites and mobile apps.

Agencies of all sizes and specialties on Upwork are equipped to take on projects of every size and complexity. The rates they charge will typically vary based on how large your project is and how much talent and resources the agency will need to allocate to get it done.

First, Determine The Scope of the Work

Knowing the problem you’re trying to solve or the goal of your partnership is the most important thing in accurately scoping a project. Start by working up a creative brief. In doing this, you might find you have some non-negotiables that will impact your budget and scope. Include these and any other requirements to give potential agency partners plenty of context to submit the most accurate proposal possible.

ESTIMATING THE COST TO HIRE A DESIGN AGENCY

Rates charged by design agencies on Upwork vary from $25 to $250+ an hour, but don’t get too hung up on rates—the real priority is matching qualifications and capabilities to your project’s requirements. And agencies don’t always bill hourly; it’s common for a project to be fixed price, based on their understanding of your project requirements. Here’s a look at some other considerations.

Cost Consideration #1: The Scope of Your Project

You’re likely considering an agency because your project has some degree of complexity or requires a level of expertise you don’t have in-house. Agencies can offer built-in project management and coordination, but it’s good to clearly outline the size and scope of your project so an agency can better estimate how much coordination is required.

  • How much strategy do you require? Are your brand and vision already established, or are you looking for more guidance and research?
  • Do you need extensive creative ideation like brainstorming or rebranding, or is your project more about execution?
  • How many deliverables do you estimate you’ll need? For example, do you need one video, a group of videos, or video as one component of a multi-channel marketing strategy?
  • What is the complexity of the deliverable(s)? For example, site design and development project can fall on either end of the spectrum, from a simple WordPress theme customization to an interactive live-stream web app with social integrations.

The more planning and coordination an agency will need to bake into its proposal, the higher the project cost is likely to be.

Cost Consideration #2: The Type of Project & Skills Required

The nature of your project will dictate the talent an agency will need to have to get it done, especially when it comes to highly technical skills like mobile development, artificial intelligence, or 3D animation and effects. Some design agencies specialize in video, sales pitch decks, branding, illustrations, or CAD drawings—and depending on their level of expertise, may charge higher rates.

Even video production can require vastly different talent depending on the deliverable. For example, a motion graphics explainer video created on a computer will have a vastly different timeline and set of requirements than a television commercial shoot with actors on location.

To give you an idea of average cost ranges, here are some fixed-price projects that have been completed by design agencies on Upwork.

PROJECT APPROXIMATE COSTS
Video production
Video title card design, intros and outros, and bumpers $75 – $500+
Whiteboard explainer or instructional video $100 – $750+
Editing and color grading of video clips $750+
Short promo video, product video, or sizzle reel $200 – $2,500+
2D animation or motion graphics $275 – $3500+
3D animation $1500 – $6000+
Testimonial videos, focus groups, or interviews $400 – $1,500+
Social media ads $700 – $10k
On-site video shoot (with or without travel) $1,500 – $20k+
Branding
Logo design $100 – $800+
Brand identity package $499 – $100k
Email templates $750+
Event or tradeshow signage, booth banners, posters, or promotional materials $150 – $450+
Total brand strategy refresh $50k – $300k
Web & Mobile Design
Website mockup design + wireframes $250+
Update site to be mobile optimized/responsive $255 – $750+
Shopify site customization $500+
WordPress site redesign / design $2,250 – $6,500+
Custom coded site design and development $5k – $100k+
Mobile app design + development $5k – $75k
Graphic Design
Specific design files (e.g. menus, business cards, brochure, letterhead, illustrations, coupons, GIFs) $50 – $450+
Infographic $500 – $1500+
Photo retouching $35 – $75+
Labeling, packaging $50 – $500+
Simple graphic animation (animated logo, 2D design) $50 – $450+
3D modeling and rendering $150 – $800+
Interactive infographics and assets $10k+
Snapchat AR design $350+
PowerPoint slides, decks, and animations $425 – $3500+

While cost will certainly be an important consideration when choosing a design agency, the most important is finding the best partner for your project.



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