Visual redesign for your brand — make it internally or hire an agency

Author: Maria Shaykhutdinova


6 min read

Visual redesign for your brand — make it internally or hire an agency

The visual redesign is basically a visual upgrade or rearrangement of your existing brand. Every company sooner or later has to experience it. This is due to changing markets, brand evolution (like mergers and acquisitions), the desire to progress, or at least not to be outdated. In this article, we’ll show you what factors you should take into account to make the right decision on the way to change.

Why consider redesign?

As you surely know, the visual character of your brand is essential. Research shows that the first impression of a brand is 94% based on visual language. Therefore, every visual element should be well thought out:

  • Logotype
  • Colour palette
  • Typography
  • Illustrations
  • Photo styles

The look of the brand should be consistent with its brand purpose. Therefore, if your company is undergoing major changes or if you want to follow new trends in the world of design, consider a redesign.

Is this a trend to have an in-house design team?

Today’s high-paced digital marketing requires ongoing, nimble, and consistent design of deliverables. Moreover, product design became one of the crucial parts of production for digital companies. Boundaries between product and communication design are getting vaguer. That’s why companies run and bring up in-house design teams, not only digital. It’s kind of a natural way of evolution if you already have a design department.

Build a team or hire an agency?

If you’re planning to go through a graphic redesign in the near future but don’t have your own team to take care of it yet, choose a branding agency. Building a team from scratch is a long-term process. Not only does it requires hiring skilled professionals, but it also needs developing processes and relationships between them. That’s why later in this article we talk about the situation when you have your own team of graphic designers on board.

Put yourself in stakeholder’s shoes

What do you see when you look at your team? If you admire and trust their skills and flair — the most complicated thing would be to find time among ongoing tasks and set up a feasible timeline for a redesign project. Maintaining the same workload and starting a redesign is hardly possible, so you can cut down current activities to give space for updating.

Devote a core team with a reasonable amount of people (3-5). Then let others just be in the loop from time to time to not lose track of the project. Make them involved but not multiply time costs. Such an internal project can truly refresh the motivation in your team and grow expertise or skills within a company. Take in mind that a strong in-house design team should consist of self-driven, high-skilled people. They should already know a lot about your brand but joined you not many years ago, so they have quite fresh eyes.

But what if you have ambitious goals on a redesign but your in-house studio is made up of people who have been hired to keep a brand consistency for a current solution? It’s going to be troublesome for them to overstep their habits and do something really ravishing. Innovative vision and fresh blood — they are in the creative agencies. So, let your designers do what they do best and go to an agency whose portfolio and reputation can inspire you.

When external expertise is a must for redesign

Both scenarios can work out for significant results, but in some issues during the redesign, you definitely will need support from outside resources even if you chose to deal with it internally.

  1. How to decide what to change and what to keep when making visual updates for your brand? When you can hire an agency or brand consultants they start with the brand audit or other preparation to be fully equipped. Using only internal resources might be tricky because the team is too close to the company to see the wide horizons.
  2. An agency can help your company turn on a way of digital transformation. It will make your brand more accessible for your target audience, effective, and personalized for your most influential brand touchpoints.
  3. If you need a global vision for your brand to expand the wider market, but your teammates have only local market experience, you should cooperate with an international branding agency.
  4. Experts with fresh eyes can give you a hand when making tough brand decisions and choices. While your team may follow their aims and unintentionally mislead you. Especially when they’ve been working on a project for months and are ready to drop.
visual design

What shouldn’t influence your choice?

Let’s recall also the common belief that a branding agency is more costly and time-saving than doing it in-house. What is the truth?

Money — if you just want to save money doing redesign internally, you have to remember that you’ll spend it on your employees and experts anyway but probably a less predictable amount. There is a lot of uncertainty around the estimation of money on an in-house redesign project.

Time — branding agencies have professional and structured teams. They can help you in a complex way and in a timely manner. In-house projects usually are time-consuming, because they need to be made on the side of the daily tasks. Plus, it depends on how transparent you can be in setting up goals, expectations, and requirements at the beginning of a project.

Creating and approving is not the end

Think about the implementation of your project. The internal visual redesign solution can go more smoothly as people know each other. Because of that, it will be in line with brand guidelines.
If you need a real leap, wow-effect, and outstanding outcomes, an agency is a better choice. Also, you will need an internal ambassador who will be able to bring all ideas and solutions to life and keep them thriving.

(Im)perfect solution

A mixture of a strong internal team and an agency seems to be an admirable idea, but there are other challenges on the way. It can be successful but for redesign projects, double force often means double time. It’s because this new and oversized team will need time to embrace itself and get along.

Finally

A team of great professionals that pull off visual redesign projects can be hired outside of the company or can be found inside. It is possible to get a complex solution from a branding agency or hire just dedicated brand consultants. WeTransfer, Uber, and Kia used the mixed approach for the recent update. They hired an agency that supported the internal team. While last updates on Volvo and General Motors were made totally in-house.

In general, usually, working with an agency is the best choice. But you can be that particular case with a strong in-house brand & design team that can do redesign internally. In other words — start from brand audit and check what are your needs, it will help you make a decision.

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