In today’s always-online environment, graphic design is no longer a nice-to-have for your small business – it’s essential.

Coming up with a brand voice and representing your products and services in the best possible light requires professionally designed graphics; fail to compete with other businesses in your niche, and your brand will look outdated and stale.

Developing a cost-effective design process can be tough; we’ve put together some strategies to help…


Create brand guidelines

Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to streamline your graphic design process is to create a set of brand guidelines early on. They’ll help you understand what your brand should look like on and offline, and ensure that whenever you outsource design work to a new member of your team or another company, the work will be consistent and on-brand.

Think about everything from colors, fonts, and logos to your preference on stock image websites and even elements like your brand voice; the more comprehensive your brief, the easier it’ll be to stick to, and the more polished and professional your brand will be.


Rely on templates

Not every business can afford to hire a graphic designer in-house or pay for work to be done by a professional team. Templates are a great way of positioning your business in a positive manner without breaking the bank.

Use websites like Canva to design basic social media posts and posters, and consider websites like Freepik where you can pay for premium PSD and AI files which you can edit on Photoshop and Illustrator.

Depend on premade assets will save you time and money – you can quickly make them your own with your colors and logo.


Reuse and repurpose assets

Another way to save money when working on graphic design projects is to think about the bigger picture and create content that can be reused and repurposed time and time again.

For example, there’s no point in spending thousands on graphics for a one-off event or sale; instead, you’d be better off putting that money towards a rebrand or a set of new social media borders that can enhance your posts and maximize your brand online. Create a bank of content and repurpose it wherever possible – it pays to get creative and experiment, too!


Use a graphic design service

Graphic designers don’t come cheap. If you’re looking to take advantage of a professional design team but don’t have the budget, consider using an on-demand graphic design service such as Penji.

From as little as $399 per month, you can set a team to work on unlimited design projects for your business, helping you achieve your marketing goals in record time. You pay a monthly fee, and submit design requests to the team; they’ll be queued and worked on as and when with designs and revisions offered as standard. Whether you need graphics for print, digital, ads, and UX/UI designs, their unlimited graphic design service offers a no-nonsense, straightforward approach to design, saving you time and money.


Appoint a dedicated graphic designer

Finally, if budgets allow, it might be a wise move to appoint a dedicated graphic designer for your business.

Particularly for those in eCommerce and retail, graphic design is becoming an ever-more important element, and failing to invest in your brand could be costly. You can hire a graphic designer in the United Kingdom for around £25,000 per year, though that’s for an entry-level role. Always ask to see their portfolio to ensure they’re suitable for your brand.


There you have it – some tips on streamlining your graphic design process. Do you have any tips? Let us know on social media @MuffinMarketing and check back to the blog soon for more.