PRO: You are able to keep many of your expenses as internal costs.
CON: If you add up all your true costs of labor, overhead, equipment, software, and external vendors that you will still need to work with, it may be difficult to have an overall cost lower than a professional firm that is experienced and efficient at design.
PRO: Because all work is done in-house, business owners and marketing staff may feel they receive more attentive response on projects. Opportunities also exist for efficiency in routing projects, meetings, and discussions.
CON: In addition to actual design time, managing creative projects takes time and expertise. Plan for this while developing schedules and budgets.
PRO: This is one area that is all up to you. If you have a burning desire to do this kind of work every day, then the answer is simple. The creative expression and freedom of design can be exciting and professionally rewarding.
CON: Design is still a job. If you don’t truly enjoy it, the pleasure will fade when things go wrong or as you realise your freedom of expression is now controlled by business decisions.
PRO: Keeping design in-house gives you complete control of everything you do. You can easily monitor timelines, budgets, design quality, and more.
CON: With control comes responsibility. You will have complete ownership of your projects, which is great, until something goes wrong and there’s nobody to share the blame.
PRO: Internal designers may feel more ownership of their work as they see a direct impact on the company. Employees are closer to the workflow to monitor the details of each job.
CON: The quality of work means having quality people doing design, illustration, photography, production, and project management. Finding one person that can do it all is rare, and staffing an entire department increases management and overhead.
PRO: Intellectual property, trade secrets, and other confidential information is much more controllable in an in-house setting.
CON: There are no general drawbacks, unless you need to keep information from employees, such as mergers, restructurings, or other critical information.
PRO: Designing it yourself gives you complete ownership of all designs you create (with the exception of any licensing restriction of fonts, illustration, photographs, and so on).
CON: You need to take time to manage data archival, security, and license enforcement.
SECURITY (DATA SAFETY)
PRO: You have access to all of your data at all times.
CON: Daily backup and long-term archival of data can be expensive and takes time. If it is not part of your normal business systems, you will want to plan for it.
PRO: Bringing design in-house may be part of a sound business plan. Issues such as capital purchases, depreciation, expense ratios, and other factors may play a part in why a business may benefit from bringing design in-house.
CON: Most companies assume they will save money, and this is not necessarily true.