Design as a Service (DaaS): What It Is & How It Works

Discover how 'design as a service' is revolutionizing the way businesses approach graphic design.

Written by
Alex Stewart
Founder @ Teamtown
Published on:
September 19, 2023

Even with the most accurate target audience in the world, a team without compelling design will watch their message fall short.

We have short attention spans. We like shiny things. If you aren't shining bright, then what's the point of even looking?

Mega-brands like Apple know this. And they know it well. Compelling design is what drives their message so effectively and what makes their brand so strong. And of course it does - we pay attention to what's worth gazing at.

But not every brand with a need for Apple marketing has a Apple budget. And most brands don't need Apple marketing. Sometimes we just need a design partner we can trust, without having to commit to hiring an in-house designer or draining our wallets to an opaque agency. We need a partner that can drive home our messaging in the most effective way possible with the least strings attached.

This is where Design as a Service (DaaS) comes in.

In this article, we'll explore the concept of DaaS, how it differs from traditional design services, its business model and key benefits, and how you can implement it in your business and teams. Plus, we'll introduce you to Teamtown, a subscription-based DaaS solution that acts as your own in-house design team.

The Concept Behind DaaS

Definition of Design as a Service

Design as a Service (DaaS) is a design solution that provides creative marketing design services, including graphic design, video editing and animation, branding development, logo design, advertising design and more, all on one platform and at your service for a fixed subscription pricing.

It's a relatively new approach to graphic design that's changing the way businesses access and manage design work.

Effective marketing teams have gone from dealing with design bottlenecks and expensive design solutions to enjoying consistent design production and most importantly: more breathing room in the budget.

This approach leverages technology and collaboration tools to streamline the process, making it efficient and accessible for businesses and companies of all sizes. Whether it's the company, marketing team, sales team, creative team, or even the design team - anyone can collaborate and create design requests under one roof and from one provider.

How DaaS Differs from Traditional Design Services

Design as a Service differs from traditional design services in several key ways.

First and foremost, it offers scalability and flexibility. With DaaS, you can easily scale your design resources up or down based on your needs. Whether you have a single project or an ongoing design process, this flexibility ensures that you're not overcommitting or underutilizing a full-time designer.

Another significant difference is cost efficiency management and predictable budgeting. Traditional design agencies often charge hefty fees, making it challenging for small businesses to manage their design budgets and predict what invoices will look like.

In contrast, DaaS offers transparent pricing, allowing you to predict your design costs accurately. Most DaaS providers offer subscription-based business models or per-project pricing, giving you control over your expenses and ultimately your business.

Access to a diverse set of expertise is another key difference of DaaS. Rather than relying on a single full service designer or in-house designer, DaaS gives you access to a team of professionals with different skills and expertise. This diversity ensures that your design projects are handled by specialists in various areas, from web design to branding, regardless of what your customers need.

This agility is a significant advantage in today's fast-paced business environment, letting you reach your target audience sooner.

Key Benefits of DaaS

Now that you understand the core concept of DaaS let's dive into its key benefits:

1. Scalability and Flexibility

One of the most significant advantages of DaaS is its scalability. You can easily adjust the size of your design team based on your project demands. This flexibility ensures that you're not paying for more design work than you need, saving you money in the long run. Making more room in the budget is as easy as shrinking your subscription or pausing entirely.

2. Cost Efficiency and Predictable Budgeting

Traditional design services often come with unpredictable costs that can strain your budget. With DaaS, you can expect transparent and predictable pricing. This predictability is a game-changer for marketing teams looking to manage their expenses efficiently.

This same effect can be a double edged sword. Brands without consistent design needs should be cautious when choosing a DaaS solution. Whether you submit 100 different designs or just 2, the pricing remains the exact same.

3. Access to a Diverse Set of Expertise

Design is a multifaceted field, and different projects require designers with different skills. DaaS provides users with access to a team of vetted designers with diverse capabilities. This access to specialists ensures that your design projects are executed flawlessly, no matter their complexity.

This doesn't mean working with different designers each time your team submits a design request. Most services assign you a dedicated design team, meaning the same set of experienced designers are always working with you. Learning about your brand, diving into your target audience, and becoming your own in-house team.

4. Streamlined Processes and Faster Turnaround

DaaS providers are design experts, and they've fine-tuned their processes for efficiency. This means faster turnaround times for your projects.

Whether you have a tight deadline or need quick revisions, DaaS can do design thinking and deliver results promptly. This agility is a significant advantage in today's content-hungry world.

But be cautious, the balance between quality and speed is never ending. Some DaaS providers promise far-quicker turnarounds than they can deliver on, and it shows in the quality for the end user. When selecting a DaaS solution, ensure the pricing and promises make sense. Sometimes paying a little more can pay the entire expense off in the long run.

Implementing DaaS in Your Business

Now that you've learned about the benefits of Design as a Service for the average business, you might be wondering how to implement it in your business model successfully. Here are some steps to get started:

1. Identify Your Design Needs

Start by assessing your organization, customers, and graphic design requirements. Including the types of projects you frequently undertake. This initial market assessment will help you determine the scope of design services you need. Where is your target audience spending their time? What kind of graphic content is most effective in that place?

2. Research DaaS Providers

Look for Design as a Service providers that align with your needs, budget and customer. Consider factors like the scope of their business model, services they offer, pricing models, and client reviews. Reading case studies and client testimonials can provide valuable insights into their capabilities.

What sorts of design problems are you facing? Find the Design as a Service solution or digital product that fits best within that.

3. Onboard Your DaaS Provider

Once you've chosen a DaaS provider, follow their customer onboarding process to set up your graphic design requirements and create your projects. This typically involves companies creating an account, and certain design decisions like specifying your design preferences, creating and uploading a brand guide, and submitting your first design requests.

4. Collaborate Effectively

Establish clear communication channels and guidelines for collaborating with your DaaS team. Provide detailed project briefs to ensure your vision is understood. Many design solutions offer design tools such as client portals, which offer easy-to-use user interfaces for submitting design requests and providing feedback.

5. Evaluate ROI

Continuously assess the return on investment (ROI) of your Design as a Service engagement. Measure factors like cost savings, graphic design quality, and project timelines. Regularly reviewing your ROI ensures that you're getting the most value from your design services. Making sure the client feels satisfied is just as important to the DaaS provider, so always notify your partner if things are falling short.

Subscription Design Services: Try Teamtown

If you're ready to explore Design as a Service and experience its benefits firsthand, give Teamtown a shot. Our subscription-based design service is designed to cater to the specific needs of marketing teams, giving them the support they need to satisfy even the most hands-on of CEOs.

With Teamtown, you can access top-notch design expertise, enjoy cost predictability, and streamline your graphic design projects for optimal results.

Curious about how DaaS can transform your design operations? Book a free strategy call and see if it's the right fit.

Conclusion

Design as a Service (DaaS) is a game-changing approach to design solutions that offer clients scalability, cost efficiency, access to diverse expertise, and faster project delivery. By implementing Design as a Service in your business and choosing the right provider, you can upgrade your design operations and achieve outstanding results.

Teamtown, a market leading subscription-based design service company, is here to help small businesses and startups with ambitious marketing teams thrive in the competitive world of design.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Design as a Service?

Design as a Service is a design solution that offers businesses the design support they need for effective marketing at a predictable and affordable cost. Customers can access a wide scope of services, from branding design to website design, all under one roof and one flat price.

Is service design the same as UX?

Service design and UX design, while related, have distinct scopes and objectives. Service design encompasses the entire service ecosystem, considering the holistic user journey and involving various stakeholders, aiming to create seamless, user-centric services over a longer term. UX design, on the other hand, concentrates on optimizing specific user interactions within a product or interface, with a narrower focus on usability and efficiency.