When I started Cocode Designs last year, my goal was to provide high quality, professional design to businesses of all sizes, regardless of their budget. Design has always been a love of mine and I have always enjoyed the freedom of freelance design over the constraints of working within a restrictive agency. As a designer, creative freedom is a luxury that is rarely enjoyed by designers.
Working as part of a defined agency, however, has many upsides. Not only do you have the guarantee of quality, but you have a standard of behaviour and a reputation to consider. Employing the services of an external agency ensures consistency and purity of design, formalised agreements and a great fit for your company.
Surely, then, freelance designers in an agency would be a recipe for disaster, right?
Not the way I look at it, though. Freelance designers, for many reasons, are the most undersold talent in design. There are websites dedicated to telling the horror stories that freelancers have experienced from late payments to erratic clients to seeing their craft demeaned and diminished because their client thought the worst website in the world was the perfect fit for their image.
Not only do their talents go under-rewarded by clients, but they are sometimes dismissed as inferior by designers employed by established agencies. They’re seen more as “hobbyists” than professional designers. This wouldn’t be a problem, except most designers would love to work for an agency. Granted, some people who go into freelance design may well do so as a hobby, but others do it to build their repertoire outside of their contracted work or to gain experience before working for an agency. Some do it to show they are willing to work between employment and aren’t prepared to sit around claiming welfare checks. Some do it for the creative freedom, the ability to accept any job they desire, with no restrictions.
They are designers, just like those employed by any other agency.
That might be a controversial thing to say, and I am sure a lot of people will disagree with me. That’s ok, I understand that and I welcome it. Some may even tell of horror stories that they’ve had with freelance designers being sub-par, late, or whatever. And I won’t pretend those designers don’t exist. But often, those designers or the hobbyists that have learned a little HTML are depicted as representative of the entire group, and that is just not the case.
So, to protect freelancers and give them the formal platform to work within whilst they are earning their stripes as agency-worthy designers, I formed Cocode Designs. It also works as a branded front for my own design work, so effectively I am both the Creative Director of Cocode Designs and their first freelancer.
The aim is to give freelance designers in the local community a boost when working in design and to provide a structured framework for designers to work in, whilst ensuring high-quality design work for customers from all areas of society. We work with companies of any size and background, from new start-ups to long-standing businesses, and we provide the best quality service regardless of your budget.