How to choose the right graphic design agency
Designs can create brands! Think of some of your favorite global brands, and you will know what we are saying.
When it comes to designing marketing materials, companies have two choices. First, hire a designer or a group of designers. Second, getting the help of an agency. The second choice is way better because the agencies bring with them years of expertise & tons of premium tools.
Does hiring a graphic design agency sound tough? Let’s make it a breeze for you.
We have curated a list of tips to help you choose the perfect team design agency.
Try to avoid freelancers
Freelancers are fine if you want someone for a tiny project or just a few creatives. For long-term, hiring an agency is always a better choice. That’s because a graphic design company has a reputation to maintain. They won’t cause unnecessary delays. After all, there’s a team of designers working with them. Conversely, an individual might delay your work if they are already overloaded with multiple projects. Another benefit of hiring an agency is that you can ask for another designer for your project if you aren’t happy with the results…something not possible when working with an individual.
Hire a team that believes in research
So, it happened with a small startup. They hired a local design agency that charged very little. The startup briefed them about their business and overall requirements. What the agency did was copied a few designs, and edit by putting their client’s content. The research was ZERO. Then, the same startup hired a reputable design firm. And that firm took the research seriously. They learned about the target customers, products, and all other aspects. Result: the designs resonated with the look & feel of that startup. Simply put, nothing beats research in design. If an agency says otherwise, it’s better to avoid them.
Check their portfolio
Perhaps you have already thought about this point. Also, almost every graphic design agency has a portfolio of their best designs. But you need to go a step ahead. Try to get a portfolio that involves designs from your or related industries. Get as many creatives as possible. If an agency is reliable, they won’t mind sharing the same with you. Get a mix of brochures, social media posts, emailers, flyers, and other branding materials.
Don’t just hire designers! Hire branding experts
A designer will simply put some pretty & colorful pictures and add text in different fonts & sizes. The branding experts will go the extra mile. They will think from the marketing & branding point of view. The designers & branding team will work on how to make your brand more popular among the target customers. And that makes a huge difference in the long run. The choice is yours – whether you want to hire a bunch of designers or those who think like top marketers.
Check their qualifications
Yes, it is as important as checking the qualifications of coders or management professionals. Some designers simply learn the basics of image and video editing and call themselves designers. The ones you would want to choose to have proper qualifications from a design institute. They carry a degree or a proper certification related to their field. Plus, the agency or some of their team members might have won some accolades related to design.
Ask what’s included in the package
We assume you are hiring an agency for multiple creatives and videos. The chances are the agency is offering a package. Ask what’s included in that package. The number of creatives, number of changes allowed, and all other aspects. Doing so avoids conflicts after you hire them. Get a proper contract with everything in writing. Ask what happens if you aren’t happy with their work. It’s better to avoid long-term contracts. Even if you are thinking about one, make sure there are clauses to exit the partnership.
Be clear about the timelines
Sometimes, you are happy with their work. But, you are not at all happy with how slow they deliver the work. It is better to be clear about the timelines. Discuss everything in email – so that you have proof in case a conflict arises.
Ask who will be the point of contact
More often than not, there is no common point of contact in some graphic design companies. In the first call, you’re talking to their owner. In the 2nd and 3rd, you are connected to a random designer from their team. Make sure there’s a point of contact who listens to your requirements regularly and conveys the same to the concerned team. Similarly, he/she should be able to explain the technicalities and other aspects of designs related to your project.
The Bottom Line: Choosing an agency for designing purposes isn’t tough if you follow these tips. In many cases, you can sense professionalism with the way they interact with you. That said, don’t ignore the quality just because their sales team is AMAZING. Last, but not the least, share all your expectations with the team in the first few meetings.
Best of Luck!