How to choose a graphic design agency

Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, unless you are in a position to employ a creative team, it’s inevitable that you’re going to need to call on a creative agency or freelancer at some time. But how do you choose the agency that’s right for you and your business needs?

There’s a few things to consider…

Firstly, it’s important to outline in-house what it is you require, whether it be branding, marketing material, web graphics. Set out the brief before you start so that you have the answers when the questions come about the specifics of the project. If you have a really loose idea, you’re likely to get a wide range of prices and packages, as agencies interpret the project, as opposed to you setting the clear parameters of what you require.

Set SMART Targets
* Specific – What exactly are you trying to achieve?
* Measurable – How will you know when it is complete?
* Achievable – Can the target actually be met?
* Realistic – Is the project reasonable?
* Time bound – What is the deadline? Do you have certain milestones to meet?

Have a rough budget in mind for the project. It’s useful if this can be flexible as agencies are likely to offer different options depending on your budget

Find creative examples that you like. Whether it be of your competitors or just generally – if you have an idea of the style, colours, layout etc it will make the brief a lot clearer.

Now you have a clear idea of what your brief is, it’s time to start searching for the right agency to work with. Google is a great tool; however, it can also be saturated with a lot of results that just aren’t relevant to you. Be specific when searching. If you would rather work with a local agency, state the place within the search term, however, if you’re are happy to communicate via email or telephone then the world really is your oyster.

Ask around. Your associates, business acquaintances, friends. These are likely to give the most useful referrals, as they may have had personal experience with an agency and are trustworthy in their review. People do business with people they know, and a referral from a friend is the next best thing.

Shorten your shortlist. Once you have a shortlist of contenders, have a look at their online presence, website, social media accounts. This will give you an idea of their previous work and you might find examples that are similar to what you are looking for.

Touch base. After viewing the different options it’s time to contact the agencies or designers you like best. It’s always useful to contact a few, not only to compare prices but to also gage availability and interest. Since you already have the brief set, it’s a much easier process to provide this to the proposed agencies for them to then quote on and discuss their views on how they feel best to proceed.

Getting things off the ground. The process here after will all depend on your internal procedures, but you should now have a list of several providers who best meet your criteria.

Building a positive relationship with your chosen design agency is essential in ensuring that you achieve your goals. Let them lead the design process, which will derive from your initial brief and adhere to any brand guidelines which exist.

If you’ve gone through the above process, and think that we’re the right fit for your business, then get in touch! Creativity is our bread and butter, and we’ll thrive on making you a lip smacking sandwich!

Get things off the ground… here