Choosing A Graphic Design Agency: Advice for Making a Tough Decision

The right graphic design firm fits right in with your team.

15 Jan Choosing A Graphic Design Agency: Advice for Making a Tough Decision

Sometimes, business decisions are all neat and tidy and formulaic. Contractor X provides item Y reliably for 4.8 percent less than the competition. Done.

But things get a little more subjective when creative elements enter the picture. Few organizations serious about their branding hire a graphic design firm just because it’s the cheapest.

You can spot the ones that do. And usually, it ain’t pretty.

Shop around for the right graphic design agency for your needs, both current and potential. Finding the perfect match provides a long-term professional relationship that makes your life easier, enhances your brand, and spurs your growth in appreciable ways.

When choosing a graphic design company:

Review the Agency’s Portfolio

This is where it all starts. If you like the work you see, you’ll probably like the work you get. But you don’t have to like all of it; remember, clients have input into the final product. If you don’t particularly appreciate some samples, are they at least well executed? Also, check out the company’s client list and testimonials (which should be attributed to real people at real organizations) or request references.

Look for Balance Between Creative and Professional

The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but they don’t always go hand in hand, either. There can be a significant difference between creativity that wows in a college art course on abstract expressionism and creativity that inspires consumers to make purchases. Find a graphic design team with a body of work that shows creative concepts and execution applied in ways that reflect respectably on the brands.

Confirm Versatility in Design and Production Capabilities

Graphic design is a broad field, and just because a team has a knack for attractive flyers, that doesn’t mean they excel at logos or magazine ads. A great agency’s portfolio showcases a wide variety of web-based and print designs and materials. Versatility indicates talent, but also reassures you’re getting a team that can provide for evolving needs over time.

Ask About the Firm’s Creative Process

You’ll only be happy with graphic design work that fits your vision. That requires a provider that first takes the time to understand your organization, brand story, and goals. Find out when during the development process you review work and offer feedback, and ask what happens if the final product isn’t what you expected. While looking into all this, get a sense of how responsive the agency is and whether you’re getting prompt, personalized attention.

Evaluate How Well the Graphic Design Company Sells Itself

What better way to determine how well a graphic designer markets than examining how well it markets itself? Does it effectively use imagery and copy on its own website and marketing materials? Does it have a cool, attractive, memorable logo? Is the branding consistent across the site, marketing materials, and social media accounts? And the big question: Does the agency make you want to work with them?