Tips to Choose a Graphic Design Agency

Choosing the right graphic design agency is an important first step in creating an ongoing and profitable relationship.

How much do you have to spend?

Before you start approaching graphic design agencies, it’s useful to know what your budget will be for the work that needs doing. This not only helps you in the search but will also allow agencies to be realistic with you about what they can offer. Huge agencies might shrug off the £500 you have to get started with, but a much smaller operation may not be able to handle the volume of work that you have planned.

But money isn’t everything

The cheapest option is not necessarily the best. While it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve for your budget, simply going for the lowest bidder is unlikely to yield the results you’re hoping for.

Are they experienced?

It pays to investigate what sort of work an agency has taken on in the past. The company website is a good starting point, but don’t be afraid to ask for additional case studies and portfolios. Have they worked in your sector before? Do they have any similar clients?

Get inspired by great design

You know that coffee place that just opened in town? With the swish sign and spot on branding? Why not ask them who worked on it? The same goes for the brochures and circulars that you’ve noticed lately and not thrown straight in the recycle bin. They have a certain something, and with a swift email or phone call, you can find out who was behind them.

Speak to their clients

A good graphic design agency will have nothing to hide. Obviously only their best work and carefully edited quotes will make it on to their company website, but don’t be afraid to drop a line to their clients and find out what working with them is really like.

Location, location, location

The location of your chosen graphic design agency can make all the difference to your relationship with them. In today’s digital age, Skype, email and project management tools mean that you can choose to work with an agency anywhere in the world. However, a local agency will allow you to meet more often and potentially offer quicker turnaround times on smaller jobs. It may sound obvious, but check the travel times between your offices before you commit. Historically, London-based agencies are understandably more expensive – their fees incorporate their higher overheads in comparison to graphic design agencies outside of the capital.

Timing is everything

Think about the way your company works, and whether your agency will be able to keep up with the pace. You may have months to get your annual report designed, printed and delivered, but if you need an urgent amend to a menu for an event this weekend, will they be able to turn it around for you?