What's a graphic design agency?
A graphic design agency produces creative work for brands and usually has a team of graphic designers that specialize in different areas of design. They could create designs for marketing materials, package design, digital design, corporate branding, business cards, logos, and more.
Why should you work with a graphic design agency?
If you're working on a small project or need some quick designs done then you should probably work with a graphic designer. If you're looking for something more robust and long-term then you need a graphic design company with a large design team.
Brands that are looking for specific expertise or want to onboard a design team quickly should work with a digital agency. The competitive advantage of agencies is that they could deliver work faster and onboard larger clients.
Another advantage of working with a specialized design agency is that they are the most knowledgeable about the latest trends. As one of the greatest design experts, Bruce Duckworth (owner of the packaging design firm Turner Duckworth) has said - "one of the things we are very careful about, indeed very wary of as an agency, are trends". Bruce's agency put a lot of effort into learning which design trends stick and which flop.
"A good logo is NOT about what one likes or dislikes, it's about what works" - Sagi Haviv, famous graphic designer and author
What's the difference between a graphic design and a creative agency?
Graphic design agencies focus on executing designs and less on creative strategy. Creative agencies do more of the art direction and overall strategy for their clients. It's like working with a branding firm.
How much do graphic design firms cost?
It really depends on the type and scope of your project. A one-time design service costs between $100 and $850 while ongoing work with a creative agency could cost between $300 and $1000 (or more) depending on the type of work you would have them do.
Questions to ask your graphic design agency
Don't be left in the dark or stuck working with an unqualified digital design team. Here are the questions you should ask every
1. What previous experience do they have working with clients in your industry?
What's the agency's experience like? Will you be working with senior designers that have a proven track record in your niche? Ask for a list of some of their most notable clients in your industry or niche. Look at their client base and see examples of their work.
You don't need a fancy creative studio or an award-winning agency from San Francisco to get good graphic design services. Experience and proven success in your specific niche are more important than accolades and awards.
2. What's their creative process like?
What does the process look like from ideation to execution? Get a good grasp of how the ideas turn into designs and who works on what.
3. What materials do they need from you to get started?
Make sure you even have the materials the agency needs. Sometimes you may find you're missing something and that would delay the work.
4. Who will you be working with?
Graphic design companies usually have several roles on their team. You should ask which people you would be talking with, how many of the staff members you would be interacting with, and how much influence would you have on the specific project.
5. What's their project timeline like?
How long will the project take? What's their turnaround time like? Make sure to know the delivery times for each piece of design and get your team ready for it.
6. Will you have rights to the designs they deliver?
This one is super important. Make sure that you have the rights to all the designs you pay for and that you could use it on various channels (your site, social media, digital products).
"Design is not a thing you do, it is a way of life" - Alan Fletcher, famous British graphic designer