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7 Tips for Choosing the Best Graphic Design Agency

Last updated
October 20, 2022
Categories
Read time
9 min

With so many graphic design agencies worldwide, it’s pretty hard to find your best fit. Especially nowadays, in the era of the Internet and tough competition, when Google search shows you a million results and ads for a simple graphic design services search.

Most companies don’t have that much time and resources to spend on searching for a good design agency and may end up working with the first agency they see on a Google search. You might be lucky and get your best fit on the first try, but chances are you will be unsatisfied with their provided results.

To help you not waste your time in the search for the perfect graphic design agency, we’ve compiled useful tips that any company can use to find their best fit.

Table of Contents

1. Know the Details of Your Project

When searching for a design agency, the first thing you need to do is not rush to Google search or other means of search, but to understand the outline of your project. What kind of graphic design services do you need? What exactly do you need the agency to create for you? Is it a logo, banners, illustrations or everything combined? Or maybe you need brand design services?

Take your time and write down the details of your project. The more details you have, the easier it will be both for you and the agency to work together. Maybe you need very simple tasks and it’s not so necessary to hire an agency, a freelancer might be a better choice for you. Here you can find more about the difference between freelancers and agencies.

It would also be very helpful both for you and the agency if you search for some designs that you might like and show them to the designers you’re going to work with. It can immensely help you in finding the right agency. As if they have experience in creating designs in a style that you like, it’s quite likely that they’ll get your designs spot on.

After you’ve listed everything you need, it’s time to understand your goals. What do you expect to achieve with your design? To increase awareness or sales? Designing without goals is just a waste of time and resources.

P.S. Also, it’d be helpful if you know the approximate budget and deadlines of your project, so that you can find the contractor that will deliver at your desired rates and within the desired time.

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2. Search for Agencies

Now you can start searching for agencies. This is a tricky part. If you try to search graphic design agencies on Google, you will get millions of ads and organic results. And the problem is the ones that appear the first, maybe agencies that work with big and famous companies and charge a lot.

If your budget is not as big as Disney’s or Chanel’s, you need to try a more narrow search. Try to include location in your search and not necessarily the one your business operates. If you can cooperate online, you can work with an agency from anywhere in the world.

The trick is to try different cities and small towns. These specific searches are less targeted and you’ll get more chances to find what you’re looking for. And don’t look only on the first page of Google. Results on the 2nd and 3rd pages can be quite relevant as well.

Also, remember that the Internet is not your only option. Another great way to find a design agency is to ask your coworkers, friends and family about their experience with an agency. If someone you know well has a positive review about a graphic design agency, it’s most probably a good one.

Another great way to search for agencies is by searching for designs and styles that you like. Are there any companies that have a design that you like? Then you can reach out to them and find out who created that design.

And finally, visit Dribbble and Behance, most designers and agencies post their works there, so you can find the design that you like and contact the creator for collaboration. The best thing about this method is that by looking at designers’ works you will more clearly understand what kind of design you want and which designer has experience in creating it.

When you finish your search, make a list of all the agencies that you found.

Passionate agency Behance screenshot

3. Research the Graphic Design Agencies

Now, as you have the list of the potential graphic design agencies that you can work with, it’s time to research them.

Visit their websites and research their portfolios. Which industries they have worked with? Do they have projects similar to yours? A good, updated portfolio shows that the agency cares about new visitors and is active. Pay attention to how often their websites are updated. New portfolio projects, new blog posts or other forms of updates are an indication that the agency is active.

Also, pay attention to the reviews and rankings of the agency. This shows whether their clients are satisfied with their job or not. Beware of fake reviews: if a review is too vague and says only things like “very good agency”, it’s probably fake. Real clients will write more extended and detailed reviews.

To find real reviews, you can visit Clutch. Clutch.co is a great place to find real reviews as it has a very rigorous verification process requiring clients to link their LinkedIn, and each review is manually verified.

Try to contact their past clients and find out how content they were with their project outcome, and what comments they have about the agency. Nothing will better prove the quality of their work than the recommendations of their clients.

Besides, follow their social media pages, pay attention to what they post about, and who are the designers who work there.

Passionate agency Clutch.co screenshot

4. Narrow Down Your List

Collect all the information and narrow down your list. There will probably be a lot of agencies that don’t correspond to your requirements, in terms of your budget, their experience, your deadlines, etc.

Don’t waste your time by contacting too many agencies, try to narrow down your list as much as you can.

You can also make a priority list and start from the agencies that you liked the most and think that they are your best fit. During the next phases, it’d be easier for you as you might find the best graphic design agency from your first contact.

5. Contact Chosen Design Agencies

Now as you have narrowed down the list of the agencies, you need to make initial contact with each of them. Write emails to schedule calls. Don’t wait too long for an answer, if an agency doesn’t respond within a week, they are probably not interested or don’t pay attention to their inbox.

After the first contact, schedule a call with the agencies that are interested in working with you. No matter how much their reviews and portfolio say about them, direct communication will show better whether you can work with the graphic design agency or not.

Tell the details of your project, your budget and your deadline and see if they are ready to work with these conditions. Ask questions about their team and experience, you can request to communicate with the designer who you’re going to work with. They can tell you better whether they can create what you want or not.

Also, always believe in your intuition and trust your gut. If you don’t like the way they talk to you, even though the agency seems perfect, then it’s better to go on with another agency.

It’d be great if you could request a free trial. That will show you how professional their designers are, how they meet your guidelines and the quality of their work. If you have an in-house designer, ask for their opinion about the design as well.

Passionate agency, free trial page screenshot

6. Make Comparisons

Write down everything you learned about the agencies, make a list of pros and cons.

But before diving into the process of making comparisons of your results, take some time off and try to forget about everything you’ve learned. It will help you to have a more clear head and to make a better decision later.

After that, you’re ready to examine all the information. Which agencies have experience in your industry? Do they have good communication? Which ones were more interested to work with you, and responded to you the first? Compare everything you have.

You can also write points for each agency so that you can calculate which one is the best match for you.

If it’s hard to make a decision, start by removing to remove the agencies that you definitely won’t work with. Narrow down your list one by one, and in the end, you will have very few agencies left.

7. Choose The Best Graphic Design Agency

Now the hard part of the job is done (although, making the final decision can be the hardest part for some), you have all the information to make a decision. At this stage, you might have 5-10 agencies left or less, so your choice is easier.

When making your final decision, also think about whether you want to work with the agency in the long term. Many companies, by hiring agencies, continue to work with them after the completion of the project. So, if you plan to work with the design agency long-term, make sure that they cover other design areas, that you plan to do in the future.

UI/UX design, app design, branding, marketing and other services can be provided by one agency. Later, you won’t waste your time searching for a new agency for a new project. Also, some of you expect to work continuously on graphic design, so you need to look for an agency that provides graphic design subscription services.

After all these points are discussed, you will be ready to make your final decision.

Yellow and green darts with target arrows

Final Thoughts

Searching for a graphic design agency or any type of design agency is indeed tough in the era of the Internet. Try to follow the steps in this guide to make the process much easier and less stressful.

Remember that with the right agency you will feel at ease from the start. The communication, understanding of each other, the project timeline, everything will flow smoothly.

Trust your feelings in order to be able to make the right decisions in finding your perfect graphic design agency.

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General FAQ

A graphic design agency offers a variety of design services and works with multiple clients. Usually, they hire several designers who specialise in different areas of design to be able to provide various design services.

There are many qualities that a good graphic design agency should have, but one of the most important ones is how they care about their clients. They should have great support and respond fast to the inquiries of clients. This quality combined with good graphic design services is what makes a graphic design agency a high-quality one.

The first thing you can do is to try a Google search. But try to include the location of your country or your city in the search. Agencies located in small towns will have lower rates and thus can be more affordable for most companies.

Also, you can try to search on Clutch.co. The best design agencies are listed there and you can search them by your project, budget and rankings. The reviews on Clutch are manually verified, so you can be sure it provides reliable information.

About Passionate

Passionate is a full service design agency specialising in providing branding, graphic design, web design and WordPress, Shopify and Webflow services.

We pride ourselves on our meticulous attention to detail, speed of delivery and the genuine advice we provide throughout the process. Last but not least, we try to be as flexible as possible, within your budget and deadlines. So if there is something you think we can help with, feel free to just book a call and we’ll walk you through the rest! 

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