The best graphic design firms create strategic visuals for businesses. These designs include advertisements, marketing campaigns, book covers, social media posts, email marketing newsletters, banner ads, corporate reports, custom web designs and more.
Best Graphic Designers – 2019 Graphic Design Company Rankings & Reviews
The best graphic design firms create strategic visuals for businesses. These designs include advertisements, marketing campaigns, book covers, social media posts, email marketing newsletters, banner ads, corporate reports, custom web designs and more.
How Graphic Design Companies Grow Businesses Effectively
Table of Contents
- What Is Graphic Design?
- What Does A Graphic Designer Do?
- Graphic Design Firms Offer Comprehensive Design Services
- Top Types Of Graphic Design That Can Promote Your Business
- A Professional Graphic Design Company Can Grow Your Business
- 26 Graphic Design Interview Questions To Ask A Digital Design Company Before You Hire Them
- How To Hire A Graphic Designer For Your Business Needs
- What Are The Best Graphic Design Firms In The World?
- What Is Graphic Design Used For? How Graphic Design Agencies Grow Your Business
- 5 Easy Tips for Effective Print Design
- 5 Examples of Incredibly Creative Print Designs
- 5 Graphic Designs That Will Promote Your Business
- Unexpected Print Designs Your Business Should Utilize
Top graphic designers can create stunning, custom imagery that excites and inspires. These images can help establish your brand identity and build a fully-operational persona that attracts new clients and delights existing ones.
Graphic design consists of the imagery you most often see when you think about a favorite brand. It’s made up of the logo designs, those funky website illustrations, and the business card typography that gives a business a personality.
Your business needs these designs -- and the best graphic design agencies in the world provide that content for you.
What Is Graphic Design?
Graphic design and print design agencies craft the two-dimensional content that lives on your branded materials. This includes logos, graphics, animations in your website, and other custom imagery.
Graphic designers can help give your website a personalized edge. And they can roll out a host of printed materials in the form of pamphlets, business cards, stationery and more.
If you need a banner created for a website or email campaign, the best graphic design companies have your back. Similarly, if you need a billboard campaign created, these award-winning print design firms can craft the strategy that will get your brand noticed.
What Does A Graphic Designer Do?
A Graphic Design Agency Focuses On Agility And Collaboration
Designing for the modern age means being flexible, adaptable, and agile. Though the principles of good design remain relatively fixed, media can shift rapidly.
The best graphic design firms are the ones that are capable of changing with the times. Fixed ideas and rigid ways of thinking can be damaging for projects because they limit creativity and inhibit innovation.
When interviewing graphic design agencies you should ideally be looking for a partner that is open to adapting ideas and processes to meet the specific needs of your brand or project.
The best design rarely emerges in a silo. Deep collaboration is almost always necessary for graphic designers to be empowered to create truly innovative products and campaigns.
In an agency setting, collaboration must exist both amongst internal teams but also between the agency team and the client team. Top graphic design companies facilitate sharing and discovery with clients in order to ensure all the members of the team acquire a solid baseline understanding of the client’s branding, goals, values, and objectives.
Collaboration persists into the strategy and execution phases of the project as well. Teams should be composed of employees in a variety of disciplines, from strategy and user experience to design and technology.
B-reel highlights the breadth of their team’s skills on their website, saying, “We’re an extended family of over 170 designers, developers, writers, strategists, and producers across six offices around the world.”
A Reliable Graphic Design Firm Is Strategic And Vision-Oriented
Every design project should be guided by strategy. Research should form the foundation of the assumptions that are used to determine creative direction. The best graphic design agencies are the ones with a keen understanding of this principle.
Though experienced designers have much in the way of intuition, they never rely on educated guesses alone to guide creative decisions. A strong strategic foundation should be the first step in any comprehensive graphic design project.
No agency worth their salt should ask you to sign a contract blindly without first pitching you what their approach to the project would be. Whatever your specific vision for the project is, all top graphic design companies should be able to take your ideas and apply them to the creation of the site mockups.
Before selecting an agency, ask to see a few simplified concepts that represent their vision for how they would approach the project based on what they know so far. Doing this will give you a much clearer perspective on whether the agency is in sync with your needs, and whether they’re likely to be able to pull it off.
A Graphic Design Company Practices Consistent Branding In Their Graphic Design Portfolio Examples
Every page of your website should be meticulously designed to work within your overall brand aesthetic. The best graphic design companies put emphasis on this fact.
That means color palettes, fonts, animations, and any other design elements should never be chosen at random. They must fit within the broader brand narrative. It’s also important that the agency is committed to unifying the design across platforms so that assets are consistent on desktop, mobile, social, email, and even in offline assets as well.
Perhaps the greatest service a great graphic design agency can provide is logo design and branding. Creating a cohesive brand drastically improves brand awareness, increases returning customers, and, ultimately, boosts a business’s bottom line. This branding includes a responsive logo, recognizable color scheme, consistent imagery and more.
Because 59 percent of consumers purchase products from brands that they are familiar with, cultivating a recognizable visual identity is paramount.
Plus, studies show that consistent brand presentation across every platform can increase revenue by up to 23 percent.
Top Graphic Design Studios Are User-Driven
The importance of user experience cannot be overstated. Graphic design is about more than simply making a website that looks beautiful. It must also be appealing and engaging to your company’s target audience.
The best graphic design agencies incorporate a discovery phase which they use to learn about your company’s customers. These award-winning design agencies learn your consumers’ needs, desires, and pain points so that they can design an experience that works for them.
Depending on the audience, certain colors, fonts, and image directions will resonate better than others.
Graphic Design Firms Offer Comprehensive Design Services
The best graphic design companies offer a range of creative services to cover most of their clients’ core design needs. Below is a list of some of the best graphic design services you can expect to see on offer at top agencies.
Top Graphic Design Companies Craft A Comprehensive Brand Identity Throughout Their Graphic Design Examples
For companies that need a set of full, comprehensive brand assets — a successful graphic design firm is essential.
But it’s more than just creating materials all in the same thematic string.
Perhaps the most fundamental element of branding is the name. Naming strategies are offered for new businesses, or those seeking to re-brand themselves by some of the leading graphic design companies.
The Best Graphic Design Companies Provide Web Design Services
Full-service agencies will almost always offer web design services. For clients with substantial design needs the agency can execute start to finish custom website design, including strategy, design, development, and post-launch support. They may also engage in smaller projects, like landing page development.
Some professional graphic design agencies may offer user experience design as part of their core services as well.
This is the process of designing a functional and enjoyable product experience. It may also include web development.
Top Graphic Design Firms Craft Logos And Other Miscellaneous Creative
The creation of a brand logo is important for business. These excellent print design agencies can craft a strategy that will give your brand a memorable visual identity.
Graphic design agencies can create any number of other assets on behalf of their clients, including emails, print ads, digital ads, social media content, and media ore.
Thirty-seven percent of marketers claim that visual content is their second-most valuable form of marketing. The time will come when you might need business cards, stationery, promotional posters, signage for a brick and mortar store, and so on.
The best graphic design firms will have the resources and in-house experts to handle any request for on-brand collateral that you might have. And they’ll do this without requiring you to keep a department of designers on retainer, which is particularly helpful for growing startups.
Top Types Of Graphic Design That Can Promote Your Business
The Graphic Design Basics
Although there are many types of graphic design that can effectively promote your business, it's important to note that they are all rooted in the same principle: visually advertising a brand, product or service in an on-brand creation.
Despite art and design being somewhat subjective matters, there are basic design elements that all top-rated graphic designers learn.
Adhering to these rules of design will ensure that all collateral is traditionally aesthetically pleasing. That, in turn, increases the likelihood of success and a better return on investment.
The main elements of graphic design are:
The best designs should reflect the visual identity of a brand. In addition, designers can use color psychology to elicit an emotional response from users.
Lines can subconsciously guide a consumer to important information in a design. Therefore, it is important that the best print designers incorporate strategic and visually pleasing lines to communicate your information well.
Shapes describe the actual shapes used within the design. Those used should match the brand identity and mission of the collateral.
The best graphic designers can use their expertise to add texture to a 2-D image. Adding texture can make images appear more lifelike, enticing, engaging, or reputable.
Often referred to as negative space or white space, "space" refers to the breathing room behind specific elements, designs, text, etc. within an overall graphic design example. Every design needs space to create a balanced visual work that is easy to look at and interpret.
Size is, of course, self-explanatory. What will the print design be used for? Is the current design optimized for that use and placement?
Value actually references how light or dark in color an image is. This element helps to refine shapes and textures, particularly in monochrome visuals. That, in turn, improves the user experience and interaction.
Now that we understand how print designers create valuable designs for clients, let's explore the most common types of graphic design.
A Print Design Company Handles Marketing & Advertising Graphic Design
Graphic design companies manage visual marketing and advertising promotions -- which is perhaps the most well-known type of graphic design in business. These promotions can be print design or digital design.
Common types of marketing and advertising graphic design include:
- Banner ads
- Email marketing templates
- Paid media advertisements
- Social media posts
- And more!
Graphic Designers Create User Experience & User Interface Design
The best web designers also have strong graphic design backgrounds -- particularly if they are managing the user experience and user interface design. Graphic design elements in web design include:
- Website navigation
- Banners and imagery
- Font and typography
- And more!
Design Companies Produce Print Design & Publication Materials
Even though we live in the digital age, traditional print design is still valuable for businesses small and large. The best print design agencies can create promotional designs or artwork for a variety of tangible materials, including:
- Magazines, catalogs and newspapers
- Annual reports
- And more!
Print Design Agencies Create Corporate Designs
Print design companies also manage corporate designs, many of which are more internally facing than traditional promotions. However, corporate graphic design is important because it reinforces a strong brand identity throughout all areas of the business, consumer base, partnerships and beyond.
- Office branding
- Storefront signage
- Corporate reports
- And more!
A Top-Rated Print Design Company Builds Environmental Designs
Environmental designs are creations that infiltrate a consumer's environment or create an immersive one of their own. In fact, environmental design is growing in popularity as experiential marketing continues to bloom.
Types of environmental designs include:
- Brick and mortar stores
- Pop-up shops
- Billboards, posters and signs
- Events & Conferences
- Museum exhibits
- And more!
Print Design Firms Create Other Promotional Designs
The types of print designs a design company can create for you is really unlimited. As marketing continues to evolve and new platforms and strategies arise, the best print designers will work with your brand to create an effective design that matches your campaign seamlessly.
When you collaborate with a top-rated graphic design studio, you'll gain access to design pros, marketing experts and advertising geniuses. This top talent will help you produce unique print and graphic designs that capture your target audience, promote your business, and boost your bottom line.
A Professional Graphic Design Company Can Grow Your Business
The world of design is expansive and complex. But it’s a world that your brand needs to learn about and leverage for its own growth and success.
More specifically, the imagery that these top graphic designers create can help shape how your audience perceives your brand. This will alter how they interact and behave.
Graphic design comes in many forms — from business cards and brochures to website imagery, banners and more. And all of these are vital for a business to thrive and prosper.
If you weren’t considering investing in print design before, you should be ready to invest now. Discover the best graphic design studios in the agency listings above.
Now that you’ve decided to embark on the journey to graphic design, you need to choose an agency. And with the hundreds of leading graphic design firms out there today, choosing the right one can be difficult.
But there are definitely ways to herd out the winners from the losers. You just need to know what to look for.
First, you need to know what you yourself are looking for. Why are you introducing new print design work? What kind of imagery and printed materials are you looking for? What is your budget?
Once you have your own answers ready to go, keep the following considerations in mind. They will help you come to a winning conclusion.
26 Graphic Design Interview Questions To Ask A Digital Design Company Before You Hire Them
Who Will Be Working On Your Project And Types Of Design Are The Experienced In?
When you hire a top-rated graphic design agency, you aren’t really hiring the firm. You’re enlisting a team of curated experts and resources. So, while a design firm’s reputation and client list may be a strong indicator of what they can do for your business, don’t rely on it. Instead, ask specific questions regarding who exactly will be working on your project and what their qualifications are.
Prior work is a strong indicator of the type of results a great graphic design agency can provide your company. However, don’t rely on them to just hand you all the information about previous projects. Do your own homework to learn who they have worked with and the projects they have produced. Then ask the questions below to hear the agency’s take on their portfolio and how they continue to grow.
- Who are some of your top clients?
- What clients within our industry have you worked with and in what capacity?
- What business objectives have you helped clients reach that are similar to ours?
- Have you learned any lessons from collaborating with clients?
- Who will be working on our project?
- What is their area of expertise/how will they be contributing to the design?
- What previous campaigns have they worked on and what was their role?
- What unsuccessful projects have they worked on and what did they learn from those experiences?
- Have they solved a business problem similar to ours? How so?
How Involved Will You Be With The Graphic Design Company?
Working with a top design firm is a partnership. And like any collaborative environment, there will be time, energy and information that you and your internal team will need to provide in order for the project to be a success.
You aren’t just handing over the keys to the castle and coming back when the project is done. Always ask the questions below to understand how involved you will need to be throughout the entire campaign.
- Will there be a contract?
- Who is our point of contact and how often will they update us?
- How many meetings will we have with the whole team?
- What information or materials do we need to provide and when?
- What is the timeline on the project?
How Do Print Design Agencies Stay On Top Of The Latest Graphic Design Trends?
The best print design agencies are well-versed in identifying the proper audience and targeting designs to them with pinpoint precision. That is the most important aspect of any design project. Before you hire a professional print design agency, review how they plan to analyze your current visuals and their success, define your demographic, and combine trends and goals into a functional design with these questions.
Design projects are, first and foremost, rooted in art. Therefore, make it your mission to understand how each and every design expert determines trends, sources inspiration, and how they will incorporate that art into your brand identity.
- How would you describe your design aesthetic?
- Where do you find inspiration?
- What brands, designers, artists or campaigns speak to you and why?
- What design elements or trends should our brand focus on and why?
- How would you describe our brand?
- What design materials of ours do you like and why?
- Which design materials of ours would you change and how?
- How will you merge our brand identity into a functional design?
- How do you plan to determine our audience and target them visually?
How To Hire A Graphic Designer For Your Business Needs
Find A Graphic Designer That Invests In A Professional Partnership
There are tons of incredible graphic design agencies that fulfill a variety of needs. Before you start searching for the design firm to suit your needs, determine the type of relationship that you need to improve your business.
Perhaps you have a one-time project that your design department can’t handle due to workload. Maybe you’ve been slacking in your overall graphic design and need an agency to keep your visual identity strong. Whatever the case, take the time to know what you’re looking for in a professional partnership and your ideal price point before you begin vetting agencies.
Choose A Print Design Company That Has An Organized Process
While you discuss potential collaborations with great graphic design agencies, ask them questions about their process. Creating a stunning visual design that accomplishes a goal is a difficult task that requires plenty of organization and communication. You need to feel comfortable with how a specific design agency will approach your brand, understand your objectives and translate those into an end product.
“I begin all of my designs like a puzzle,” says Taylor Carney, senior graphic designer at King Strategic Communications. “I need to figure out who the audience is and all the assets to the piece. Once I can lay out everything in my mind, the actual designing part comes easy.”
Hire A Graphic Design Company With A Clear Pricing Structure
Working with a top graphic design agency will cost you. But do you know exactly what you’re paying for? Make certain you ask any potential agency exactly what their pricing looks like and precisely what your dollars are going towards.
Know whether their cost is a flat rate for a design campaign or by the hour. Know which team members you are paying for (and how much time they dedicate each week to your project!), and if additional drafts or meetings will drive the price per project up.
Eye-catching creative is a necessity if you want your brand and your campaigns to get noticed by your target audience. Though internal teams know the brand better than anyone else, often a design agency partner can bring fresh insight and unique perspective to the creative process.
Graphic design agencies are staffed by designers who are experts in their field. Design is their focus, and their skills are constantly being tested and stretched. This type of environment is exceptionally well-suited to producing high-quality branding, corporate identity, and other graphic design work.
If you’ve decided that an agency partnership is the way to go, it’s important to make sure that you identify the right partner for your brand. Agency-client relationships can be tricky, and a relationship that crumbles will spell disaster for project outcomes.
That’s why it’s so critical to spend time evaluating each winning print design agency’s key attributes and determining which among them matters most to your business.
Do you need a graphic design agency that is small, scrappy, and can be nimble with your design budget? Or is it more important to work with an industry giant helmed by a legendary creative director?
Either way, there are certain key differentiators that are markers of respected and reputable graphic design companies. Look for the following company traits as part of your agency selection process.
What Are The Best Graphic Design Firms In The World?
Print design comes in many different forms. And so do graphic design agencies themselves. Not all creative design agencies are the same, though the best stand out for their exceptional talent, innovative ideas, and award-winning creations.
We’ve already touched on what to look for and what to ask when deciding on a top-rated graphic design company. But what makes an agency truly great depends entirely on you.
The best graphic design agencies in the world will be able to create custom, creative and captivating print designs that achieve the results you want in the budget you’re looking for.
But in addition to that, they will hit the following marks.
Graphic Design Companies Settle On A Comprehensive Contract
Reliable design agencies will create a contract to solidify the agreed upon timeline, deliverables, communication, team members and price. But don’t commit to a firm before you read it yourself.
Enlist the help of your internal legal team to look over any contract before you sign on the dotted line. This way, you can amend any points, add any requirements, or even outline any private information that you want to prevent from being disclosed to the public or other competitors.
Although it may seem like a long process, creating a detailed contract will protect your business, the agency, and ultimately foster a more positive working relationship.
Graphic Designing Firms Provide Competitive Talent With Strong Graphic Designer Skills
It’s easy to churn out the same templated mockups for every client regardless of the project. This is the reason why so many websites end up looking indistinguishable from one another.
If you want your website to stand out from the competition, you have to work with a professional graphic design agency that employs talented, hard-working designers. Your digital assets should be designed specifically to meet the needs of your company.
They shouldn’t be copied from a previous client’s design. Look for an agency that values its employees and encourages designers to embrace experimentation and creativity.
No project is perfect, but designers at the best design firms can rely on their expertise, resources and work history to adjust to any changes. When you’re searching for the best firm to elevate your visual identity, ask potential team members tough questions to test how they can adapt their strategy to a flexible campaign.
Another great indicator of ability is asking designers what they learned from unsuccessful projects and what they would change if they had to do it over again. Assess portfolios and client lists, and don’t be afraid to ask them specific opinions regarding your brand, what they would change, or any ideas they have to help you reach your goals.
Top graphic design companies will have a portfolio of work they will be happy to share before kicking off work on your project.
Reviewing an agency’s portfolio is an essential step in the process of choosing a graphic design company. It’s the best way to make sure you have a solid understanding of the style, skills, and experience of the agency.
Look for examples that demonstrate the skills required to make your company’s project a success. Have they worked with similar clients before? Do they understand the needs of users in your industry? Do they have experience with the technologies that are essential to your project?
Print Design Firms Win Awards & Accolades
The design world is full of prestigious awards which exist to reward innovation and creativity in many different areas of design.
The fact that an agency has managed to snag a coveted award doesn’t necessarily make them a good fit for your brand. But it does suggest a certain amount of authority and credibility. In general, the most prestigious awards (Cannes Lions, FWA, D&AD, etc.) are only won by the best graphic design companies in the business. So the fact that an agency has one is indicative of both expertise and prior success.
Of course, these are just a few of the indicators of a truly spectacular print design company. For more options, check out the table above.
What Is Graphic Design Used For? How Graphic Design Agencies Grow Your Business
A Print Design Agency Designs Social Media Imagery
Top graphic design agencies create imagery that will improve impressions, engagement, and increase traffic to your website. They promote this imagery through your social networks.
This can be achieved by designing custom images in the optimal size for every social media platform. Social media graphic design should be done while maintaining the brand identity and color scheme. Award-winning design firms can even watermark certain images with your business logo to increase brand awareness.
What’s more? Great graphic design agencies can assist in building a paid social media strategy. This tactic is even more important that organic posting.
U.S. social media advertising is expected to surpass $26 billion in 2018.
Because organic reach on social media is down 20 percent across the board, designing on-brand advertisements that suit a demographic and are properly targeted is imperative to building a successful online presence.
Top Digital Design Companies Have Experience In Banners & Web Design
There is a difference between a website designer and a graphic designer. But a beautiful site is so imperative to business growth that you should consider investing in both.
A top graphic designer will be able to assist with branding, create imagery for content marketing, and design banners for websites and retargeting purposes.
In fact, 46 percent of search engine optimization experts believe that retargeting, in particular, is the most underused online marketing technology. Partnering with the right design agency will place additional muscle behind growing digital marketing tactics that grow brands.
Though graphic design was historically rooted in print media, the rise of the internet has meant that digital media have become dominant. Top graphic design firms, if they originated as print-focused companies, have thoroughly adapted to the digital landscape.
Most of today’s agencies take a digital-first approach to projects, which is to the benefit of clients for whom digital is the single most important marketing channel.
Immersion in digital technologies is necessary for a graphic designer to be able to adequately meet the needs of his or her clients. The search for a graphic design partner should always focus on those with a high degree of digital fluency.
Creative agencies like Stink Studios emphasize their immersion in digital as a key selling point stating, for example, “We help forward-thinking clients succeed in digital culture.”
Graphic Design Outsourcing Firms Understand The Importance Of Visuals Email Marketing & Digital Marketing
Well, it’s true. So while you might associate email marketing campaigns with copywriters and data lists, incorporate strong graphic design will improve those efforts.
Properly executed email marketing campaigns can have a return on investment of over 122 percent. So incorporating the services of an amazing graphic design agency is well worth the expenditure. A designer can create custom graphics, engaging banners and even specialized layouts personalized to your content and campaigns.
5 Easy Tips for Effective Print Design
Don't Ignore The Bleed Area
In print design, a bleed area is the excess printed area that will be trimmed off. It often contains design inconsistencies or uneven edges due to the ink, and taking note of the excess space and removing it for a sharper print design is imperative.
You might notice when your company’s designers are creating collateral, that some of their elements and shapes protrude the edges of the design -- and many times, a smaller secondary dotted line can be seen inside the file. This is because they are anticipating a bleed area and designing with it in mind. When creating physical prints, anticipate removing about three to six millimeters to ensure consistent creations.
Bold colors are a major 2019 graphic design trend, and while they are easy to achieve digitally, they can be tougher to reproduce in a physical print design. But one tactic can saturate your designs and eliminate unwanted white space: Overprinting.
Any time you print something, your computer and printer simply utilize one layer of ink. For example, your background won’t be printed underneath your ornate typography -- only the top layer will be produced. However, this can leave unwanted and unforeseen white spaces called ghosting, which tarnishes the overall design -- as seen in Spoon Graphic’s example, right). Utilizing overprinting in reprographics ensures that each layer is printed and the design stays intact -- much like two layers of paint in a home.
Additionally, overprinting can be used to create bold colors and saturated effects by layer the ink on top of one another. Be careful not to overuse overprinting, though -- too much can muddy your design.
Think Outside The Lines
While aspects of graphic design support advertising and marketing initiatives, it also serves to build a strong brand identity. By doing so, you’ll see stronger customer loyalty, better brand awareness and, ultimately, more conversions.
So, if you keep your brand identity and what your consumers want to see in mind, you’ll likely see that thinking outside the box -- and maybe coloring outside the lines a bit, too -- will further this goal. Don’t be afraid to try an edgier concept or implement a new design element, as long as it’s balanced with tried-and-true aspects such as white space and legible typography that keep the design user-friendly.
Graphic designer Alen Lipus’s 3D Typographic Posters are a strong example of this. Instead of settling for a flat design, he created the illusion of depth, incorporated bright hues and capitalized on the major social media trend of oversized font balloons to create unique announcements that break the norm.
Balance Typography & Readability
Legible, beautiful typography is intrinsic to effective print designs. They directly influence emotions and conjure memories and associations. And since 65 percent of consumers would rather purchase from a company they have an emotional connection with, typography is an element worth investing in.
But investing in unique fonts doesn’t mean you need to go overboard -- typography can be subtle, like Muni Coffee Co. Their sans-serif type-based logo -- which is found throughout their branding -- is simple yet recognizable. What’s more? “Muni” incorporates a slight speckling, similar to tin coffee cups used during camping trips. This gives every design an air of simplicity and comfort, furthering the brand identity as a whole.
Keep The Grid
If you want to break the rules, first you have to learn them -- and the no. 1 rule in design is to stick to the grid.
Consumers have ingrained patterns and ways in which they best consumer information -- it’s why the F pattern is so popular across the board. They cultivate an organized design that communicates information easily and thus, enables consumers to better retain it -- such as Milton Glaser’s Underground Images. These designs, although intricate and engaging, are incredible symmetrical and follow a clear grid. This allows the political message he wanted to convey to better permeate, ultimately making the design more successful.
It’s not to say that you can’t break the grid now and then. However, before you do, take the time to understand your audience, their likes and dislikes, and the print designs that have done well (and those that have not). This will tell your team whether or not your consumers will appreciate a more abstract layout. But when in doubt, grid it out.
5 Examples of Incredibly Creative Print Designs
Honda Motorcycle Maze
Geometric patterns are a major 2019 design trend, so it’s no wonder Honda incorporated this mesmerizing design element into their print advertisement.
The ad focuses on the ability to “ride your way.” While a monochromatic maze may not seem to push the message of personality, the intricate maze actually does. The front of Honda cars, buses and trucks morph into gray blocks that create an intricate maze. However, no two vehicles are the same shape, visibly symbolizing unique identities with each automobile.
In this print ad, Honda shows that no matter what traffic you hit or roadblocks come your way, they will be there, able to support your needs -- whatever they are.
The best print designs are able to connect to audiences’ emotions, bringing in 31 percent more revenue. This advertisement from Publicis for the Belgian League of Alzheimer boosts awareness for Alzheimer's Day in a poignant manner.
The most noticeable aspect of this design is the newspaper page, which is almost completely wiped clean. This smudged-like erasing visibly showcases the number of information Belgians with Alzheimer's will forget just hours after reading their own morning paper. Subtle text in the lower left-hand corner describes this, putting the visual into context without distracting the audience.
Overall, this ad is very effective because it is able to put the struggle of Alzheimer’s at the forefront of the design without cluttering the page -- and readers’ attention span -- with unnecessary information. It displays how simple print designs can often be the most effective.
It’s no secret that grid-based layouts are often more successful than abstract and free-flowing designs. Users crave structure and organization, and a simple layout gives them that, ensuring that the information is easy to read and retain.
But we’ve never seen a grid layout like CARULLA Knives before.
Their creative print design aimed to showcase the clean precision their product can deliver in the kitchen by utilizing the negative space leftover in classified newspaper ads and bus terminals.
While at first being difficult to discern (especially the classified advertisement) the designers created an incredibly unique graphic without losing any structure. CARULLA Knives catapulted themselves into consumers’ mind by showcasing the product’s value in an extremely creative way.
Designer Alexander Nedelev combined minimalism with pop culture to create a moving print design that becomes more emotional the more you look at it.
Each of the three designs resembles an iconic video game -- Pac Man, Space Invaders and Arkanoid -- but features a hunted animal, creating a backdrop for a deeper conversation.
The three prints all have a small amount of text at the bottom, detailing the effects of overfishing, overhunting and general environmental harm. The most important design element, though, is the gray text that reads “it’s not a game anymore.” Certain letters are bolded to read “it’s not me,” showcasing how we are all accountable for our world.
El Universo Newspaper - Pins
When it comes down to it, print advertisements are created to showcases a business, product or service and implore people to use it. Designers and advertisers want to tell as much information as possible in the most pleasing way they can.
The agency Koenig & Partners took this idea and ran with it when they created their Pins ad campaign for El Universo. The designs all promote the same entrepreneurial course, which claims to help business owners spread awareness about their company.
Understanding that people remember information better with the help of images, they played off of the universally understood location symbol but transformed them into adorable storefronts. The elaborate illustrations, sweet color palette and minimal text -- complete with a simple, catchy tagline -- tell the audience everything they need to know.
5 Graphic Designs That Will Promote Your Business
According to Adobe, business sales increase by 2.5 percent for every 2000 business cards that are handed out. Unfortunately, 88 percent of distributed cards are thrown away within one week. That means only the best of the best live to inspire business growth.
Business cards are imperative for small and advancing companies. Carrying the transportable information around allows entrepreneurs and executives to build brand awareness and foster potential professional partnerships -- and the best way to make sure your card stays in the small percentage of retained cards is to create an informational, beautiful business card.
London-based agency Boundless designed on-brand business cards that maintain functionality while still standing out as a unique design. The bold black and white hues are a chic contrast, while the handwritten type on the front drives home the brand identity and keeps the card recognizable. The business cards also have the option of standing up tall; however, it is still easy to fold and place them in a wallet. These business cards are transportable, unique, legible and functional -- everything a good lead generator needs.
Print ads' overall effectiveness in the digital age dwindling. However, they still bring in billions of dollars in revenue every year. In major cities with billboards -- such as Los Angeles -- or with various printed collateral -- like New York City’s robust subway system -- print ads can reach thousands of unsuspecting audiences with ease.
Print advertising campaigns can achieve several different goals and often couple well with marketing initiatives that signify a new brand identity or product release. They key is to ensure your print ads are modern, captivating and highly targeted.
OkCupid released a series of colorful print designs by Wieden+Kennedy in early 2018 that focused on high-quality dating. The bold colors and abstract ideas portrayed piggy-backed off major national conversations. The designers placed these ads throughout New York City subway cars, grabbing the eyes of singles (and there are over 8 million of them) and ensuring a wide reach on the popular transportation system.
While website banners may not technically be a print design, they certainly require a graphic designer to create and are imperative for businesses. In fact, revenue from banner ads is expected to grow to over $27 million.
There are several tips and tricks that will make your banner ad more successful, such as utilizing color psychology to influence consumers’ moods and integrated animated graphics -- a design trend that is exploding in 2018 and can grow companies 49 percent faster.
Website banner layouts should also be strategically designed to effectively capture new consumers. A readable font and negative space allow your call to action to take center stage. What’s more? Take care to make sure every type of banner is perfectly sized -- this way, you’ll avoid pixelation and poor layouts.
Seventy-seven percent of marketers believe a strong brand identity is crucial for future growth -- and part of that strong branding is reinforced through cohesive visuals on all platforms.
What’s more? A consistent and cohesive brand identity builds credibility -- and clients and business associates want to work with a credible brand. Therefore, branded stationery is a great investment -- particularly for corporate companies that send a great deal of personalized printed information and conduct formal communication.
Stationery -- such as Gong Vo’s -- is the perfect place to subtly reinforce the brand through small logos, signature color palettes (which studies show make brands more memorable, too) and ultimately ensure that your company is on the forefront of your partners’ minds.
Other Graphic Designs
The digital age has transformed traditional print designs, ushering in mediums like email marketing and social media. They’re effective, too -- 59 percent of marketers say email is their most effective marketing channel, and Internet users between 18 and 34 are 95 percent likely to follow a brand on social media.
This means that digital channels see plenty of exposure and have endless conversion potential, and it’s worth your while to channel some of your designers’ time into creating engaging image banners for your email marketing campaigns or designing branded posts for social media -- like Refinery29 and Brita’s motion graphic Instagram promotion.
This colorful design brings Brita’s products to a younger demographic while maintaining the publication’s overall aesthetic, matching the style of their other designs well.
Unexpected Print Designs Your Business Should Utilize
Eye-tracking studies have shown that images that also contain information are more likely to be viewed and remembered. In fact, the more relevant the image, the longer they looked at it.
This means partnering high-value images, graphs and charts with important copy will actually increase brand awareness about your company. While designing a brochure may seem very 2001, it is an easy and effective way to get spread information about your company to people AND ensure they remember it.
Brochures are especially useful for businesses with brick and mortar storefronts and companies that do a lot of corporate events or client-based work. For example, people may not be taking copious notes in a pitch meeting -- but they’ll surely remember your success rate when you arm them with a beautiful brochure as they leave.
Real estate agency Brookhill Properties struck the perfect balance of visuals and information in their property brochure. Emphasis is placed on the rooms within the available home, with small text simple saying the room the image was taken in. This very streamlined information is just enough to intrigue potential buyers to learn more.
It’s easy to brush direct mail marketing to the side, but the fact of the matter is that sending physical print designs such as catalogs is still effective. According to the 2017 Data and Marketing Statistical Fact Book, over 100 million people purchased from a catalog.
Several different design strategies have helped direct mail marketing initiatives such as catalogs maintain a reputable ROI -- Neiman Marcus’s latest Christmas Book hits every one. Their annual catalog is high-quality and resembles a stunning magazine or coffee table book more than it does a simple catalog. The Christmas Book maintains a strong brand identity of luxury and style as well.
Perhaps the smartest strategy Neiman Marcus employed when creating their 2017 Christmas Book was integrating a social media aspect into it. Prior to its production, they held a social media contest to create a cover out of 1500 user-generated images. This gave their catalog a modern and trendy feel, and got users excited to see the final product.
Eighty-two percent of U.S. adults are loyal to certain brands, and much of this loyalty is fostered through personalization and friendly interaction. Creating stunning invitations for various events -- whether physical print designs or digital -- are an excellent way to drive home that personal connection with consumers.
Everything from internal gatherings (which boost company culture and, ultimately, your bottom line) to pop-up shops can take on a special feel when invitations are issued. What’s more? Although they place more emphasis on brand values and overall experience, millennials, in particular, will also spend up to 21 percent more at a company with strong customer service. This makes something as simple as an invitation to a public pop-up shop of experiential exhibit reach a new level of importance.
Hidden Dinner executes this well with their email campaigns. The traveling restaurant maintains an air of exclusivity with their “password protected” dinners. However, they still foster community and personalization with their beautifully designed email invitations that detail their next location.
Thirty-seven percent of marketers say that visual marketing is the second most important form, behind content marketing at 38 percent. The good news is that you can double down on blogging and design with the help of a fact sheet.
Similar to the ever-popular infographic, a fact sheet couples quick copy with a beautiful, organized layout to inform readers in a quick snapshot. Despite a digital world, fact sheets are incredibly important -- particularly for large meetings, conferences or even internal company information. Plus, when you branch out from a basic email and give partners, employees and clients something a little more interesting, they are more likely to remember the information.
Fact sheets can be a simple slip of paper or a more robust “book,” like Tricon Capital’s annual report, which outlines the company’s concrete success to business partners in a visually appealing and engaging manner.
Maintaining a consistent brand identity is one of the most important things your company should strive for. However, without hard-and-fast guidelines to follow, it’s far too easy to let little style elements slip through the cracks.
This is where a brand book saves the day. A brand book is a hefty long-form design that outlines appropriate branding guidelines for your company, from logos and fonts to mission statements and elevator pitches to acceptable imagery standards.
While it may seem like a lot of work for a mostly internal document, printing a comprehensive brand book doesn’t just help the design team. It tells the entire company how to pitch the brand, frames ideal professional partnerships and even informs press kits for public relations purposes. It is all-encompassing and will certainly elevate your visual identity in the long run.
Need some inspiration? Digital publishing platform Medium showcases how to create a strong brand identity with room for growth in their complete brand style guide.
Graphic design is an essential service for businesses big and small. And that’s a result of all the services these top design companies have to offer.
From crafting a stunning brand identity to giving you web design a facelift and even rolling out print collateral that can create an attention-grabbing campaign — these leading graphic design agencies do it all.
And their services translate to real results. These designs boost website traffic, increase conversions and help you create a successful campaign that drives brand awareness.
The award-winning digital design firms have the tools your brand needs to craft a compelling visual identity. Find the best print design company for your business in the agency listing table above.
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