Graphic Design RFP: A Step-by-Step Guide [+ Free Template]

Graphic Design RFP: A Step-by-Step Guide [+ Free Template]
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: November 14, 2022

The design of a product or any business’s overall brand presence can make or break a sale.

In order to stay abreast of the latest graphic design trends, you must first set solid foundations. And the best way to procure a top-quality design agency is via graphic design requests for proposal documents.

In this article, we will define a graphic design RFP: what it is, what makes a successful RFP for graphic design and how to write one.

We are also providing you with an option of downloading our own graphic design RFP template that you can customize for your own needs – entirely free.

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What is Graphic Design RFP?

A graphic design request for proposal (RFP) is an official document that announces a graphic design project with a company open for bidding to qualified vendors. It contains a detailed description and requirements.

When a company needs to create a distinct graphic design for its product or brand, they typically hire a professional graphic design agency rather than relying on in-house resources.

The RFP for graphic design services summarizes all important graphic design project information in a nicely formatted presentation. A well-organized RFP can provide companies with competitive proposals and allows them to compare different design providers that submit bids in response to an RFP.

The RFP process provides an objective framework for selecting the best provider for your graphic design project and successfully outsourcing graphic design services.

How to Structure Your RFP Graphic Design

Although RFP documents differ from company to company, mainly depending on the project type and scope, certain elements are always a part of this document.

1. Describe Your Company

The RFP process begins with a brief introduction to your business.

This includes a short "about" section describing your company, why you need a new graphic design solution, and a summary of the project's scope. You can also include information about your brand mission, vision, values and general market and competitor overview.

Keep this section brief and to the point to avoid overwhelming potential vendors.

2. Set the Timeline and Deadline for Your Project

Giving vendors a realistic timeframe and expected launch date for your graphic design project allows them to determine whether they can complete the project by the deadline.

A timetable also provides a clear direction for task completion and keeps everyone involved in the project on the same page.

Make sure your timetable includes hours for review, revisions, and approval.

3. Declare Your Budget

Your budget is an integral part of the RFP because it allows vendors to determine whether they can complete the scope of work within the budget constraints and respond accordingly.

Your graphic design cost will be determined by two primary factors: the expertise of the team members who will work on your project and the hourly rate of the agency

Read blog posts, online forums, or client reviews that mention project budgets to get a better idea of how much your graphic design project should cost.

4. Define Your Objectives

Defining your project goals emphasizes your required design services and the scope of your project, whether you want to increase sales or educate potential customers about your brand and offering.

List your primary and secondary objectives as needed.

Your graphic design objectives may include the following:

  • Increase the number of qualified leads
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve your market presence
  • Engage existing and potential customers

5. Define Your Target Audience

It is critical to define your target audience before starting your graphic design projects, be it creating a packaging design for your project, making your logo or coming up with a new brand font.

To increase engagement and conversions, your graphic design should align with the needs and expectations of your target audience.

Make sure vendors understand your target audience by including user personas and demographic information in your request for proposal.

Include information about your target audience's purchasing habits and preferred content.

6. Establish Your Vendor Selection Criteria

Explain the criteria you'll use to select your vendor in this section of your RFP.

Your vendor selection criteria could include agency expertise, years of experience, portfolio, capabilities, and relevant projects.

Clearly stating your selection criteria will assist you in weeding out agencies that cannot provide everything you require.

7. Specify RFP Submission Requirements

Outline the requirements you expect from vendors who want to work on your graphic design project and how they should respond (usually via email).

The following are specific details you should request from vendors:

  • Agency name, email, address, website, and phone number
  • Years of experience, team size, certifications, and awards received by the company
  • Estimated project hours and timeline from start to finish
  • Client testimonials
  • Five of their best, most relevant projects, with links to each case study

8. Provide Your Point of Contact Info

Finish your document by introducing the point of contact for your graphic design RFP. You can also take advantage of this opportunity to emphasize the most critical deadline for your project.

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Graphic Design RFP Template

Web and graphic design RFP Template helps create your request for proposal from scratch because it already contains all the essential fields and questions that just need filling out by the agency.

You can also download your copy of a free graphic design RFP template to the right on this page.

Here is an example of what a well-rounded graphic design RFP Template should contain:

COMPANY PROFILE

Introduce your company and give a brief background on your business type, market, competitors, key areas of expertise and unique value proposition.

•Industry:

•Mission statement and vision:

•Products/Services:

•Target audience/customer types:

•Main drivers for graphic design needs:

PROJECT NAME & BRIEF

Deliver an overview of your current graphic design, why you are looking to boost your graphic design efforts, what you hope to gain from it and your ideal project timeline.

List existing graphic design capacities here:

•Current graphic design team and solutions they use:

•Marketing strategy and primary need for graphic design:

•In which areas of your business do you apply graphic design:

•Your competitors’ graphic design examples:

SCOPE OF WORK, SPECIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS

List the exact type of graphic design project and the outcome you need. Be specific about the kind of design and service you want to receive from the bidder.

For example:

Conceptualize, design and deliver (in electronic format) compelling graphic-design material that may include infographics, illustrations, policy reports, annual reports, postcards, meeting programs, brochures, social media graphics, web graphics, video editing, email newsletter templates, various other graphic and visual projects.

PROJECT CHALLENGES

Define what challenges your business currently faces that this project will solve. Be as broad or as concise as needed.

PROJECT GOALS

Determine the short-term and long-term goals (SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive) you wish to achieve with your graphic design project.

Primary objectives:

[Goal 1]

[Goal 2]

etc.

Secondary objectives:

[Goal 1]

[Goal 2]

etc.

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

All bidding vendors must [list the criteria that must be met for a proposal to be considered, for example, their experience and client case studies, team size info, organizational charts, etc.]

1. Provide a resume or online portfolio for each individual assigned to provide the services and designate the individual who would be primarily responsible for overseeing the services. Provide all relevant contact information for the primary contact person.

2. Work Examples: Describe relevant past projects and examples of prior work. Two examples must be infographics with a description of what the client provided information to influence the result.

3. References: Provide 2-4 client references, including a short project description and contact information.

PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

All bidding vendors must [list the requirements that each proposal must address, such as budget, timelines, and submission due date

PROJECT TIMELINES

[Outline information about the RFP process's timeline and the project itself— deadlines, milestones, and potential roadblocks.]

BUDGET

Specify the budget you have allocated for this project.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

List other documents agencies and service providers should submit along with their applications. If you have additional questions you'd like them to answer, list them here.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The company will review submitted proposals for qualifications. The choice for a contract will be made based on the following criteria:

1. Expertise and experience of the agency in our niche

2. Quality of work samples provided

3. Range of services

4. Cost

RFP DEADLINE

RFP Sent Date:

Proposals Due Date:

Winner Selected by Date:

Why Do You Need a Graphic Design Request for Proposal?

A graphic design request for a proposal is the first step in identifying the best vendor for a successful project that involves any type and application of graphic design.

Aside from being a valuable tool for eliminating providers who do not meet the criteria, the following are some other advantages of creating a graphic design RFP:

  • Obtain the best possible price for your project: Sending your RFP to multiple graphic design agencies will allow you to receive more competitive proposals and, as a result, the best price for your upcoming project.
  • Compare potential graphic design providers carefully: This well-structured document will allow you to compare costs, services, portfolio, expertise, capabilities, results, team size, and other criteria to select the best design agency.

Takeaways on RFP Graphic Design Services

A graphic design RFP can help you collect valuable responses from different vendors. It also lets you choose the provider that best fits your business goals.

This RFP checklist can be reproduced for essentially any other desired service or industry, such as:

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