How To Choose a Graphic Design Agency

Graphic Design
How To Choose a Graphic Design Agency
Article by Jelena Relić
Last Updated: February 08, 2023

Want to boost your business’s bottom line with some awesome visuals? Read our guide on how to choose a graphic design agency and hire the perfect match.

As of 2023, there are 135,355 graphic design businesses in the US alone. With a number like this, finding the right match can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

Instead of flipping a coin with your options, you will be better off making an informed decision with the help of our guide on how to choose a graphic design agency. 

What is a Graphic Design Agency?

A graphic design agency is a creative services firm that specializes in developing visuals for branding, advertising and communication materials. These agencies create digital and print visuals, such as:

  • Logos
  • Brochures
  • Signs
  • Infographics 
  • TV graphics
  • Film or video products
  • Corporate identity packages
  • 3D animations

... to name a few. 

Graphic design companies are in charge of multiple tasks, including developing concepts based on customer briefs, creating layouts and visuals to present ideas to clients, proofreading texts and working with developers to translate the designs into a website or other digital material. 

As that’s a lot for one person to handle, graphic design agencies typically employ creative talent with expertise in different areas such as typography, illustration and photography as well as branding and marketing strategies to deliver effective results. The top graphic design agencies also offer consultations in areas businesses lack knowledge and need guidance. 

A lot of digital design agencies can also deliver the results you need, so feel free to check if your potential match is on the list of the top digital design agencies. Note that, while graphic designers can handle certain aspects of web design, web and graphic design are not the same thing, although often put in the same basket. 

Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here

Why Businesses Choose To Outsource Graphic Design

Graphic design outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular in recent years, with the graphic design market size reaching $14.5 billion in 2023 in the US alone. 

By taking this step, businesses can focus on their core operations while taking advantage of a seasoned team of professionals with specialized knowledge in design principles, industry trends and technology solutions. 

With the help of these agencies, you can effectively communicate your business's unique value proposition by utilizing the most impactful visuals that will attract and engage your target audience. Graphic design agencies have the expertise to ensure a slick and professional finish for every product they produce. 

They also provide access to more creative resources than most businesses possess in-house, opening up a whole range of possibilities that would otherwise be inaccessible. Ultimately, using a graphic design agency helps brands create a more effective marketing strategy while optimizing their time and resources.

Reasons Why You Should Outsource Graphic Design, Backed by Numbers

Outsourcing graphic design services can be an invaluable asset for businesses of all sizes, from startups to established corporations. It is a cost-effective way to supplement your in-house team, freeing up time and resources for other pressing matters. 

If you’re not sure why you need graphic designers, these stats should convince you:

As if this wasn’t enough, here are 10 other reasons why you should outsource your graphic design needs: 

  • Access to innovative and unique ideas
  • More affordable than hiring full-time, in-house designers
  • Chance to take advantage of specialized skill sets
  • Benefit from the latest technologies and tools
  • Improve customer communication through visuals
  • Increase brand recognition with visually appealing designs
  • Manage projects more efficiently by leveraging offshore resources
  • Foster creativity and collaboration with outside partners
  • Reduce operational costs associated with internal teams
  • Improve turnaround time due to a streamlined process
Get connected with the right graphic design agency for your project.

How To Choose a Graphic Design Agency: The Ultimate Guide 

Instead of trawling through hundreds of portfolios looking for the perfect match, we prepared a guide on choosing a graphic design agency, hassle-free.

To find the right match that can help you execute your graphic design strategy, you should: 

Define Your Goals

Before selecting a graphic design agency, you have to define your goals. Take your time to identify what you are looking for in an agency and how they can help you reach your desired outcome. 

Consider what type of project you need help with, whether that be logo design, website creation or something else entirely. Think about deadlines and budget constraints when forming these objectives. 

Defining your goals is essential for the agencies to understand why you need their assistance. If you describe the desired outcome upfront, both sides can enter into the relationship on equal footing with a clear understanding of each other's expectations. 

Know Your Budget

It’s not about how much you want to spend, it’s about how much you can afford to. Determining how much you can realistically spend on the project will help narrow down the list of potential agencies and ensure you don’t waste time exploring options that aren’t within your financial means.

Aside from thinking about the overall graphic design price the agencies charge, take into account any other expenses related to working with them. By understanding exactly what funds are available from the start, it will be easier for both parties to come up with solutions that fit within those parameters while still delivering quality results. 

Research Potential Agencies

Do your due diligence and research agencies to see what’s out there. While it can be tempting to go with the first one that looks appealing, taking the time to compare different offers can help ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. 

Start by looking at portfolio samples, reading reviews from previous clients, and asking questions about services offered and prices quoted. You can make a list of all your criteria and check if the candidates meet them before moving forward in the process.

Talk directly with representatives from each company on your list. Schedule a call or video conference so you can clear any confusions that come up during this discovery period—what experience does their team have? What sets them apart from competitors? How will they handle project communication throughout its duration? 

Asking these types of questions will give you insight into how they work and if they are truly an ideal fit for your needs. Follow up with references or further investigation if necessary. 

Check Out Their Portfolios

Looking at samples of past projects can give you a good indication of the type of work they specialize in and how well they execute those designs. Pay attention to details like layout, color scheme, font selection and overall creative vision—these are all indicators of whether or not this company can bring your project ideas to life. 

Their portfolios also allow you to get a feel for each agency’s aesthetic and style so you can make sure it aligns with your own brand identity. 

P.S. If you’re a graphic designer yourself, check out our handy guide on how to make a graphic design portfolio. 

Meet With the Agency

Even if the agency you’re considering comes with the highest recommendations from trusted sources, you still have to meet with them before calling a done deal. 

This is your chance to sit down with them and discuss further details about the possibility of working together. You can get a feel if the agency is as eager to collaborate with you as you’d like them to be. Let them present a couple of ideas to check if they fit within your budget and if they meet your expectations in terms of quality and creativity. 

Since you already have them tête-à-tête, make sure you come prepared with questions. Asking the right questions can make all the difference in ensuring that you’re getting exactly what you need out of this collaboration. 

Ask them about their experience and past successes—this can show how they approached similar projects to yours. Inquire about the services they offer, pricing structure and communication protocols. 

Having a thorough discussion with each potential partner is paramount if you’re to understand their creative process and uncover any hidden costs with working together. 

Remember, it’s a two-way street—be open to answering any questions the agencies might have for you. This way, everyone involved can acknowledge the scope of the project. Only after these discussions can you be comfortable enough to make the ultimate choice. 

Trust Your Gut

After all is said and done, you can’t postpone D-day for long. Eventually, you’ll have to pick a graphic design agency, no matter how scary it may seem with so many talented candidates to choose from. 

Sure, assessing how experienced they are in the industry is a must, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut.  If there’s an agency that just feels right—even if their portfolio isn’t as rich as others—you might as well take a chance on them.

In hindsight, trusting your intuition can turn into one of the best decisions you could ever make. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should hire an agency based solely on how you feel about them. Try to turn down the subjectivity just a bit and stay as objective as possible.  

How To Choose a Graphic Design Agency: Key Takeaways 

The process of selecting a graphic design agency can be daunting at times—from researching potential candidates to setting up interviews and asking tough questions along the way—but ultimately, it is worth every effort if you’re to make the right pick.

Ensuring your creative partner understands your objectives, as well as having an open dialogue throughout, guarantees a successful partnership in the long run. 

After thoroughly researching potential agencies, meeting with them and asking all the right questions, the decision boils down to trusting your gut. Researching budgets, knowing what you expect out of any agency and making sure that this is mirrored in their portfolios will help you arrive at an informed decision. 

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