Choosing a graphic design agency can be a difficult process. Cost and size may be your top priorities, and they certainly do matter, but there are several other aspects that are just as important and worth noting. Understanding exactly how design services are offered will help you in making the selection process easier.
First and foremost, DaPlan a small design agency. Admittedly, we’re interested in getting your business. However, we believe we can still be objective in shedding some light on the process of choosing design services.
A big design agency will give you a sense of stability just by the sheer size of their portfolio, number of staff, and resources available. They offer a wide variety of services such as design, marketing, market research etc. If that is your situation, then a large agency should be your focus. On the other hand, if your project is within a specific area or two such as web design, print design, or logo design, a small design agency may be an excellent choice.
Another consideration is teamwork. Depending on the scope of the project, different perspectives during the concept phase can be a distinct advantage. While multi-person agency assign a design team, many freelance designers overcome this by having their work critiqued by fellow designers or submitting their work to online design forums for review.
Small agencies and freelancers may not have a sample of your specific need, so it is important to look at the solutions they have provided to other clients. They tend to be more motivated in getting your business, so you will often get a more personal level of service, and work directly with the person responsible for your project. Furthermore, you will generally pay less due to reduced overhead costs. In many cases, freelance designers may have more design experience than the combined years of a design team at an agency. Many talented designers tend to start their own design agency, such as DaPlan, due to pay ceilings at a firm.
Variety of talent is another consideration. Big firms may have one or two copywriters or illustrators on staff to choose from, while small design agencies and freelancers have the flexibility of outsourcing to experienced vendors to specifically fit your individual tastes, style and preferences.
Also, consider that the designers working at a big agency may not be particularly interested or excited about your project, or even proficient in that area of design; they do not have control of what is assigned to them. A small agency or freelance designer will typically have a high level of interest and motivation, because they want to expand their portfolio and client list, especially if your project type or industry is new to them. If they contacted you, it is likely they have already done some background research on your company.
Finally, with advances in computer technology and declining prices, freelancers and small agencies use the same or higher levels of hardware and software as large agencies. They also do not have to go through the approval process and internal departments, so their upgrades happen in days rather than months.
When you are looking for design services remember that you do not have to know exactly what you need; that is what a design professional is for. They will offer tailored solutions according to your needs. If price is a concern, be upfront about it and ask for a range of estimates. Design agencies or freelancers may offer a more competitive price as their overhead is lower, and may be a better choice for start-ups or Small Medium Enterprise (SMEs) as they may have a lower budget.
Start by interviewing several design firms and view their portfolios before making a decision. You may want to read about How to Choose A Design Agency to find out more. If you are happy with the solutions they have provided to other clients, comfortable with the way they present themselves, and think you would enjoy working with them…hire them. Clients who understand the value of good design realise that a talented designer has the ability to influence their existing and potential market; create a positive perception of their business, and ultimately increase their revenue.
DaPlan is a Singapore-based creative design agency specialising in brand building with a visual focused approach. We build awesome brands and help them get off the ground.