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If you are looking to launch a new business, or just feel like the look of your old business is out of date, you are going to need to hire a design agency that can create a cohesive brand for your company. A great look that matches your goals, ideas, and ambitions for your company. A great brand can attract your market visually, and then you can draw them in further with great content, service, and products. You’re looking for a mix of value and skill, and you want someone who can deliver designs that won’t be outdated in five years.
Creativity is key when it comes to a design agency. You don’t want your logo to be just like anyone else’s, you want to stand out. While you’re certainly free to bring ideas and examples to the table, you also want to see what the designer you meet with can bring to the table. There are a lot of good ideas out there, and your designer can help you condense all of yours down into a simple brand aesthetic that will draw in customers. Look at their portfolio and their previous clients. Do you like what you see? Can you see the creativity and the talent? Are they willing to adapt to your needs and the needs of your company?
It helps to work with a design agency that has worked in your business niche and knows what the logos and aesthetics of your competitors are so that they can set your business and branding apart. They can show you examples of what others have done and offer suggestions and solutions.
Technology is key in the design business. Ask about their tech. Are they running an out-of-date version of Photoshop on out-of-date machines? If their technology is old-fashioned, their designs might be as well. You don’t want a company that cuts corners on their programs to save money – that’s a sign that business may not be great. Graphic design technology is always changing and adapting, and sometimes the cheaper products are genuinely superior, but for the most part, you get what you pay for when it comes to design products.
Collaboration is a sign of a great designer and a great relationship. Your design agency should have designers that are happy to collaborate with you. However, you also have to be willing to collaborate with them and find solutions that work for the both of you. When you go to an initial meeting at the start of a project, have examples of what you like, but be flexible too. Graphic designers know what they’re doing, and are trained to make you happy as well as making your company appealing to clients and customers.
When you’re running a business, the schedule you run is everything. Delays can be costly. Can your design agency meet your deadlines? Make sure this is one of the first things you discuss. Get your budget and deadline out of the way within the first consultation, that way everything is clear for the rest of the project and there are no misconceptions or awkward moments later. State exactly what you need from your design agency.
Professionalism is key in any industry. You need professionals that understand the pressing needs of your business and can deliver exactly what you need. Your design agency should hire graphic designers that dress appropriately and look tidy. They should speak professionally, behave professionally, and work professionally. They should have a portfolio and references to show and offer, and lots of happy clients to refer you to.
Communication is important. It forms the foundation of every good business relationship, and your design agency should be more than comfortable communicating with you about how the project is progressing. They should be comfortable showing you how work is going and should be open with you during the entire project. Your business and brand depend on their work, so you should have the right to know what’s going on with your project at all times. You also should meet with the same person every time you meet with your agency. This person should know your business and its needs and should be able to answer all your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of an agency.
Be realistic about the abilities of your design agency. They aren’t going to be able to make your brand some huge successful powerhouse or leader in the industry. They’re just artists doing a job, and they can only work with what you give them.
Make sure you get references and see a portfolio when you choose a design agency. If you’re looking for someone new to work with, you want to make sure you like the projects they have participated in, and you like the look of their work. Most agencies have a “look” that they give most of their clientele. Ask for these references and for a company portfolio or website that they can direct you to so that you can see some previous work.
You also need to find a design agency that is experienced. While there are lots of benefits to a new agency, if you’re a business with specific needs and a tight budget, a new agency may not have the resources or clout to help you accomplish your business goals. An older business with lots of experience comes with lots of happy clients that can vouch for their professionalism, their skills, their team. Experience, particularly with a wide variety of clients, can be drawn on to make your brand truly unique. They also don’t feel the need to impress you – they know their work will speak for itself.
There are a lot of things you need to keep in mind when shopping for a design agency. You need the best for your company, so don’t cut corners, and follow your instincts to find the best agency for your needs.
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