Finding the Right Graphic Design Companies: What to Consider
How to find the right graphic design companies based on project requirements and ultimately to deliver and build your brand’s messaging effectively.
Are you searching for the right professional to help with your graphic design? If so, use the tips here to find the right graphic design companies for the job.
A study out of Missouri S&T showed that website visitors looked at logos for over 6 seconds on their first visit. That’s a long time when it comes to making first impressions. Your graphic design work has the power to persuade or turn-off potential customers the instant they land on your site.
Increase the value of your website with a graphic design overhaul.
Start by researching graphic design companies that deliver results. Look beyond the portfolio and get down to business.
In the example above Colorado based LID Landscapes began to suffer in search results as well as consumer confidence.
Customer feedback was unanimous…
Their online presence simply didn’t sync with the level of service or the customer base they were targeting.
Rebranding their overall image and online presence was a paramount concern.
Hiring the right graphic design company allowed them to deliver not only the right messaging, but a highly functional and stunning representation of their capabilities to their customer base.
James Martin, owner of LID Landscapes states,
“with so many graphic designers out there freelancing, it’s important to be prepared and in control of the hiring process. Find someone who is talented and knows how to work on all graphic design mediums.”
Good graphic design will boost your brand’s value, company morale, earn respect from other clients, and foster community.
When you’re hiring a graphic designer, your intention should be building a long-term relationship for future graphics needs.
Companies or Freelancers?
While on your search to find the best graphic designer, you’ll be presented with two choices: graphic design companies or independent freelancers. Depending on your graphic design needs, you may go with either or both.
Here are some pros and cons for each source of graphic design work:
Graphic design companies that house their own team of graphic designers offer many perks. They expedite the time to learn your brand, understand your market, and handle implementing web design elements. An independent designer can really only focus on one project at a time.
The downside to this catered design work is higher costs. Of course, that is all a matter of perspective. If its hard to evaluate what a graphic design package is, to begin with, the speed and execution of an experienced company offer huge ROI potential.
Those who already have a strong overall design may be looking for a one-off job.
Freelance designers present a low barrier of entry for small businesses. The ability to hire as-needed on popular marketplaces makes the process easy.
Some potential cons include a lack of vision, variations in quality, and potential issues with professionalism. It also takes a good amount of time invested to find quality freelancers who meet your needs.
There is a third option, too, hiring your own in-house designer.
This is the most expensive way to source graphic design work. You’ll have your dedicated designer on the payroll, but you may not need them past their first few weeks.
In-house graphic designers are also limited based on what they can get done in a work day. If you hire a graphic design company, you’ll be getting a team of designers cranking out designs. It’s also unlikely that you’ll find a single graphic designer who can offer design work across all mediums.
The verdict here is to go with a graphic design company for all your needs outside of one-off projects or minor updates. Then again, if you already had a company doing your work, you would just return to them for an update and avoid rehashing everything over again.
How to Find the Best Graphic Design Companies
Outside of obvious price differences, there are a number of things you should be looking at for graphic design work. Take some notes and do some homework to refine your search.
Here are a few factors to consider when you’re taking applications.
1. Know What You Want
There’s nothing more frustrating to a graphic designer than getting asked to do work with no vision. Don’t be afraid of sharing too much information. Tell your brand’s story, talk about company culture, and what you want to express to customers.
Brand design is all about translating words and feelings into graphics. After you have laid out your creative vision, start laying down timelines of completion. Set your expectations while accounting for potential roadblocks or challenges.
This is a team effort, so the closer you work with your graphic designer, the better you can gauge their competency. Steer clear of any interviews that lack input or show indifference to your goals and expectations.
2. Test Their Skills
Ask graphic designers what tools they will use on your project. You should do a little research on what designers use to create graphics for various projects. They should have the Adobe Creative Suite, of course.
Having access to other tools like a professional monitor calibrator will ensure a high standard of accuracy. This will come in handy when it comes to transferring your designs onto different mediums, such as posters, packaging, or videos.
3. Problem-Solving Skills
A graphic design company that not only has the talent but also the business savviness to build your business is invaluable.
Get a sample of how they would react to short-notice work, shortened deadlines, or website issues. What if their design work negatively impacted your page load speeds?
Ask what they would do differently to a competitor’s design work. This should give you a good idea on how capable they are with thinking proactively, not just reactively.
4. Ask About Previous Designs
Bring up some of their portfolio work and ask them how they reached their designs for their clients.
Did they come up with it completely on their own?
Was there a lot of back and forth exchanges?
Ask them what inspired them to come up with their designs. This is a good way to vet out designers who only serve certain niches or art styles.
5. Propose a Sample Project
Never jump into a huge graphic design contract without sampling their work. A portfolio can only tell you so much. You need to get a first-hand experience with how they will approach your brand.
This project doesn’t have to be much, just start with a social media icon. A full-scale logo design may not work, but you could start with rough drafts. Another good use of this opportunity would be to redesign a previous project.
Pay them based on the average freelancing rate, never ask for free work.
6. Meet Them Face-to-Face
You should meet all candidates in an in-person interview.
You can do it over Skype, just schedule a short chat to get to know them. Chemistry is really important, especially when it comes to trust.
You can tell a lot about someone just by reading their body language. Nervousness is natural, but if they can’t even tell a straight story about previous customers, red flags should go off. You should be doing business via video or phone conversations as much as possible.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of convenience when doing business online. This is where con artists thrive and miscommunications are commonplace.
7. Ask Them to Ask You Questions
The entire screening process shouldn’t be a one-sided interrogation.
In fact, you want them to be asking you questions throughout. At some point, ask them what they require from you to do their jobs.
File formats, art, platform information, and schedules should be common requests. You should be on the same page as your designer with regards to expectations before any work is started.
8. Include Them in Your Marketing
Graphic design companies often have their own marketing departments for this reason.
They need to know what direction your business is going, what the target audience is, and which platforms you’re targeting. If you don’t even know all this information, then you might want to look into some basic marketing services.
9. Which Industries Have They Worked In?
Does their experience as a graphic designer include your industry?
Have they done work in only digital applications?
Can they provide designs for labels, posters, flyers, or packaging design?
The more experience they have working in your industry, the more on-brand they’ll be.
A shiny logo that looks good is worth nothing without valuable industry knowledge. An experienced graphic designer can take advantage of trends and elements of psychology that apply to your business.
10. Interview Previous Clients
Finally, rather than read testimonial quotes, ask for contact info of previous clients. Then, you can get their experience with them and see if they’re leaving anything out. Ask clients if they would use them again for graphic design work.
Or visit sites like DesignRush and Clutch to view 3rd Party reviews and gain additional accredited insight as to what kind of company you’re hiring.
You’ll find Pixel Productions Inc, recognized as a top Graphic & Print Design Company on DesignRush’
What Makes Good Graphic Design?
While sorting through graphic design companies, keep an open mind. Don’t judge a book by its cover because some designs are client-directed. There has to be a balance of creativity and practicality.
Look beyond specific skill sets or portfolio styles and ask yourself if this company can handle your needs. Experience, professionalism, fair rates, and good communication should come first. At Pixel Productions Inc, our reputation speaks for itself.
Take a look at some of the brands that we have worked with in the past. We understand that a strong logo and cohesive graphic design goes beyond eye candy. After you’re done looking, feel free to contact us and learn how we can not only transform the look of your business, but improve your revenue.