Top Tips: How to select a design agency

I recently had the fantastic task of helping an organisation select a new designer for their rebrand project. For the client this was a big deal – the new identity will help shape a new future and help them engage with a broader range of audiences. It was a busy day of interviews but I had a clear idea of how I wanted to approach the decision-making process which I am sharing today. Here’s my top tips for selecting a design agency for your organisation, otherwise known as the 4 Cs:

The first thing you want to hear about are their credentials. Look at the type of clients they’ve worked with before and get a feel for whether they can help you meet your design challenge: are you impressed with their roster of clients? Have they worked in a similar sector? Can you hear echoes of your project running through their examples? Do they understand your target audiences?

In essence, do you like the way they think?

You might be looking for a print specialist who knows their craft inside out and is a whizz on paper stock, die cuts and finishes. Or you might be after an all-rounder with experience of print and digital. Find out if their creative skills and style meet your needs. Do you like their style and will they be able to create work which appeals to your target audience?

For me, this is vital! Design is a tool which helps you tackle your business challenges, so whether you’re trying to reach new audiences, reposition your place in the market, change perspectives etc, design can help take you there. Working with a designer is about collaboration, feeding off each others’ ideas and reaching the end goal together. You want to work with people that share your vision and are excited about the project; people that can challenge your thinking and that you are confident can deliver.

Don’t be bedazzled by the salesperson who may come along to the pitch, they’re paid to be good at saying the ‘right’ thing. Make sure you get on with the person who will be your day-to-day contact.

The money word had to crop up some time! Can you afford to work with the designer/agency? It’s usually worth tackling this head on and being clear about your budget in the brief. However much you love an agency, always make sure you are on the same page when it comes to cost before proceeding with any work. You have to be sure they can deliver on budget, as well as on time.

And finally…
Last week the design interviews that were the most meaningful were those where we had a full conversation about the current brand’s limitations and discussed its true potential. The successful team left us feeling energized and hungry for more, after demonstrating their passionate interest in the project. I can’t wait to get started!

 If you need help selecting a design agency then don’t hesitate to get in touch!