So you are interested in contracting a graphic design agency to do some work for you. The difficulty often comes when you get down to the nitty gritty details of contract discussion and the all important question: can you trust these folks with the branding of your company, organization, product, or service?
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few questions which you can put to potential agencies to help you find the right graphic design company for your business.
1) Who are you guys anyway?
Simple but powerful. Any graphic design company worth their salt will be really excited to give you all sorts of interesting information about who they are and who they have worked for. It’s their moment to brag, just a little, about the great things they have done for other organizations and how that might apply to your requirements.
2) Have you done this kind of thing before?
A fairly innocuous question, but one which will probably show up any glaring omissions in a graphic design company portfolio. Be aware that omission of a particular discipline shouldn’t necessarily mean negative points, but it might provide the reason to choose another graphic design company, just as specialisation in your particular required area may suddenly make them a favourite.
3) How long will it take?
Don’t be afraid to talk about practicalities. If your designer can not provide a rough estimate then request that they follow up with the information at a later time. Don’t be coy though – many graphic design companies will be working for more than one client at a time, so if you need things done quickly then let them know!
4) How much do you cost, and what are the terms of payment?
Again, there is no reason to avoid practicalities. If this is the first meeting then don’t expect exact figures but you might be surprised how close early estimates often come to the final figure. Use this to root out graphic design companies which are too expensive for you before you waste too much time on them.
Hourly pay or quotes for entire projects are fine, but be sure you understand the benefits and limitations that each choice imposes. If using hourly billing, check that the graphic design company can deliver results inside your maximum budget.
5) How much involvement will I have?
This is often largely based upon cost and billing structure; if you are working on hourly billing then your designer will be keen to talk with you as much as you like, but projects moving forward from a single quote will be subject to more stringent time management for obvious reasons.
By asking these simple questions, you should be well on the way to finding a graphic designer that can provide exactly the kind of service that you require.