There are plenty of us out there, big, small and in-between… but what makes a graphic design agency the right choice for you? We’ve put together a few points of what we think clients should be considering when acquiring a design studio for work, and also some of the common mistakes during the decision making.
Experienced graphic designers
It goes without saying that experience is a valuable asset. As an experienced design agency, we understand the ins and outs of projects and how to see them through to a happy conclusion. However, there are plenty of agencies out there that may be new to the scene; some do not even hold the qualifications required to call themselves ‘graphic designers’. When you hire a design company, make sure that all of their staff are trained professionals with experience in their field. It may seem obvious, but it is easy for a person to say they are a designer when in reality they have never trained to become one. That’s not to say that people without design degrees cannot produce great design; it is knowing the difference between a trained or skilled graphic designer and one that has no experience. Professional design companies will only hire designers that either have the correct qualifications or have clear industry experience and excellent design work that has perhaps been self taught. After all, some can have a flair for the profession which can be seen in their design work. Make sure that you are hiring professional, experienced graphic designers you know that you can trust to do the job well.
We all know it; you don’t want to work with a person or persons that you do not get along with. Like with any quality service, you should feel comfortable in the customer service that your graphic design company is providing. If you feel that the staff in the company are unpleasant or blunt, then maybe they aren’t the design studio for you. At Martin Hopkins we strive to treat our clients how we would like to be treated ourselves, and we always keep our clients up-to-date on progress to ensure they feel as if they are in the ‘design loop’, as it were. Bad service, no matter how great the design agency may be, is not worth the time. You want to know that the people handling your business’ brand actually care about you and your business. This way you are more likely to create valuable business relationships that last. We firmly believe at MH design that there is no room for heartless designers in the design world.
Scope of work
You should always ensure that the designers you hire are capable of doing the service you require. For example, a website company that focuses purely on website development would not be the best choice for a quality brand or logo design. Often they will use these as cheap ‘add-ons’ to reel you in. Don’t be fooled; logo and brand design is a vital part to any business and should be completed by experienced brand or logo designers who can consider all of the various aspects to your business. Unless they have trained in-house designers that have design expertise and are capable of working on these type of projects, stay clear. Being a full service agency, Martin Hopkins have various kinds of designers and developers, made to handle any kind of project. Check out the designer’s portfolio, notice the extent of the work they have completed and decide whether they are really suited to your design project.
We all understand the restrictions and stresses of a tight deadline. That is why it’s important to remember that once you have a company you can trust, they also need to be able to meet your required deadline. This is where you may find it harder to trust freelance designers to complete your work as they are only a ‘one-man band’ and may not be able to handle multiple projects at once. At Martin Hopkins we have several dedicated full time designers, all with the qualifications and experience to complete a job in a short timeframe. When a design job is needed extremely fast (which happens in some cases), we can share the workload between our trained designers and always meet deadlines. Something we pride ourselves on is our fast turnaround and availability of staff to help whenever clients need it most.
We can’t stress this one enough. Quality is a vital component to any design job. When searching for a design company, always make sure you take a look at some of their previous work and check that the work they are producing is high quality designs. The last thing you want for your business is for the marketing designs you’re placing in the business world to be of poor quality and, in turn, reflect badly on your business. Our designers have a keen eye for design and are constantly on the look out for current design inspirations to keep your designs current and professional. As you can imagine, there are a lot of companies that offer design work at a cheaper price and lower quality, which leads us onto our next point…
This one is so important. Never go for a graphic designer simply because of the price. If a company is slightly more expensive, that is because they have a team of in-house graphic designers that have years of experience in the field and work on professional work everyday. Cheaper pricing is usually a result of lack of experience or lack of a professional design team. If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is. Cheap design produces bad design. A lot of time and creative thinking is required to produce a design that will work for you and your company. Cheaper options usually cut a lot of corners to get to a half-finished result. However, in the same vein, do not go for an overly expensive company feeling that they must be incredible. Design companies in London, for example, will be much more expensive than those designers in Cardiff. This is due to the nature of how expensive London overheads are, and should not be mistaken for a reflection on their quality. Value for money is key, and any good design agency worth its salt should be transparent in its pricing of work. With Martin Hopkins it’s simple, we cost on the project brief based on the time it will take us to complete. Simple… no hidden extra or add on’s. The price we quote is the price you pay, unless the client changes the brief or shift the goalposts of the project.
As a graphic design company in Cardiff, we take on numerous projects in South Wales. This allows us to dedicate our time more efficiently as we are very local to our clients. Not only this, but it means that there are no extra costs to the clients for travel time for client meetings. We will never charge you if you feel you need a design discussion. If you hire a designer that lives hours away, it becomes much harder to communicate and often the client-designer relationship can suffer because of it. To travel to you and to take the time out of their schedule would end up ultimately being a large cost to you. Keep it local and support local design businesses and freelancers. Believe us when we say you will get a much better service that you can trust.
All of the points mentioned above are very important in making the decision for which company to go for. Ultimately the choice is down to you, but do make sure that you are confident that your chosen design studio will do the job well. Listen to their opinions, they are trained in this area and have a lot of knowledge about marketing strategies.
Start your project
Martin Hopkins is owned and run by award-winning creative minds. If you have an exciting new project, submit your brief and we will be in touch to give you a project quotation based on your requirements.