5 Things That’ll Help You Choose the Right Web and Graphic Design Agency
The digital age is here and there’s no avoiding it. Having a professional-looking website should be high on your priority list as a business owner. Your website is the face of your organization, it’s usually the first impression most consumers see, and it can make or break your company’s chance of success.
Unless you’re some kind of expert in web development and graphic design, you’re going to need to a web and graphic design agency to help you build your website for you. And whatever you choose, you need a design agency that knows how to accurately portray your business.
Choosing an agency capable of doing so can be a daunting task, but it’s easier than you think. All you need to do is ask yourself the following questions.
What Are Some Traits That Characterize a Good Web and Graphic Design Agency?
A fluent exchange of ideas between your organization and the agency is vital. The agency not only needs to understand your vision for the website but also must provide advice and suggestions back to you to help improve your ideas. In other words, communication between the company and agency is a two-way street.
The Ability to Implement Responsive Design into Your Website
Responsive design is essentially the website’s ability to look good on any screen size and on any platform without having to switch templates. This type of design also includes a mobile site viewable on smartphones. As technology marches on, your agency must be capable of making the fluid transition.
The Skills to Create a Functional Website
A good-looking site won’t help you much if the layout and navigation are wonky. Give your customers a convenient way to learn about your business.
Strong Marketing Skills
Your website needs to draw your audience in and keep them engaged. The term “UX-focused design,” design that focuses on user experience, is frequently brought up.
A Reliable Contact Method
Should issues arise, ensure the agency can provide fast and efficient solutions.
A Good Website of Their Own
If you have time, also look through the agency’s social media, which can indicate how “in touch” the design team is.
An Extensive Amount of Experience
The agency you choose should understand the trends of the web design industry. A strong indicator for this experience is the portfolio.
How Do I Assess an Agency’s Portfolio?
Any self-respecting design agency proudly displays its portfolio on its homepage. Acting as the resume, the portfolio is the best tool you can use to gauge the agency’s suitability to your organization’s needs. When reading through a portfolio, remember to consider:
- Whether or not the style matches what you’re looking for
- Do they have a diverse portfolio? Has this agency completed a wide variety of work across many different industries, or have they specialized into a niche market?
- How contemporary is their design?
- Whether the websites are creative or simply derivative
- What decisions they made to arrive at the design they chose and what inspired those choices
When considering the design, ask yourself:
- Do the colors or fonts flow well into each other or clash?
- Is the spacing efficient yet comfortable?
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Is the design original?
What Other Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Design Agency?
- Can the agency understand your business’s goal? How can you be clear with your expectations?
- What kind of software might be necessary? For example, if your webpage will be image-heavy, perhaps skill in Photoshop or Illustrator would be nice-to-have.
What Should I Avoid?
In general, you’re going to want to avoid any agencies that:
- Appear disorganized. Building websites involves several steps including asset management, copywriting, coding, revisions, emails, meetings, and quality assurance checks. A dedicated management and a well-defined strategy are thus necessary for a smooth production.
- Are reluctant to sign contracts. A good design agency should be transparent about its agreements and finances.
- Pitch boring or otherwise uncreative ideas. A creative webpage is a powerful one.
- Are too cheap. Your company’s webpage is too important to cheap out on.
How Large Should the Agency Be?
The last few questions you ask yourself will determine the size of the agency you will hire.
- What are the time constraints for this project?
- How tight is the budget?
- How narrow or broad is the intended audience?
- Do you want everything done in-house or are you okay with occasional outsourcing?
When it comes to web design and graphic design agencies, most companies can be divided into three size-based categories:
- The individual freelancer works quickly for cheap but usually has less experience and provides sub-optimal customer support.
- The small boutique (less than 20 employees) is faster and can cover more areas of expertise with more employees. Expect full time support but also a higher cost than the freelancer. Outsourcing may also be possible.
- The large agency (more than 20 employees) is the most versatile and experienced. At the same time, deadlines can be difficult to meet since the company must coordinate the task among more workers.
Choose the type most suitable to the scope of your project. For example, a simple logo for your company can be done cheaply with a freelancer, whereas a large website is better suited to the agency.
How Exactly Should I Look for New Agencies?
Don’t just use Google. We recommend going through your contacts and asking for recommendations. Many smaller design agencies gain a consumer base through referrals, so don’t miss out.
Here at Montreal Graphic Design, we are a full-service web and graphic design agency that offers select digital marketing services that are designed to help your business grow.