What to look for when hiring a design agency

Okay, you’ve finally decided that you need some help. Your website isn’t functioning properly, your logo is dated, your brand is stale, and you are ready for a change. Now, the work of finding a design agency begins. Before you hit the send button on that email to start getting quotes for the work to be done, there are a few things to consider.

BUDGET

Determine what your budget is, and what kind of services you require. The cost of services will vary depending on what you want done, but a good design firm will give you a clear and concise quote or charge you an hourly rate. Cost usually goes up with experience and demand; good designers charge anywhere from $75-$300/hr. Regardless of how the firm charges for their services, expect to a pay deposit to get work started. Make sure to ask how many ideas, concepts, and revisions are included in the total cost.

Previous Work Experience and Client Testimonials

Look at the design agency’s previous work. Ask yourself whether or not their style speaks to you. If you aren’t seeing a lot of work examples on their website, reach out and ask to see more. Also, seek out client retention rates and testimonials — are their customers happy with their work?

Communication

Communication between you and a potential design agency should be open and flowing. You should receive communication during every step of the process. The designer should contact you for questions and keep you updated as the design moves along. In addition, you should be able to ask questions about/during the process, and receive prompt responses. A firm that waits weeks to get back to your initial inquires isn’t going to change just because they have your money in their pocket.

Timeline

Depending on the type of project, the time it takes to completion can vary. You can expect a logo design in a couple days to a couple weeks, but a full website build can take a month or longer. Your designer should be able to give you a project schedule or tell you if they can meet the deadlines you require.

The Process

You can expect the first part of the design process to include a scheduled consultation by phone or in person. Designers create and send a quote, collect a deposit, and begin work on client designs, concepts, test pages, etc. Clients then approve the work, or make changes or revisions to the work. Once the final product is complete, clients pay the remaining quote cost, and then receive their deliverables.

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