Navigating the World of Graphic Design Agencies: How to Choose the Right

Navigating the World of Graphic Design Agencies: How to Choose the Right

Do you know the market for graphic designing is expected to witness a USD 83.8 billion growth by 2032?

But what does this number mean for you?

Source:  Global graphic design market forecast

For you, this impassive number means 3 things. 

When you’re out and about, searching for a graphics design agency, you’ll bump into a cluttered market. 

These agencies exist on virtually every marker across the price-point spectrum.

And pricing isn’t an indicator of their skill. 

Yes, somewhere in this world, a graphics design team exists to delight you with a price less than expected.

The trouble is: how do you find this team?

Particularly when graphics design agencies get a bad rep for

  • Using design tools, but billing as if the work is all done by hand
  • Low-quality work
  • Overbilling after project kickoff, citing a change in project scope
  • Not having an authentic way to transfer ownership of the created media assets
  • Reusing design assets created for you in other projects

Your options are:

  1. A local search
  2. Referring to ‘top 10’ (or top 50) lists on websites such as Clutch
  3. Getting referrals from other businesses

None of these methods is robust. Plus, getting an e-meet request from a dozen graphics design agencies accounts for little. 

You still have to choose. 

A simple, reliable 5-step method to choose the right graphics design agency

Keep these six tips in mind when choosing the right graphic design agency:

  1. Establish a goal by listing down the services you plan to outsource
  2. Have a one-on-one meeting to learn about the design agency’s workflow
  3. Examine the portfolio and contact their past clients for feedback.
  4. Provide the necessary information to the design agency.
  5. Ask for a trial project.

1. Establish a goal by listing down the services you plan to outsource


It’s easy to lose sight of your goal when browsing through different graphic design samples. To prevent this confusion, make sure you stay focused by having a goal set.

Ask these questions before setting your goal:

Q: What are the services required?

A: Think about the exact details of what design assets you need. 

Here are 10 examples

  • Logo
  • Website design
  • Landing page design
  • Marketing materials (e.g., flyers, brochures, posters)
  • Email templates
  • Icon set
  • Social media graphics (e.g., posts, headers, profile images)
  • Infographic design
  • Product screenshots
  • Presentation templates (e.g., slides, decks)

Q: What is the time needed for the project?

A: In the very least, you’ll need to consider these:

  • scope of the project, 
  • the experience and availability of the designer, and
  • amount of detail required for each asset.

The table below will provide the tentative design hours for each of the ten above-mentioned assets.

AssetQuantityTentative Design Hours
Logo110 – 20 hours
Website design140 – 80 hours
Landing page design520 – 40 hours each
Marketing materials520 – 40 hours each
Email templates1010 – 20 hours each
Icon set5010 – 20 hours total
Social media graphics2010 – 20 hours each
Infographic design220 – 40 hours each
Product screenshots510 – 20 hours each
Presentation templates520 – 40 hours each

Total: 260 – 500 hours

Q: What is the budget?

A: Assuming an hourly rate of $50 for the designer, the estimated budget for the project (considering the requirements assumed above) would be:

260 hours * $50/hour = $13,000 – $25,000

Answering these questions will help you establish a goal. For example, ‘I want a website banner and logo design within the range of $500 – $600 in three weeks of time’.

2. Have a one-on-one meeting to learn about the design agency’s workflow.

Narrow down the proposals that lack the skills necessary for the graphic design services you seek.


Once you’ve narrowed down your list of design agencies, arrange a meeting to understand their workflow.

Focus on these 10 service quality factors. Also, we’re sharing a question to help you get the conversation started. 

Service Quality FactorQuestion
Portfolio reviewCan you show us examples of your previous work?
Process and approachHow do you handle projects from start to finish?
Expertise and experienceWhat’s your expertise and experience in our area of design?
Communication and collaborationHow do you handle communication with clients?
Timelines and deliveryWhat are your timeline expectations?
Budget and pricingCan you explain your pricing structure?
Technical skillsWhat software and tools do you use?
Understanding of your businessHow do you understand our business, industry, and target audience?
Adaptability and flexibilityHow do you handle changes and feedback?
References and testimonialsCan you provide references or testimonials from previous clients?

Asking these questions will give you insights into their work process and ethical standards. It will help you assess how well you can unite and make a team together.

3. Examine the portfolio


A graphic design portfolio is of great value as it offers insight into their credibility.

Make sure you are specific in asking about the agency’s work samples related to your niche business. It will help save time in getting them acquainted with your business.

By asking the designers in their portfolio what drove their design choices, you will get insight into their creative process.

The key elements to consider are:

  • Relevance: Examples of design work that are relevant to your industry 
  • Quality: Consider the use of color, typography, imagery, and aesthetic
  • Innovation and originality: Will give you an idea of the agency’s ability to think outside the box 
  • Technical proficiency: Evaluate their technical skill, including their use of software and tools
  • Attention to detail: Analyze the attention given to detail in their designs, including the use of negative space, alignment, and typography.

Also, don’t forget to reach out to their clients to get an understanding of their actual working experience with the design agency.

4. Provide the necessary information to the design agency.

Even though competent design firms will conduct research on their clients, no one is as knowledgeable about your business as you.

So creating a successful design without a good understanding of your business project is challenging.

  • Provide prospective candidates with details like the project description, expected results, branding, and target audience.
  • Back it up with references from tone, atmosphere, and the outcomes you expect to achieve.
  • Let them know about the freedom, flexibility, and other principles you feel are necessary for a successful design outcome.
  • Ask them if they use online proofing software so you can provide ongoing feedback on all the creative they produce.

5. Ask for a trial project


If you find a potential agency that aligns with your requirements, ask them to work on a trial project for a nominal fee. But make sure you have enough budget and time for the project.

The trial task need not be complicated or time-consuming as long as it can show the skill of the design agency. It can be as simple as designing a social media post or improving an existing project.

Take this chance to assess the designer’s aptitude and professional expertise. If it aligns with yours, you’ve found the one!

Final thoughts on choosing the right graphic design agency

Choosing the right graphic design agency is not a gamble anymore. Here is the summary of the article crafted by taking advice from those who have gone before you:

  • Set a goal
  • Learn about the design agency’s workflow
  • Examine their portfolio
  • Provide the project details
  • Ask for a trial project