If it’s your first time to work with a digital design company, you might not always have an idea about what to look out for. Here are just 5 things to expect when you work with an experienced design agency.
Expect most of them to specialize in a specific area
Not all digital design companies are able to offer a full spectrum of design services. Some may specialize in online visual assets, others may specialize in branding, and others in more specialized fields like animation, music composition, and so on. A few large agencies may be able to offer everything, but they tend to be more expensive and there is no guarantee that they will necessarily perform better than a smaller, more-focused agency.
Whichever type of company you choose to go with, make sure that their specializations are aligned with your needs and expectations.
Expect them to ask a lot of questions about your brand and company
Any agency will just pretty much do what you tell them. The best ones, however, will take the time to know your company better. They may ask for multiple meetings, long phone calls, or ask that you fill out detailed questionnaires. While it might be a pain sometimes, this is necessary for them to get a good feel for your brand and its culture, which in turn can be used to make design assets that are uniquely suited for your company and its goals.
Business owners sometimes forget that not everyone is familiar with their brand. Because your hired agency will be sculpting what might very be your company’s “face”, it’s important to make sure that they understand your business and your vision the same way you do.
Expect them to discuss your current projects in other areas
It can be important to discuss the current direction your company is taking, and perhaps what it expects to happen in the near future. This may mean that the agency may want to discuss projects that may not even have been discussed with all your employees.
While you don’t have to tell them anything you don’t want to, it can be important, especially in cases where you are also considering a rebrand or a total overhaul of the business’s internal structure.
Expect them to explain their quality assurance processes
When you first deal with a design agency, they will likely bring up their quality assurance processes to tell you how they plan to keep their output within your expectations. They may also do it to give you an idea of their own chain of accountability. It can be especially crucial if you hired the agency to fill a gap in your own capabilities because you might not have the means to QA their work yourself.
If the agency doesn’t bring up its QA processes, it can be a red flag. It may mean that they don’t have a priority on ensuring that the output that they give you is reasonably free of errors. And if there’s more than a reasonable amount of errors, why bother to use an agency in the first place?
Expect them to offer a range of solutions
Experienced agencies will often give you a range of options depending on your budget, objectives, and their research into the state of your brand. Unfortunately, there’s a disappointing number of agencies that will only offer routine fixes. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it might mean that they have failed to understand your situation or that they don’t care to. If they only offer one solution, you can ask them for alternatives in order to get a better feel for their capabilities.