A guide to choosing the right firm, and understanding what factors influence the price differences between each company you approach.
As with any service, the costs involved in hiring a graphic design company will vary depending on your needs and the graphic design company quoting you.
Factors influencing the fees charged by each graphic designer can include;
- Whether they are insured or not (it's common for some freelancers to not bother with insurance to protect you against issues such as copyright infringement for instance.
- Value added services such as online payment of your invoice with a trusted provider.
- Standard of design; it stands to reason that the better the designs created compared to others in their industry, the more a designer is likely to charge for them.
- Experience; a more experienced designer will charge more for their knowledge and experience; this represents value for the customer still as a more experienced designer is less likely to struggle with meeting timescales, understand how to compile a design brief without relying on you to do it by yourself, and not get tripped up by issues such as print colours, printing bleeds and file compatability with the printing firm.
A standard graphic design company will be able to meet your web and print graphic design needs and cover at least minimum design services such as logo design, stationery design, and web site design.
Some firms may in addition offer more creatively orientated design work such as graphic illustrations which can be incorporated into your website design, stationery and branding.
Using illustrations as part of your business branding can be a powerful way of setting yourself apart from your competition.
Budgeting for your project
It can be difficult to assess which graphic company offers the best value service when each graphic design company charges vary so much, however the following pointers may help you to focus on some of the important considerations:
- What is the reputation of the graphic design company you are considering; have you ever heard of them before, have they been recommended to you by someone you trust, do they appear to have an existing client base you can potentially contact, or any client recommendations/testimonials you can view?
- Are there any ‘red flags’ in evidence that should make you wary of using a particular graphic design company such as a lack of contact details for the firm (address, telephone numbers and so on), poor customer service from the outset of your initial communication with them, or an unprofessional manner in their telephone or email conversations with you?
- Does the graphic design company have a portfolio for you to view; ideally you should steer away from using a firm that does not have a portfolio as without a portfolio you have no evidence that they can provide the level of professional design work required, whether they have experience of working with other clients on similar projects, or even if their particular design style (most firms lean towards a particular style) meets your needs.
- What support are they willing to offer you? A high quality graphic design company will offer ongoing support with the graphic designs they have completed for you – ideally for free. This support is invaluable over the long term as in many cases you will use your graphic designs over and over for several years.