With the abundance of graphic designers and creative agencies around these days it's hard to know which is right for you and your business. It can be a daunting task, especially when you're forking out for something that you can't actually see yet!
So how should you go about it?
Well, checking out their portfolio of work is an obvious start. Does it look good? Have they got experience in providing the particular service you require? Do they know what they're doing? It might sound obvious, but checking that the agency or designer has the experience and skills required to do the job at hand are essential. Most designers and agencies will have an online portfolio, so you can check if they've done what you require before, and more importantly if they've done it successfully!
It's also a good idea to get in touch with the designers previous clients for a first hand critique. Most are likely to be very honest and if the feedback is good, we all know that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. A piece of work or design may look visually pleasing, but has it been successful in terms of results?
Multidisciplinary companies are those that specialise in design across a number of different design media. If you're requirements include branding, a web site and animation, it's a good idea to be able to hire one company that can offer you the full package. That way messages don't get watered down, design and brand guidelines are stuck to, and your points of contact are kept to a minimum.
Price. When it comes to paying for design, you do get what you pay for. You do need to pay for good design. However one way of cutting costs without skimping on quality is to hire a freelancer. A freelancer often has little to no overheads, and this is reflected in a reduced rate, not reduced quality.
Angela Roche is one half of Manchester graphic design freelance duo, FEED.
FEED are multidisciplinary, specialising in print [http://www.feed-us.co.uk/designservices/print-design-manchester.html], web design, and motion graphics.