It’s good business practice to make sure you’re hiring a graphic design company for all of the right reasons: Do they understand your business? Do they have practical experience with measurable results? Are they easy to work with?

Over the years we’ve had clients return to Trillion after they initially gave their business to another graphic design company.

…when you’re tasked with hiring a graphic design company you want to be sure that the creative team you’ll be working with will achieve the results you expect…

With few exceptions, most of the business owners and marketing professionals returned because they did not receive what they were led to expect from the other design company.

Whether you’re a corporation, not-for-profit or a local merchant running your own business, when you’re tasked with hiring a graphic design company you want to be sure that the creative team you’ll be working with will achieve the results you expect – within your budget and within a reasonable time frame. One way to begin the hiring process is to ask certain questions of the graphic design companies you’re interviewing. Their answers will go a long way toward helping you discover the right partner to deliver on your needs. Believe it: Finding the right “fit” will make your life a lot easier.

Here are six important questions to ask your prospective graphic design company:

1. “Your portfolio is really nice. What creative role did your team play and what were your responsibilities on these projects?”

You want to know exactly what the graphic design company was responsible for since most projects have multiple contributors. You also want to know the timeline for the projects so you can get an idea of how your project might compare to those in the design company’s portfolio.

2. “You say that your clients are happy with your designs but what can you tell me about the results?”

Quantitative results are key. For example, Trillion helped YMCA of Montclair increase gala fundraising results by 12% over the previous year (learn more about the event branding results). If the studio you’re interviewing can’t cite viable response numbers when it comes to the projects, plan to move on. You’re making an investment in your company and your brand. It’s smart business to expect a return on that investment. Not all projects are going to have easily obtainable results but many should.

3. “Can you tell me about your process?”

Many graphic design companies would have you believe that it’s their ‘process’ that sets them apart. If their process is not easily understood it’s not a process…it’s a smokescreen. No matter how complex their process map may be, it should still come down to a clear, efficient and easy-to-understand timeline that is easily explained.

4. “Who will be working on my project?”

Depending on the complexity of the project and the size of the design studio, you may receive varying answers. Mainly, you want to know that the graphic design company you are hiring is doing the work. Get the names, titles and expertise of the creative team who will be working on your project.

5. “Why are your fees more/less than other graphic design companies?”

First of all, make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

  • When gathering estimates from a graphic design company, be sure you understand what you are paying for and when.
  • Know how many initial designs will be presented to you and what the costs are for this work.
  • Also ask about revisions and rights usage and what happens if you do not like the concepts presented to you, or what happens if you have to cancel the project.

If you have a good feeling about a certain company, meet at their office to discuss details of your project and your concerns. The time spent face-to-face will provide you with valuable insights and help you decide whether or not you should invest in them.

6. “How will you keep us informed?”

It’s important to be aware of the progress of your project(s) and your graphic design company should have a plan for keeping you abreast of your project status. Depending on the size and scope of your project, and how many people are working on it at any given moment, a weekly phone call may be enough, or a more robust web-based project management system may be required. Make sure the design team’s updates align with your expectations.

Hiring a graphic design company isn’t rocket science

If you fail to ask the right questions you could end up with a piece of art for the round file and a costly learning experience. If you are having hesitations about your current list of prospective candidates, give us a call at 908.219.4703 or use our contact form to get the conversation started. We can answer the questions that you are struggling with and help shine some light on solving your marketing and communications challenges.