If you are a small business, new or old, and you need design work like a website, advertising, marketing, social media management, flyers, business cards, logos......how do you know which design company is going to be the best company to create the work that best represents what you want? Well, I know this can be confusing, especially with new design businesses popping up all the time, so I have some information that may help you make the best decision.
1) The design company's website says a lot! Go to the company's website - how does it look - professional? Is it attractive? Does it grab your attention immediately? Is it complete with all pages and graphics? Is it easy to read, follow and navigate? Does it tell you enough information about the company, it's workers, and it's work? Would you like a site just as good as they have? These are the questions to think about - and typically, the quality of work you can expect is shown in the company's website. If their website looks high quality, that is what kind of work you will get - this goes for the opposite too.
2) QUALIFICATIONS - Are they a "Fly-By-Night, Youtube learner? Don't get me wrong, a huge portion of my training was Youtube and other video tutorials, however, I also have a degree from a highly accredited college that specializes in the arts - The Art Institute of Pittsburg. And while one can learn an awful lot from videos, what is not necessarily taught in videos is understanding color concepts, the power of hierarchy, color schemes, trending designs, design concepts and practices, and so on. So, is a degree in graphic or web design important - we tend to say yes - if the company took the time to better learn and master their craft, you know that they will take the time to master the work they do for you as well.
3) References - Take a look at their work for other customers - what kind of work did their other customers get from this company? Is it the same kind of high quality? Are you able to actually call this company's other customers and ask them what they think of the work they received? Does the design company make it easy to contact their previous customers? A good reference from a previous customer can go a very long way.
4) Does the company have and exercise their full knowledge of graphic design on multiple platforms - You may benefit from a company that does more than just websites. Some companies make sure that they know every in and out of not just a website, but graphics, as to the many different formats of graphics, like png, pdf, psd, jpeg......If the company offers Facebook Management, take a look at their Facebook page - are they truly placing great graphics and ads on their own Facebook page, or are they just sharing cute links and videos of kittens, last night's dinner, local news gossip.......How large is their pallet of colorful skills? We believe that a company that offers multiple services in the graphic design field, will have way more experience with every aspect of design.
These are of course, just my opinions and thoughts - and by no means, would I ever claim to be the best. In fact, their are design companies that are my competitors, and I am actually envious of or inspired by them. But when you come across multiple companies that you deem good, your decision may come down to budget and style. Keep in mind, one of the biggest misconceptions, at least in this field, is you get what you pay for. Just because some companies are more expensive than others, does not necessarily mean that the more expensive, the better work, or the opposite. Some companies have a lot more overhead, so they have no choice but to charge higher prices. Some companies charge very little, because maybe they are trying to get better and build their clients.
I just suggest, that when looking for a designer, make sure you inspect everything, ask a lot of questions, and really narrow in on what it is that you want, and make sure that you are not overpaying for work you do not need. Have some opinions on this? I would love to hear them, please comment below.