How to choose the right type of designer.

Jamie Bridle / Founder
How to choose the right type of designer.

We understand that choosing the right kind of designer for your project can feel daunting. There are so many options, you can spend months looking through different websites and portfolios, trying to make your mind up.

There are agencies on your doorstep and agencies on the other side of the world. Even when you have a shortlist of three or four to choose from, it’s still confusing. I mean, they all promise that they can get the job done for you, and mostly, all seem to offer the same sort of services.

So, other than cost alone, how do you make up your mind when it comes to picking the most suitable one for your project?
To help you, we’ve broken down the current market offering into three categories. Let’s dive in...

The freelancer,
aka the sailing boat.

Rides waves, but doesn’t make them. Needs a brief, like a sail needs wind. There are so many freelance designers out there, It can take a long time to find someone dependable. A really good designer will find out about your target market and help to differentiate you from your competitors, to push your business forward. Are they asking the right questions? In fact, are they asking you any questions? Some designers might be so willing to please, or be too focussed on the money, or they simply don’t have enough experience. If you need help steering your brand in the right direction, they might not be the right fit for your business.
Pros: Can be cheap and quick.
Cons: Rides waves, doesn’t make them. Can get lost easily.
Design that might look good, but might not appeal to your audience.

The award-winning agency,
aka the ocean liner.

Slow on a fast-moving sea. Takes a long time to change direction.
For complex projects, where you need multiple skill-sets, a full-service agency could be right for you. All the disciplines you need will be under one roof, and organising your project can be made much easier than if you were to hire multiple specialists. This undoubtedly comes with a hefty price tag, and can be a slow route to market. You might need multiple meetings, which can sometimes feel like a waste of time. It can be quite exciting going to fancy offices, but it can be an unnecessary world to get caught up in.
More mouths to feed means there can be a tendency to upsell to you.
Pros: Offers everything under one roof.
Cons: Tends to be expensive. Takes a long time to implement changes. Slow in a fast-paced world. Big overheads means upselling.

The specialist agency,
aka the powerboat.

Small and responsive to the ever-changing tides. Client-focussed, experienced and agile. Tends to offer just a handful of services that they are really good at. A team who ask all the right questions to get you to market, making sure your brand aligns perfectly with your ideal clients. Understands that time is money. They listen and don’t try to schmooze you. Their process is lean and they’re small enough to be focused and attentive. Because of their size, they don’t need to up-sell to you.
Pros: Specialist. Agile. Quick route to market. No egos. Cons: Can be picky with the projects they take on-board.

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