How to Choose a Sydney Design Agency

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There are some key things to understand when selecting a Sydney Design Agency for your graphic design, branding or packaging design projects.

This decision may turn into a design company partnership that lasts years!

Navigating the world of design and branding is a tough task for most Sydney business owners. We know time is already spread across various other tasks and marketing your own business is sometimes left to the last minute or the dark hours long after your employees have gone home. Many Sydney business owners need a trustworthy business consultant or business partner to manage their design agency relationships, or find a Sydney design agency to address the companies marketing needs. The influx of small design agencies across Sydney in recent years has made choosing the right design company to partner with a difficult decision to make. The bigger Sydney Design Agencies are getting smaller as business becomes more competitive and working remotely because more normal. What doesn’t help this industry fragmentation is that many of these small start-up graphic design agencies have little experience and are learning on the fly – though often on your dollar.

Choosing the right design agency to partner with is crucial to your business success and the all important P and L. The wrong one can quickly drain your budget and negatively impact your branding and creative direction. So, here is our recommendations for finding a Sydney Design Agency that can help your business grow and manage your brand effectively.

Understand your companies branding and design requirements, which will then highlight your budget.

The first step in the decision process is understanding your business needs and expectations of a design agency. The more clarity you can add with your briefing to any design firm that describes your business needs in terms of brochures, catalogues, signage, stationery, websites, social media content and general corporate graphic design, the better your conversations will be with any Sydney Design Agencies you decide to meet and talk with.

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Understanding your companies marketing budget and what your senior management (or you the business owner) is willing to spend is key before you look to start making calls. Design Agencies rarely offer a set price, it’s a “bums-on-seats” industry and you are paying professional graphic designers their time to execute design projects for you. So how long your briefs take to complete will be the amount you are charged.

A good senior graphic designer should be able to work with any reasonable budget and manage your expectations accordingly. Ideally when engaging COG Design Agency we will aim to exceed them! For instance, a Thai restaurant will have a large amount of social media content design work and not much print advertising, while a Sydney plumbing business typically has a high spend on Google Display Content Design advertising and low print advertising.

Request that full transparency is on offer.

The first red flag that you should look out for is the immediate lack of transparency – this is the most basic and often the most overlooked. Review a design agency’s website (like COG Design Work), if you can’t easily find their physical office address, or their face proving they are real people living in Sydney, or representations of their work proving they can do what they are saying they can – then this design agency is likely not worth ringing or sending email quote requests to. If an agency looks like it is hiding something, then they probably are. It is actually very simple to weed out the fakes from the professionals. There are also many offshore design agencies making empty promises with low rates, and we all know when it sounds ‘cheap’ the work will reflect that.

Does it sound too good to be true? Then… it probably is.

Most of COG Design Agency Sydney clients come to our office immediately after a bad experience with offshoring to India, or using a kid straight out of college and say the same thing, “Wish we cam here first”. Don’t risk your business image and its ability to execute professional marketing – it simply isn’t worth it. We’ve seen this too many times. Full transparency should be one of the first tick boxes for you when choosing the right Sydney Design Agency for your company.

Does your design agency have the cred?

Credibility is key, though often the more design awards and gold stars means the fee will likely increase. But that’s ok, you get what you pay for when dealing with graphic design professionals. Remember, a good graphic designer has spent their whole life working on their skills, they have been formally educated in their field and they will have years of experience in business – this is all worth paying good money for. Be sure to review and understand the agency’s credibility and their industry and business experience. Read through any client testimonials on their website and review sites like Clutch or Google Reviews, and really look to see if these are legitimate and authentic testimonials.

Don’t be shy in asking for references from the design agency and their other clients, you can also ask them what jobs tanked and didn’t end smoothly. All design companies have had a bad experience here and there, you’ll find when you get a clear answer here it truly shows their legitimacy as a Sydney Design Agency.

Obviously looking at a design agency website specifically for design it should look good, and work fantastically! This is their game so it should be great. Any company advertising in Google Ads for instance is usually a reliable business as they have staff to pay and a business to run, so you will be important as a customer. For instance, search COG Design Agency Sydney and watch us come up to the top. We care and need to continue doing good branding and design for our Sydney market so we market ourselves and seek new design partnerships.

Sometimes all the experience in the world can be misleading.

If you are needing a specific graphic design skill set, you will no doubt look for a design agency that has experience in your industry. Though note, most good design agencies will be able to cross their experience over from one industry to another. Good designers have a skill in understanding communication, brand story, creative direction, corporate identity and the general marketing requirements a business needs to complete. So if you have found a Sydney designer that looks great but doesn’t have the industry experience, ask about how they might be able to cross over their skills and if there is a similar project they can use to cross reference.

COG Design has worked directly in many industries and understand that one approach does not always work for all. So open up dialogue with your agency and ask how you think they will use their experience to meet your design brief and specific industry requirements. A good graphic designer will be able to take a beaten up old brand and turn it into a new refreshed brand design image, regardless of the industry or content. Mostly our design agency knows our new approach to an old brand will unlock a stale brand and stale design thinking. We won’t throw the baby out with the bath water but we will take what is still valuable and build on it. We’re a top design agency and our graphic artists can evaluate your industry, your brand story and creative direction, assess your competitors and devise an effective strategic design solution.

Be fair, and take into consideration both the agency and you the client.

Most design agencies will refer to “the client side” and “the agency side”. COG Design are obviously on the agency side, where you the client is on the client side. When you understand the design agency and their requirements to run a profitable and successful business you’ll understand “what’s in it for them”. The quicker you know their position you’ll appreciate what they have to do to make it happen as a Sydney Design Agency. They will have their client services managers, their senior management, their designers and creative directors. They’ll have their own IP and systems and processes which no doubt have been honed over the years. So you need to respect that as they are experts in solving your problems. Remember, you’ve come to them for help, and help you they can. So listen to their advice, but importantly understand the design companies position and what processes they will take to reach the end results. Here the clarity you will achieve will help you build a long term relationship with your chosen Sydney Design Agency.

COG Design will have a dedicated account manager for you, our client. We have had experience working on both client side and agency sides. Here is an advantage simply because a good account manager will be considering both sides during the early stages and understand the solution the design agency needs to deliver the clients business.

The Choice!

You’ll ideally make a short list of Sydney Design Agencies. Obviously COG Design hopes we are one of them! Have you asked yourself what you and your company really needs from this client agency relationship? Everybody is seeking something a different from their design agency relationships and if you can use the analogy of the dating game to this relationship; you’ll know that choosing a design agency is like finding a girl or guy to date.

Design and branding is a really fun part of running a business when you partner with a great design agency. Ideally you should choose a Sydney design agency that you feel as though you will be able to have a laugh with, not hold back how you feel honestly and hopefully will align with your marketing team and their personality types, characters and generally ‘feels’ right.

As the business owner, I like to work with clients who respect each others opinion and call it straight. Plus you need to enjoy your working life, so any clients who like their business, their boss, their products and services, and their general day to day working life then it will always be a stress free and positive business relationship for myself and my design team and you our client!

We’re A Proven South Sydney Brand Design Agency

COG Design Agency know that when we optimise our clients brand their business performance increases.

We start all projects with a comprehensive briefing and clear communication that is lead by our brand management team, and continues right through to project success and aftercare nurturing from our graphic designers, packaging designers and website designers. Plus we’re proud supporter of Australian Design Careers and regularly engage the local design community on websites like The Loop.

The clients that use our Brand Design services are a mix of small to medium enterprise businesses – here our value is truly transferred directly to our clients. We often become friends through our client partnerships that last years because our creative company loves partnering with clients that understand first class brand design and communications provide a real lasting impact on their business.

Our Brand Design Agency is located in Cronulla, Sutherland Shire, south of Sydney. We’re a hungry outfit and haven’t stopped doing our best since we opened our doors over 10 years ago. Our entire suite of graphic design solutions are generated under the one roof, by a team of career professionals that are formally educated in graphic design, digital marketing, brand management, printing and website development.

If you need the best in marketing solutions from a leading Brand Design Agency in Sydney, call through today and begin building a strong relationship with a trusted and proven Australian Creative Company.

Start a design agency partnership with a proven and skilled creative company.

Phone COG Design Today (02) 9523 6007

Email Welcome@COGdesign.com.au

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