Many people feel that by going with a recommendation, they are choosing the right graphic designer. Recommendations are normally not a great route, due to the fact that the design that was done for one company may not be suited to another. So just because a friend recommended an agency to you based on the work they did, does not mean the results will be as good for you. So you are best off doing a little research yourself and finding the right local graphic design company for you. Using someone local is always a good option; there are thousands and thousands of designers around so finding a local designer should not be difficult at all.
Finding the right graphic designer could take time however. Once you have found 3-4 companies that are local and that you like the designs; get them to put a quote together for you to compare graphic design prices. This should give you a feel for the market value of the project. All charge differently so you may well be surprised at the variety of prices that do come back. Once you have got the best quote, the next thing would be to organise a visit to meet with them. Meeting them at their studio is always advised as you can get a feel for how they work, what their team is like (if they have one) and what the culture of the firm is like.
One thing that is advised during choosing the right designer, is finding someone that has experience in your industry sector. Choosing the right graphic designer comes down to their knowledge of your service or product. This would make it easier for them to understand your product/service and in tern, produce a better result. Once you meet with them, you can chat about their experience and get a feel for their level of understanding (this is something that will be easier to get a feel of rather than what they say over the phone/e-mail). Once you have met the agency are happy with how the meeting went, their level of experience – it may be good to chat to some of their past clients.
Testimonials from them always speak stronger than what they say about themselves. How did their past clients find them to work with, did they design on time and on spec, did the campaign produce results. Sometimes they may come up with designs that look odd, but the main thing to keep in mind is will they work. Even if the campaigns are not quite what you wanted, if they produce results then that is what counts.
Does the designer work with a local printing company? Are they any good?
Choosing the right graphic designer does involve looking at prices. As graphic design prices vary so much, shopping around is important. There are many factors involved with choosing the right agency; it is not all about price but about the end result. There is no point getting something produced cheap if it does not work (whether you are looking at branding companies for updating your brand, a packaging design or a logo); finding the right company for the job is what counts, if you can find them for the right price then even better.