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Who does a design agency work for?

By Michael, 02. June 2013

This is the part of a series of articles to help you with some often confusing design situations. Today, we will answer some important design-related questions in hopes of alleviating common issues that come up between designers and their clients.


Who does a design agency work for?

Small design firms or start-ups often wonder whether they are choosing the right design agency. In many cases, this concern is justified, because a design office’s cooperation with the client has to be smooth and collaborative. During the development stage of a company, a design firm usually must orient itself toward needs of a specific clientele, which creates a certain distance between the agency and other potential target groups. However, there are alsovery broad-based design companies, with clients of various sizes and budgets representing a variety of industries. Nonetheless, the budget, be it large or small, should always play a subordinate role. The price must be reasonable for the clients, relative to the given task andrelevant designers. That’s all.


Specialist vs. Generalist
Over the past few decades, specialization in the creative industryhas become the rule rather than the exception, but now the trend seems to be reversing as the management and consulting needs of companies grow with progressiveglobalization.Accordingly, the ranks of “generalists” among designers are on the rise. Take WILDDESIGN, for example: Wespecialize in technical design, medical technology and intercultural branding, all of which have great prospects for the future and lots of opportunities to transfer know-how, or so-called “cross-innovation”. With every new job,our know-how grows with experience we can apply to future projects. Of course, we maintain the full confidentiality requirements of our customers and we also avoid simultaneously working for their competitors. As such, throughout a long-term cooperation, these sorts of arrangements naturally become more exclusive.


In which cases do most designers turn down clients?
Again, this occurs very rarely, for instance in cases that:

– have to do with weapons
– would result in distinct environmental and social problems
– involve copying competitors
– involve unpaid work, unless previously agreed upon.

Either way, do not hesitate to ask us. It all begins with the first contact – and it’s best to do it sooner rather than later!


Additional links:

Information on the risks designers bear

How to get a design project started

Reimbursement contract guidelines


Cross Culture Branding – long live opposition and misunderstanding
Exhibition design at Chinaplas for second straight year


Michael communicates anything and everything, at all times, often whether it’s a good idea or not. To not do so is to leave things on the table, and that’s no fun at all.

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