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Working with a good design agency can help bring your vision to life and give you the results you need. This guide covers a range of different design agencies, particularly: graphic design agencies, web design agencies, creative agencies, and product design agencies.
Top Design Agencies + Why Good Design Matters for Business
- 1. Sagmeister & Walsh
- 2. Wolff Olins
- 3. Landor & Fitch
- 4. DBC
- 5. Pentagram
- 6. Digital Silk
- 7. Clay
- 8. Kobe Digital
- 9. Instrument
- 10. Work & Co
- 11. Humaan
- 12. HUb
- 13. McCann
- 14. Hammer Creative
- 15. AMV BBDO
- 16. IDEO
- 17. UX Studio
- 18. Karten Design
- 19. Ammunition Group
- 20. Frog Design
- 21. Directive Consulting
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Graphic Design Agencies
Graphic design agencies work closely with clients to develop on-brand, value-adding, and relevant visual communication materials, such as illustrations, logos, iconography, and marketing materials. They play an essential role in marketing as they help brands create an identity that sets them apart from the competition. Working with professional graphic design agencies gives you access to a team of professionals, high-quality outputs, and years of industry experience.
The graphic design agencies on this list are all established and have impressive portfolios. They’ve also worked with various global clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies and museums to celebrities and international publications.
Sagmeister & Walsh is the design partnership between two famous graphic designers, Stefan Sagmeister, and Jessica Walsh. Sagmeister, who is known for designing album covers, posters, and books, has worked with high-profile clients, including David Byrne, The Rolling Stones, and Lou Reed. Walsh, an award-winning designer, has had her work featured in top publications like the New York Times. Her clients include Adobe and the Museum of Modern Art.
The NYC-based design agency specializes in arts-based projects and is focused on using art and design to transform buildings or specific areas. It’s a full-service studio that offers strategy creation, design, and production services for various media, including commercials, websites, books, apps, and films. Previous works include a spot for Frooti, a mango-flavored drink popular in India, and a new trophy design for the New York Festivals Advertising Awards (World’s Best Advertising).
2. Wolff Olins
Headquartered in London, Wolff Olins is a global brand consultancy founded in 1965 by Michael Wolff and Wally Olins. The firm is known for its innovative approach to identity and logo design, helping its clients “transform their impact.” Wolff Olins focuses on three things:
- Strategy – Wolff Olins helps clients identify growth opportunities, discover their purpose and positioning, and create design systems.
- Design – The firm aids clients in establishing their own unique visual identity, as well as their brand identity and messaging.
- Change – Aside from equipping clients for business transformations, Wolff Olins offers services geared toward cultural and employee experiences, employee engagement, social learning, and organizational excellence. It also provides clients with toolkits, guidelines, and metrics to help them effect change and measure their performance.
Its partners include global organizations in various industries, such as GSK, McKinsey, The Met, Spotify, TikTok, Uber, and Google Workspace.
Landor & Fitch is an award-winning design agency with over 400 design and effectiveness awards, including several MEA Transform Awards and D&AD Awards. Founded by Walter Landor, known as the inventor of the modern brand consultancy, and Rodney Fitch, who developed retail design and brand experience, Landor & Fitch has worked with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Del Monte, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Other notable clients include Microsoft, FedEx, Volkswagen, Rolex, the BBC, and the Australian Open. Its services range from brand expression, which covers designing brand visuals, sounds, and moves, to brand management, which equips businesses to manage their brand more agilely. Its previous works include designing idents for BBC One, creating a brand, story, and packaging for Brute, and designing a brand using a big, bold M for Melbourne.
The Design and Branding Company Inc., or DBC, is an award-winning branding agency that combines data and design to help clients overcome communication issues. It’s a versatile branding agency that offers other services such as real-time branding, launching solutions for early-stage companies, building better presentation ecosystems and experiences, and providing creative support (graphic design support). For its urgent graphic design support services, DBC provides remote support with an emphasis on keeping your data secure. Some of its graphic design services include making infographics for various clients and providing strategic marketing elements and web design for five fintech startups in partnership with Bank of America.
DBC specializes in brand voice, visual identity, data visualization, environmental design, and customer experiences, among other services. Meanwhile, its deliverables range from logos and brand assets, to effective packaging and creating brand content. Its clients include Google, Spotify, Meta, Bank of America, SUNY Adirondack, and Bain & Company.
Labeled as “the world’s largest independent design consultancy,” Pentagram is a multi-disciplinary and independently-owned design studio. What sets Pentagram apart from other design agencies is that the owners are their work’s creators. They also act as the primary contact for every Pentagram client.
The studio’s work for clients of various sizes in different industries covers five decades. Some of Pentagram’s services include brand identity, signage and environmental graphics, book design, film and motion graphics, industrial/product design, packaging design, and typography, among many other design-related services. Citibank, Hennessy V.S.O.P, Shakespeare in the Park 2023, Channel 4, Westinghouse, and Prime Video are some of its clients.
Top Web Design Agencies
There will be approximately more than 1 billion websites in 2023. However, over 80% of these websites are inactive. Moreover, more businesses are now realizing the importance of online presence. With that said, 71% of businesses now have a website. To build credibility in front of and put your business in front of a bigger audience, having a website should be one of your top priorities. Moreover, a well-designed website can generate business and make an excellent first impression on your target audience.
Professional web design agencies create and design websites, helping businesses establish an effective and professional online presence. Web design agencies build websites that attract new customers, drive sales, and enhance brand awareness. Working with a web design agency can give you a well-designed, professional, on-brand, and user-friendly website.
6. Digital Silk
A full-service creative digital agency, Digital Silk offers a broad range of services covering digital branding, web design, digital marketing, and mobile app development. Digital Silk has a diverse array of clients for its web design services, including B2B and B2C companies, and educational institutions. It counts Sony, Bang & Olufsen, G2 Esports, SNP Therapeutics, and Northwestern University as some of its web design clients.
For example, it developed a community site design and eShop redesign for G2 Esports. In the case of Bang & Olufsen, Digital Silk created a simplified sales funnel to facilitate a seamless shopping experience for the brand’s customers. For Sony, the creative digital agency came up with a simple and clean website design for the brand’s rewards website.
Clay is a full-service UI/UX branding and design agency headquartered in San Francisco. It works closely with its clients to develop transformative experiences through UI/UX design, web applications, enterprise software, and emerging technologies. For its UI/UX and web design services, Clay takes on projects ranging from building a new product from the ground up to redesigning existing websites or mobile apps. Its extensive UI/UX design and branding services cover every development step, from user research and product strategy to testing and development.
Aside from these services, Clay specializes in enterprise UX design, digital transformation of legacy software, and designing websites and mobile apps. Clay’s UI/UX design process begins with discovery and research, followed by digital strategy and concepts. Once the UI design concept has been approved, Clay will proceed with designing the UI/UX, performing tests, and continuing developments to the project.
With 12 years of experience under its belt, Clay has worked with a diverse array of clients, from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Its clients include Facebook, Google, Slack, Coinbase, Amazon, UPS, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Sony, T-Mobile, Uber, Toyota, and Samsung.
8. Kobe Digital
Kobe Digital specializes in performance marketing (Kobe Media), design (Kobe Design), and video production (Kobe Studios), with each arm operating as a distinct group. For each aspect, the design agency has several services. For instance, Kobe Studios deploys social media, search, and programmatic campaigns for brands. Meanwhile, Kobe Studios specializes in brand videos, commercials, explainers, and product videos, among services. Lastly, its design arm, Kobe Design, offers the following services for web design and development:
- Brand identity and strategy
- Brand websites
- eCommerce websites
- Web applications
- Mobile applications
Some of its work for early-stage startups and enterprise brands covering web design and development include:
- Creating a web-based solution for the Royal Thai Consulate-General
- Designing a website for HJC Helmets complete with features like dynamic product display and customized UI highlights
Instrument is an award-winning multidisciplinary creative company that offers six distinct offerings:
- Brand expression
- Design systems
- Campaign platforms
- Scalable content
- Product innovation
- Digital experiences
Under its digital experiences arm, Instrument develops apps and websites (UX design and mobile and web design), builds immersive events, provides content management, and performs monitoring and optimizations, among other services.
Instrument created a dynamic digital system for Pace Gallery, built an innovative website for X, and did a complete website redesign for Sonos.
10. Work & Co
Work & Co is an award-winning design and technology agency specializing in PM, strategy, design, and technology. Under design, it offers services such as UX/UI design, game design, rapid prototyping, and information architecture. Work & Co works closely with its clients, allowing them to participate directly. It deploys small multidisciplinary teams with senior experts, allowing for a more hands-on approach. Some of its select clients include IKEA, Gatorade, Aesop, Virgin America, Etsy, and Mailchimp.
Top Creative Agencies
Creative agencies primarily help businesses build strategies and marketing initiatives for growth, and meet marketing and branding objectives. They do this through campaigns using various traditional and digital methods. Creative agencies provide a range of services, such as advertising services, digital services, consulting services, and design services.
Humaan is an award-winning firm based in Australia that designs, builds, and delivers innovative digital products for some of the world’s biggest forward-thinking brands such as TechCrunch, HealthEngine, AgriFutures, and the Fremantle Arts Centre. It offers services focused to bridge its clients’ marketing gaps, including marketing strategy, UX, design, and development. Some of its featured projects include:
Strategizing and launching eight new websites for The Hospital Research Foundation Group to establish its presence and drive engagement
Creating a website for the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail, which provides users with an interactive guidebook
Designing and developing a new website for Scitech to build a long-lasting online presence and help it meet its objectives
The HUb is a San Francisco-based creative advertising agency that offers branding, cinematography, animation, UI/UX, and motion graphics. It’s an award-winning agency that has worked with some of the world’s biggest names, including Oculus, Nike, PlayStation, Stanford Children’s Hospital, LinkedIn, Google, and Levi’s.
Some of its works include creating a conservation-focused campaign for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, building a digital and out-of-home campaign for the University of San Francisco, and helping Oculus launch its first VR headset.
McCann is an award-winning global advertising agency that focuses on creative advertising. It provides marketers with best-in-class strategic and creative services. Some of its clients include Microsoft, Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, Aldi, and Verizon. Its works include creating a campaign for Nespresso featuring George Clooney and Andy Garcia, designing accessibility solutions for IKEA, and creating a campaign for the Xbox’s Adaptive Controller.
14. Hammer Creative
With a focus on creating out-of-the-box advertising campaigns, Hammer Creative has built several award-winning campaigns for major game and entertainment companies such as Riot Games, Netflix, Marvel, Square Enix, Bethesda, Ubisoft, EA, and Epic Games. Aside from creating campaigns, Hammer Creative offers the following services:
- Strategy and creative – Offers audits, analysis and insights development, brand positioning, and brand identity, among other services
- Design and motion – Offers storyboarding, animation and motion graphics, VFX, OOH, visual identity systems, and more.
- Production and capture – Focuses on game capture and direction, creative editorial, and post-production and finishing, among other services
15. AMV BBDO
AMV BBDO is a global creative agency headquartered in London. It has won several awards, including the Agency of the Year Award during the 2019 Campaign Big Awards and the 2021 One Show Award. It’s also been recognized as the global agency of the year at Cannes. Some of AMV BBDO’s notable works include creating an integrated campaign for SHEBA, storytelling for Pepsi with its Play to Inspire video, and launching a new campaign for Guinness.
Top Product Design Agencies
Product design agencies turn your ideas into reality. They work closely with the client throughout the product development process, from brainstorming to product testing, ensuring that the product aligns with business needs. Professional product design agencies offer various services covering both physical and digital products, including product strategy development, user research, visual design creation, and analytics and optimization.
Working with a product design agency gives businesses a competitive edge by building impactful experiences for their target audience. They can achieve this by creating functional, easy-to-use, and well-designed products. Other benefits of working with professional product design agencies include improved user experiences, higher conversion and customer satisfaction rates, and increased ROI.
IDEO is a US-based global design agency that offers product design services. It follows a human-centered design approach for its clients, from various industries, from B2B and industrial goods and services to technology and government. Some of its works include redesigning the City of Boston’s website to make it more citizen-centered and modern, designing modern, tech-enabled light fixtures for Swarovski, working with Midea to design personal appliances intended to promote health and wellness, and partnering with startup Neuromotion Labs to design and develop a video game for kids. Other IDEO clients include the Ford Foundation, H&M Group, New York University, Logitech, and QVC.
17. UX Studio
UX Studio is a product design company offering UX research, UX audit, UX training, expert review, and web design services. It can design products from scratch or make redesigns or improvements on existing products.
Its unique approach to its services, particularly UX design, focuses on UX research and includes design testing, validation, and iteration, allowing the firm to create well-designed and user-centric digital products. Its clients include startups and established brands such as HBO, Google, Netflix, and the UN World Food Programme. UX Studio’s works include doing a complete UX and UI redesign for MOME and redesigning the IncQuery Labs website.
18. Karten Design
Karten Design is a product design and innovation consultancy that focuses on providing research-driven medical device design and development and building medical devices and digital health solutions. It has won several awards and recognitions for its medical device designs from institutions and award-giving bodies like the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Core77 Design Awards, and SXSW. Karten Design counts Boston Scientific, Hill-Rom, P&G, Medtronic, and Cardiac Science as some of its clients.
19. Ammunition Group
Ammunition Group is a design studio founded in 2007. Its team of designers, who have expertise in different design specializations such as physical and digital product design, brand identity, packaging, and user experience, works closely with its clients to create transformative products and experiences.
Its projects include creating a line of kitchen tools for Williams-Sonoma (Cook’s Tools), as well as tech-driven Smart Tools, to improve cooking experiences, building products for Beats by Dr. Dre, creating the Pro3 camera for Matterport, and developing the UNICEF Kid Power Band.
20. Frog Design
Frog Design is a global creative consultancy with clients like the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation, Sesame, and Ambu. It offers a range of services, including growth and innovation strategy, corporate venture building, brand strategy and design, and product design and build. For its product design and build service, it follows a human-centered approach and leverages emerging technologies to create innovative digital products. For this service, it counts Alto, MeMed, and Yona as some of its clients.
Founded in 2014, Directive Consulting has carved a niche for itself as a leading agency in digital and performance marketing for tech companies. Over the past decade, they’ve successfully achieved their client’s goals through a harmonious blend of design, Paid Media, SEO, and Lifecycle Marketing. They’ve worked with leaders in the tech industry, such as Uber Freight, Stack Overflow, and more.
Directive’s primary forte lies in its design capabilities, ensuring tech and SaaS brands maintain a distinct identity in a market teeming with similar offerings. The agency further distinguishes itself with its approach to creative integration, which extends to areas like sales and product decks, data visualizations, and more.
In collaboration with Tiger Connect, Directive astutely transformed the ‘Thank You’ page, upselling a live demo as users engaged with a video, resulting in a remarkable 1200% boost in conversion rates. Meanwhile, for Verato, Directive employed a longer landing page complemented by a user-friendly scrolling static form. This nuanced approach garnered a significant 1006% uptick in conversion rates, showcasing Directive’s adeptness at tailoring strategies to distinct audience requirements.
Why Good Design Is Essential for Business
Good design can transform your business and set you apart from the competition. An older but commonly cited study from McKinsey found that businesses with high scores in the top quartile of the design index generated 32% more revenue and had an average of 56% more total returns to shareholders.
There are several reasons why businesses of all sizes use design. It could improve communications with their customers, drive leads and engagement, build brand awareness, and make it easier for their target audience to understand their offerings.
Furthermore, good design makes your business feel human and sets the tone for your business. A well-executed design can help reflect your brand’s identity, allowing you to showcase your value proposition to customers, and give them a good reason to do business with your company over your competitors.
Lastly, good design brings in business, making your company more profitable. That’s because it can help grow your business value and increase sales.
Good design can bring your business to the forefront. Whether graphic, product, or website design, working with a professional design agency gives you access to an experienced and skilled team.
Note that the type of design agency you work with will primarily depend on your business needs. However, many design agencies offer a broad range of services and cater to businesses in different industries. For example, a creative agency may also offer design services besides advertising and consulting services. Meanwhile, some graphic design agencies might also offer product and website design services.
Before working with a specific design agency, it’s best to check out their website and portfolio. If possible, schedule an in-person meeting with them so you can get a better idea of their approach or process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the best design agencies today?
Some of the best design agencies include:
- Sagmeister & Walsh
- Wolff Olins
- Digital Silk
- UX Studio
What do I need to prepare prior to working with a design agency?
After researching the best design agencies, create a shortlist of candidates. Make sure that you can explain what your brand is about and what your project goals are. You also need to define your budget and timeline clearly.
How much do design agencies cost?
The average cost of working with a design agency can vary, depending on the type of agency and the scope of your project. For instance, hiring a web design agency can run anywhere from $100 to $149 per hour. Some review sites offer price estimates or figures for an agency’s minimum project size., It’s best to discuss your budget and timeline to get a better idea of how much hiring a design agency actually costs, as well as provide as much information about the project as you can, with your shortlisted agencies. You can also request detailed quotes.
What does the team composition of a design agency typically look like?
Depending on the type of agency you’ll be working with, a design agency can comprise design leads, user researchers, project managers, product designers, creative directors, brand and content strategists, and product managers.
What are the different types of design agencies?
There are several types of design agencies you can work with, depending on your business needs. Additionally, many design agencies offer various services, such as branding and graphic design, so some services overlap. These include:
- UI/UX design agencies
- Product design agencies
- Software development agencies
- Digital agencies
- Creative agencies
- Branding agencies
- Marketing agencies