How to Pick a Designer or Creative Agency to Design Your Box

March 5, 2019 by Erin Behan

You've made the decision to use custom printed boxes for your business, but a big question looms: who to hire to help you design the perfect custom packaging?

If you're not already working with a creative agency or designer, you'll want to pick one that's just right for you and your business. The task of finding the ideal creative team may seem daunting, but we've got 7 practical tips that can make finding the right agency or designer a breeze.

Designers to customize your box

1. The Right Designer Understands Your Brand, Product, and Position in the Marketplace
"First and foremost you want to find somebody that understands your brand and the type of product you're putting forward," says creative director Kristen Poissant, who runs the Queens-based full-service design studio, Kristen Poissant Studio LTD and has more than 13 years of experience in the industry. "You’re looking for someone who strategically will brand you to set you apart from the competition."

2. The Right Designer Matches Your Brand's Personality and Passion
Before you talk to someone over the phone, online, or in person, you’ll want to do your online homework. While you’re clicking through portfolios, look for a creative agency or graphic designer whose style and creative vision matches yours.

If the aesthetic your brand embodies is more ethereal, and you're targeting a higher-end customer, you may not want to choose a designer who only has examples of edgier work. Evaluate past work the agency has done, and consider whether you think your brand and vision will mesh with theirs.

3. The Right Designer May Be Within Your Own Creative Network
Sure you can ask your friends and coworkers if they have anyone to recommend, but getting plugged into a creative community is a more direct route to finding the right design team for you. Start your search locally, and branch out from there, says Poissant.

"A lot of creatives like to support local business owners," she says. As a bonus, "they might have a direct correlation to understand your market a little better, especially if you're selling locally."

Most creative communities are tight, so a few well-placed questions to people working in creative fields, can push you in the right direction. "A photographer might know a designer they could recommend," says Poissant.

4. The Right Designer Doesn't Have to Be Next Door
While working with a local agency has its advantages, technological advances mean that you can just as easily work with a designer who's in your hometown as one who's across the country or across the world.

Poissant says she works with most of her clients remotely, even if they live and work nearby. "We work so closely together and everything is very personal, but we're not in the same room or in the same location," she says. She credits the easily availability of tools that designers can use to share and communicate with making location a non-issue.

5. The Right Designer Is Clear in Its Process
Once you've started to talk to and interview designers or creative agencies, you'll want to ask them about their idea and design process. Look for someone who strives to make the process simple, streamlined, and fun, says Poissant. The best design teams provide clear, concise steps from start to finish. And, above all, seek out someone who can help you create brand clarity.

6. The Right Designer Isn't Always the Cheapest
It can be tempting to take the lowest bid on a creative project, but the cheapest option is often not the best option. More important than price is finding someone whose work has a look that resonates with you. At the end of the day, it's about getting a packaging design that represents your brand. "It's very tricky to find a designer," says Poissant. "You want to work with someone who understands your thoughts and vice versa."

7. The Right Designer Isn't Always the Biggest Name
Bigger isn't always better. The size of the agency or the name recognition of a designer doesn't necessarily correlate with quality of the design work or with design work that's right for your business. What's most important is whether or not the agency or designer understands the personality of the brand and whether or not you feel a personal connection with the creatives who will be working on your project. More than anything, you want to "resonate with the aesthetic" of the designer or agency.

Whether you choose to hire a designer or agency to develop your packaging or you want to design it yourself, Distinct Packaging is a one-stop shop for all your custom packaging needs thanks to downloadable dielines for all of its packaging, and an easy-to-use tool that takes the guesswork out of package design. Distinct Packaging can also help with design services. If you already have your logo and other artwork ready to go, use our Design Assistant Service and we'll design your box or packaging for you. Fill out this simple form, call (877) 464-1959, or email at us support@distinctpackaging.com.
Erin Behan

Written by Erin Behan

Erin Behan is an L.A.-based writer and editor who considers fine paper one of life's little pleasures.

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