We all know that an image can tell thousands of words. But which words the image will tell depends on many things. The most two important aspects of a photo are composition, and lighting. To tell the story for our purpose, rightly, right arrangement of objects and people are very crucial. Suppose, you need a picture of Niagara falls for your next marketing campaign for a specific product. You send your best photographer to shoot the appropriate photographs, but the model of your product could not turn up there for her schedule problem. The easiest solution for this particular problem is to shoot the photograph of the model later in the studio and place her figure on the Niagara Falls photograph. We can also add the image of the product or any other necessary objects, texts, effects/special effects, blah, blah, blah… later, using image manipulation and graphic design software.
Can we do the image manipulation ourselves?
The answer is yes or no. Yes, if we know all the techniques required to do this photo manipulation. If we have a dedicated graphic design section, then we do not need to go outside for this service. Maintaining an in house design section increases overhead cost. But if we do not have that facility, we cannot do it ourselves. Also, photo editing and graphic design is a tedious and time consuming job which most people like to avoid. Firstly, one must know the software like Photoshop. If you need professional work, one should have in-depth knowledge, and should know the tricks & tips of image manipulation. For this reason many photographers, prefer to hire graphic design firms to do the necessary photo editing. Because they want to spend their time on their main job of shooting. Also, they need some time for their own marketing.
This is just one example why we need photo manipulation and image editing service provider firms. There are numerous situations when we need to hire a graphics firm.
How to choose a quality graphic design firm?
Deciding which firm to select is a matter of confusion. Because there are lots of firms around the globe. Which one provides the best quality and competitive price? Well, I would like to express my opinion on some criterion you can give more emphasis on.
Experience of the graphic design company:
Choose a graphic design company that has many years of experience. Experience matters a lot both for quality and price. Normally, a firm with several years of experience should have more expert employees, who can help in generating high quality and effective outputs with minimum time. When you get high quality within small amount of time, the price for the production becomes lower as well. If you get the outputs in short time without compromising the quality, it will help in meeting your deadlines. Large companies prefer and select large companies for their graphic design works.
Ability to deliver high quality outputs:
An old and large company with many years of experience, generally has several expert professionals who can deliver very high quality of works. Generally, they have experienced QC personnel. These expert personnel can monitor and help other professional graphic designers in generating high quality outputs.
Look for a graphic design company which maintains a work flow that ensures high quality of outputs. Check if there is QC stages which is necessary for maintaining high quality. Some large companies have 2 stage QC. A graphic designer completes a work. A QC personnel checks if the output is according to the expectation and specifications of the client. If he finds any deviation, he directs the designer to correct or re-do the image manipulation. If he accepts the quality, a senior QC personnel checks the outputs and gives final approval before supplying to the client.
Ability to supply the deliverables on time:
We all know that turnaround time is very important for a project. You have a deadline for your job where the manipulated images will be used. So, you need the edited images in time so that you can meet your deadlines and make your clients happy. A large company has the ability of scheduling works, according to the priority, to make sure that the outputs are delivered within the promised time. Ability to provide rush service is something you could be looking for.
Ability to handle bulk order:
If you have a large quantity of images you should be looking for a company, which has a larger numbers of professional graphic designer, who will be able to handle bulk order with a rush. Who can ensure on time delivery even if the order is large enough. If a firm has a large number of employees, they will be able to make changes to the production schedule according to the priority.
Check their portfolio to see their standard of work. Normally, they will keep their recent best works on the website. You can get an idea from the portfolio about the types of job they are capable of doing, and the level of quality you may get from them.
Quality of the sample or free trial work:
Some firms offer free trial offers. It is a good opportunity to check the quality and turnaround time of the firm. These are of course the most important aspects you would like. This will help you in getting confidence on the graphics firm. If they can provide you quality outputs in free trial order, it will be easier for you to assume what they are capable of doing.
Authenticity of the company:
Normally, an authentic company has many years of existence in the market. They may have more security facilities implemented on their website like SSL certification. SSL or Secured Socket Layer provides data encryption facility. This will ensure more security of your file transfer and other communications with the graphic design service provider.
Payment terms and refund policies:
Payment terms and conditions are important factors. Go for a company that work with a payment method and conditions that is convenient to you. It is better if they can accept PayPal, MasterCard, Visa card, Bank cheque etc. As for refund policy, some firms may also have a policy of partial or full refund if you are not happy with their work. You may like to have this facility, if you are working with a firm with which you did not work with before.
Confidentiality is a very important issue. Suppose Apple Inc. is going to employ a firm for some graphic design work for their new products. Surely, as usual, they would like to keep everything extremely secret. Select a company who promises 100% confidentiality of the work you are going to award. Some firms may sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to guarantee the confidentiality of your information and work.
While selecting a graphic design company, the quality and availability of the customer is also a matter of consideration. Check if they are available when you need to communicate. You will find some company that provides 24/7 dedicated customer care support. That is advantageous for your project, because you will be able to promptly convey any instructions and changes you need. You will have peace of mind, if you can know the status of your work and get the outputs whenever they are finished.