Design Agency or Advertising Agency?

NeoGraphics's picture
Member's Forum

I would love to get people's opinions on this matter please if I may. Last year I launched my life long dream – Evolution in Progress. Technically we are a design agency as we specialise in design for print and online. When pitching the agency to people outside of marketing departments I tend to get the feeling that people don't really know what a design agency is. Whereas when I say advertising agency you get that all important – understanding nod.

EiP does get involved with advertising in local and national press and magazines quite often but we do not cater for TV and radio spots.

My question is this. Do we label EiP as a design agency or an advertising agency? I would love to hear your thoughts please. If you work for or run your own agency, what do you label yours as?

First off – congrats on

First off – congrats on your company.

Seems to me that you're trying to market yourself to a group of people that don't really understand what it is you all do. In my view your job is to help them 'get it.' If people/clients think of you as an ad agency (which you're not) they might/probably/will expect you to deliver what an ad agency does.

I'd start a pitch with something like, "We're a design firm. You've all know about ad firms and what it is they do. Let me tell you about what it is we do and why that's better."

You've got a niche that you're trying to market toward – don't waste that. It's a huge advantage. Chances are good that you'll never be big enough (or want to be big enough) to challenge the huge ad firms – don't try to. Market yourself to that sector of the market that need your services.

Of course, if you've read through this whole thing, and have at every stage gone, "well, that's not right, I do want to do this and that." Then I think it's time to stop playing with semantics. Sorry to inform you, but you're an ad firm.

All of course, IMHO.


natobasso's picture

I agree with the above in

I agree with the above in that it's your job to be even more aggressive with your marketing so that it's undeniable what you do. That's what good branding does! :) But really, I can't add much more than that to the above post. It's spot on.

Powerpoint is not a design application

Agreed with comments

I actually live right above a graphic design agency (I live in a loft), and they are nowhere near an ad agency. Completely different.

I think you hit it right on the mark when you said that you're not an ad agency because of the limitations (i.e. commercials, etc.). A design agency is just that—anything that encompasses graphic design. Whether it be for print or web, it's still design and it's for a client who needs all identity surrounding what a design agency could help with.

An ad agency to me is EVERYTHING! Such as a total full blown campaign to re-establish a company's whole identity. LIke with Nike, for example. If they want total rebranding they would go to an ad agency. Such as commercials, marketing strategies, etc. Anything and everything that encompasses advertising.

I hope I'm not just babbling (like I am notorious for doing) and what I'm saying is making a little bit of sense.

Good luck and definitely agree with the above comments about making it known what a design agency does vs. an ad agency.

suzanne maestri-walters :: graphic designer :: www.onegirlcreative.com