The Best Design Agencies of 2020

Our design agency reviews are the result of over 40 hours of research on 100+ design agencies from across the web. These reviews and our design agency guide help small businesses and startups find the best design agency for their business.

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How We Chose the Best Design Agencies

There are hundreds of design agencies to choose from, but deciding which is the best choice for your small business can be hard. To help you choose the right firm, we put together a list of the best design agencies based on the services they offer, the size of their agency, and the industries they work with.

Multiple Service Lines

The most popular services design agencies offer include web design, content strategy, search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX). However, design agencies that offer a larger selection of services can help you consolidate the number of different agencies you need to hire for your branding and marketing efforts. Agencies that offer varied services that span programming languages, applications and mediums also generally have employees with varied skills.

Size of Firm

Most of the design agencies we looked at have fewer than 50 people on staff, and some have fewer than 10. Businesses with complex requirements generally do better with larger design agency teams.

Industry Focus

Some industries have specific design needs or challenges, such as layered security, compliance and accessibility. If you are dealing in a niche industry, it’s always best to have a firm that understands the particular challenges of that industry and has the experience and processes to overcome them. We selected design agencies that specialize in a range of industries to ensure there’s an option for most every business on this list.

The 15 Best Design Agencies of 2020

CompanyPriceService LinesMore
ArtVersion$150 - $199 / hrBranding
Web Design
UX/UI Design
SEO
Visit ArtVersion
Bird Marketing$50 - $99 / hrWeb Design
SEO
Visit Bird Marketing
Dept$100 - $149 / hrWeb Development
Web Design
UX/UI Design
Visit Dept
FATbit Technologies$25 - $49 / hreCommerce Development
Custom Software Development
UX/UI Design
Visit FATbit Technologies
Imarc$150 - $199 / hrWeb Design
Custom Software Development
Web Development
Digital Marketing
User Experience
Strategy and Research
Visit Imarc
Infinum$100 - $149 / hrWeb Development
Mobile App
Development
UX/UI Design
Visit Infinum
Kimp.io$389 / monthGraphic Design
Print Design
Logo
Visit Kimp.io
Level Level$100 - $149 / hrWeb Development
Web Design
Digital Strategy
Visit Level Level
Lounge Lizard$100 - $149 / hrWeb Design
Advertising
Branding
Visit Lounge Lizard
Luminary$100 - $149 / hrWeb Design
UX/UI Design
Web Development
Visit Luminary
Think Company$150 - $199 / hrDigital Strategy
Web Design
UX/UI Design
Visit Think Company
Trixmedia$200 - $300 / hrBranding
Web Design
Graphic Design
Visit Trixmedia
Tubik Studio$50 - $99 / hrUX/UI Design
Web Design
Graphic Design
Visit Tubik Studio
Unified Infotech$50 - $99 / hrWeb Design
Web Development
Visit Unified Infotech
UnitOneNine$150 - $199 / hrUX/UI Design
Web Design
Product Design
Visit UnitOneNine

ArtVersion

ArtVersion-Logo
ArtVersion is a mid-size creative agency based in Chicago that has many local clients as well as global brands such as Volvo and Caterpillar. The agency’s previous work also includes financial giants such as Morgan Stanley and the Federal Reserve Bank. Each project is assigned a tight team with no filler roles, which gives ArtVersion more flexibility that similar-sized agencies.

As a full-service creative agency, ArtVersion is capable of managing as much as needed, including ongoing maintenance, and it also extends to offline services such as photoshoots, signage and more. Particularly for local businesses in or near Chicago, having these services available can be the decision point.

ArtVersion has an extensive content strategy service that can handle more work than most competitors. This ongoing service includes content creation, management, promotion and visual branding elements that play well with each other in a focused story with familiar looks or a new identity.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$150 - $199 / hrBranding
Web Design
UX/UI Design
SEO
>10-49 employees
>Industry focuses are Nonprofit, Computer Software, Aerospace, Automotive, eCommerce, Gaming and Entertainment, Food and Beverage
>Notable clients include Volvo, Mack Trucks, Caterpillar, TransUnion, MorganStanley and Federal Reserve Bank
>More features at ArtVersion

What Customers Are Saying
After receiving the final product, a marketing manager from Boston rates the ArtVersion staff highly, saying, “We appreciated the unique skill set each member of their team brought to the table.” Others enjoy the speed, with one saying, “They often deliver changes within a day.”

Bird Marketing

Bird-Marketing-Logo
Bird Marketing is a relatively small agency based in the UK with offices in London and Essex. As a result, this digital agency offers a streamlined set of services, with a focus on web design and SEO for tech-based companies.

Clients with existing websites and systems, such as booking, blog or HR applications, can migrate to the Bird Marketing add-ons or integrate and preserve as much of the current setup as necessary. The agency’s specialization in SEO is good for some small businesses, particularly those that expect organic searches rather than paid placements.

Apart from the core services from Bird Marketing, there are add-ons such as optimized web hosting and management and PPC advertising. These options can make the process easier for small businesses that lack employees with the technical experience for website upkeep and promotion.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$50 - $99 / hrSearch Engine Optimization
Web Design
>2-9 employees
>Industry focuses are HR & Recruiting, Financial Services, Health, Wellness and Fitness, Consumer Products, Retail and Information Technology
>Notable clients include Huawei, Cancer Research, Capital UK and Moda Minx
>More features at Bird Marketing

What Customers Are Saying
One recent client says the Bird Marketing team is “reliable and professional” and also likes the management service, saying, “I can focus on my business & clients which is all one can hope for.” Some just appreciate a handshake and goodbye after receiving “high quality results within the agreed timeline.”

Dept

Dept-Logo
Dept is one of the biggest design agencies with a physical presence in important parts of the world, including Boston, Amsterdam, Manchester and Berlin. It has clients such as Microsoft, Sony and Tesla, and it can also customize a plan for small businesses that aren’t yet global.

This full-service digital agency offers a selection of teams that handle the skills you’d expect, such as big-picture strategists and brand experts, marketers and of course the designers. In addition to that, Dept has much more specifically trained and experienced teams in areas such as Amazon — with over 100 employees covering this single marketplace — and experts on influencers, video and creative production.

Dept’s expected hourly cost of $100 -$149 is toward the higher end of our choices for the best design agencies, but it’s justified by the size and scope of the company, teams and services.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$100 - $149 / hrWeb Development
Web Design
UX/UI Design
>1,000-9,999 employees
>Industry focuses are Facilities Services, Automotive, Electronics, Retail and Manufacturing
>Notable clients include Tesla, Sony, Adidas, Samsung, Microsoft and Weber
>More features at Dept

What Customers Are Saying
Dept receives very positive reviews for its documentation and useful, actionable reports. One recent client says, “Dept conducted an assessment of a CMS and several eCommerce applications. The team delivered technical documentation and recommendations for improvements.”

FATbit Technologies

FATbit-Technologies-Logo
FATbit Technologies is a web and app development company based in India, and it’s one of the more affordable in this list that can still handle almost any task with experienced employees. Past and current clients range from businesses in India, such as UNI Diamonds, and the American start-up website GearFlow.

Small businesses may benefit the most from this company, as its costs are low and it covers many services in one place. Larger businesses can audit and optimize a CRM or CMS or create a mobile app.

FATbit provides a good selection of growth and ongoing management services, such as user experience optimization, SEO / SEM, content marketing, conversion rates and online reputation management. This agency can also provide consultancy on current or planned business models, competitors and more strategic areas.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$25 - $49 / hreCommerce Development
Custom Software Development
UX/UI Design
Web development
App development
> 50-249 employees
>Industry focuses are eCommerce, Retail and Business Services
>Notable clients include UNI Diamonds, GearFlow, Footloos and Oyo Cater
>More features at FATbit Technologies

What Customers Are Saying
Most of FATbit’s recent customers say the agency is fast at getting systems and websites ready to publish, and one in particular comments on how they handled his order, saying, “They used project management software as well as regular emails to check in. Highly effective.”

Imarc

Imarc-Logo
Imarc is a mid-size design agency based in the United States with offices in California, Texas and Massachusetts. It’s on the high end of the prices for our top 15 list, and the minimum spend may leave some small businesses out, but it has valuable years of experience in custom applications, mobile and web. This agency has clients such as JetBlue and Marriott to show for their capabilities, as well as many security and finance clients.

This full-service agency can be very hands-on if requested, which takes many responsibilities, such as research, content strategy and creation, design and marketing, off the client. However, it can also follow specs as ordered, and this allows clients to retain and integrate current CMS or other systems as required.

Imarc has much experience with integrations and APIs from all of the most popular service providers, and it can create solutions for custom applications.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$150 - $199 / hrWeb Design
Custom Software Development
Web Development
Digital Marketing
User Experience
Strategy and Research
>50-249 employees
>Industry focuses are Hospitality, Transportation, Food and Beverage, Finance and Education
>Notable clients include Marriott, Press Ganey, Digital Guardian and Anvil International
>More features at Imarc

What Customers Are Saying
Many recent reviews give high grades to the Imarc team for being easy to contact and accurate as far as deadlines are concerned, saying, “Their estimates are pretty concrete as well which is extremely helpful. They’re very transparent.” Another client says the turnover among staff is low.

Infinum

Infinum-Logo
Infinum is a relatively large and well-staffed web development and design agency headquartered in New York City, and it has additional offices in San Francisco, Zagreb and Ljubljana. With specialties in banking, insurance, finance and media, as well as high profile clients such as Universal Music Group, Samsung and T-Mobile, this agency is one of the better options at this price point.

Custom plans for most sizes of business can also be arranged, and they’ve served many small to mid-size banking sector clients across Europe, the United States and worldwide. It offers some relatively unique and complex services, such as blockchain development, and covers all aspects of research and design. Backend development is one of this agency’s most popular services, with many recent clients’ API and other systems developed on technologies that can scale up at any time.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$100 - $149 / hrWeb Development
Mobile App Development
UX/UI Design
>50-249 employees
>Industry focuses are Retail, Health Care and Medical and Hospitality & Leisure
>Notable clients include Royal Carribean, Universal Music Group, T-Mobile and P&G
>More features at Infinum

What Customers Are Saying
Quite a few clients say they appreciate having such an agency with a physical presence that’s accessible, with one saying, “We can easily meet face to face when we’re in Zagreb or when they’re in Munich.” He recommends having a meeting to discuss strategy beforehand if possible.

Kimp.io

Kimp.io-Logo
Kimp.io is a subscription-based service with its main office near Toronto, and it’s exclusive to graphic design. It has clients of all sizes and areas of expertise, such as consulting, fitness and digital services, and employs designers with many years of experience in health,

The flat fee makes it an interesting opportunity for many sizes of business in need of high-quality graphic design at a steady, predictable monthly cost. It’s one of the few professional design agencies that are within reach even for freelancers just getting their foot in the door.

In exchange for the monthly subscription fee, clients can submit an unlimited amount of graphic design requests and revisions for Kimp’s team to process. In reality, most clients will be able to get two or three design requests fulfilled every day. Complex requests will take longer to process, but they’ll send notifications and estimate the completion time.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$389 / month flatGraphic Design
Print Design
Logo
>50-249 employees
>Industry focuses are Consumer Services, Marketing and Advertising, Health, Wellness and Fitness, and Consulting
>Notable clients include Digital Zoo, Big Fish Local and Vizion Media
>More features at Kimp.io

What Customers Are Saying
The owner of a small consulting and marketing firm in Alabama says his team of three designers and one manager are good at filling in blanks, if needed, and adds, “So long as I give Kimp a couple of things to go off of, they get my vision.”

Level Level

Level-Level-Logo
Level Level is primarily focused on WordPress project development, which includes everything from research and ideas to the day-to-day maintenance, and it’s also a full-service agency that can handle the rest of a client’s non-WordPress issues. It’s based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and has local media clients such as New Scientist NL and global names such as Business Insider.

Apart from high-level experience helping media companies compete on digital platforms, the agency also specializes in financial and business services. Common projects for the team include webshop and app creation, UI/UX, search engine optimization and all things WordPress.

Level Level offers various ongoing services such as high-end hosting, monitoring, maintenance and the integration of multilingual website features. The team can also implement custom or third-party solutions that allow for more automation and integration with existing systems.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$100 - $149 / hrWeb Development
Web Design
Digital Strategy
>10-49 employees
>Industry focuses are Media, Financial Services and Business Services
>Notable clients include ABN AMRO, Business Insider and Cordaid
>More features at Level Level

What Customers Are Saying
One happy customer compliments the Level Level team for following directions but also being proactive with questions and suggestions and adds, “Their team wants to know why we’re doing something to find the optimal path.” Another client says his website has gained roughly 300% in unique visitors over the years.

Lounge Lizard

Lounge-Lizard-Logo
Lounge Lizard is a high-end web design and marketing agency with two locations in New York state — NYC and Patchogue — and offices in other valuable markets such as D.C. and Los Angeles. It’s an established and reputable agency with over 20 years in operation, and it has experience with large clients such as A&E Television, Canon, Disney and ESPN.

This agency has also gained many clients and employees in the financial and business services sector, where it now focuses much of its time. Level Level can manage brand strategy and marketing aspects, as well as visual design, interactivity and user experience, web development and mobile apps. Social media engagement and other strategies for individual platforms are becoming popular.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$100 - $149 / hrWeb Design
Advertising
Branding
>10-49 employees
>Industry focuses include Business Services and Financial Services
>Notable clients include A&E Television, Blue Foundry Bank, Bryant Park and Disney
>More features at Lounge Lizard

What Customers Are Saying
A recent client says he received high-quality results and all of his requested functional or visual elements and adds, “Nothing felt watered down or shortcutted.” The agency can be very flexible with backend development, and one reviewer says, “The backend developer was great. He did tasks right away.”

Luminary

Luminary-Logo
Luminary is a well-respected name in Australia’s business and government sectors — it has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide — and it has also expanded to include a physical presence in Legian, Indonesia. Many of its previous projects were done on behalf of Australia’s biggest names in their respective fields, such as Bakers Delight, Melbourne Business School and the non-profit The Fred Hollows Foundation. The team at Luminary has also managed projects for various government entities.

This agency is very experienced with the design, creation and implementation of custom apps and digital projects that are custom-built on the latest technology, including virtual reality and emerging opportunities that may work to capture the attention of specific audiences and potential customers.

As one of Australia’s oldest and most-used design agencies, it deserves a close look from businesses around the country and particularly those that may benefit from having a local agency rather than international.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$100 - $149 / hrWeb Design
UX/UI Design
Web Development
>50-249 employees
>Industry focuses include Financial Services, Consumer Products & Services and Education
>Notable clients include Beyondblue, Oliver Hume, Save the Children and QSR International
>More features at Luminary

What Customers Are Saying
The senior manager of digital engagement at one of Australia’s largest aid organizations is impressed that Luminary built their whole system according to just a few key specs. He also adds, “We’re really happy with their work, and the experience with them was so much better than our experiences with other agencies.”

Think Company

Think-Company-Logo
Think Company is a large, high-end digital consultancy firm with a specialization in user experience (UX), web design and strategy. It has two locations in Philadelphia and one more in Conshohocken, PA. It can handle the many small bits and pieces that contribute to UX being good or bad for a particular customer base or population segment, and the team can help by optimizing and testing various alternatives.

As a result of extensive research and a customized testing process, clients gain real insight from data that represent measurable differences in approach to UX, and this can often be used to guide other decisions within the client’s business, such as purchasing new services or products.

Think Company works with industry leaders in media and tech, such as Comcast, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is among its clients in the health care and medical sectors. Other areas of expertise for this agency include financial services and construction.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$150 - $199 / hrDigital Strategy
Web Design
UX/UI Design
>50-249 employees
>Industry focuses are Business Services, Financial Services and Health Care & Medical
>Notable clients include ADP Amerisource, Bergen, Ascensus and Comcast
>More features at Think Company

What Customers Are Saying
One head of product marketing in life insurance is pleased with the results, saying that his team had around 10 people with relevant leadership and skills and adding, “Think Company helped with conceptualization, creating wireframes, and web design.” He and others from PA also appreciate their presence around the state.

Trixmedia

Trixmedia-Logo
Trixmedia is a relatively small, boutique digital agency based in Beverly Hills that focuses on brand strategy. The team is comprised of experts who can see the grand vision for a brand as well as very specific branding issues such as trademark screening and legal matters, domain names and more. It’s also very detailed in its competitor analysis and reports on trends or other possible pathways toward overtaking competing websites and businesses.

The bulk of this agency’s work is in branding and packaging design for midmarket clients operating throughout Los Angeles in consumer products and services, manufacturing and health care. It also works with some of the most well-known brands in the world, such as Coca Cola, Hilton and Starbucks Coffee, which helps explain the high costs associated with this company.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$200 - $300 / hrBranding
Web Design
Graphic Design
>2-9 employees
>Industry focuses include Consumer Products & Services, Manufacturing and Retail
>Notable clients include Coca Cola, Hilton, BBCOM and Stone Group America
>More features at Trixmedia

What Customers Are Saying
The CEO of a textiles business in Los Angeles has been a client since 2008 and credits Trixmedia for bringing more visibility and getting to the “next level.” He goes on to say, “We expanded into an industry, and it wasn’t easy for people who had been in the industry for a long time to recognize us.”

Tubik Studio

Tubik-Studio-Logo
Tubik Studio employs a small yet capable team of designers in its Ukraine headquarters, and it has won numerous web awards from international publications. It also has global appeal in its current and previous clients, such as Huawei, the Lumen Museum in Italy and the Uplyfe health app in Switzerland.

The agency specifically focuses on creating unique, interesting and truly creative UX/UI and websites, as well as graphic design and branding. Half of Tubik’s clients are small businesses, and the price for most services is competitive for this purpose while also having great scaling capabilities that encompass its enterprise-level clients.

Real estate and transportation combined make up more than half of Tubik’s client base, with media companies not far behind, and the team has shown an ability to increase conversions along with the enhanced visual appeal of a new website.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$50 - $99 / hrUX/UI Design
Web Design
Graphic Design
>10-49 employees
>Industry focuses are Real Estate, Transportation, Media, Gaming, Logistics, Finance, Advertising & Marketing and Environmental Services
>Notable clients include Huawei, Uplyfe, Abuk and Lumen Museum
>More features at Tubik Studio

What Customers Are Saying
The co-founder and CTO of a London-based health start-up says he chose Tubik because it made the best offer, adding, “We wanted to hire professionals to help us with our rebranding after we renamed ourselves.” He’s happy with the choice and says the “quality is above and beyond.”

Unified Infotech

Unified-Infotech-Logo
Unified Infotech is a web design and development agency with a prime location for its headquarters on Madison Avenue in New York City, and it has an additional office in Kolkata, India. The agency also has a global reach in its client base that includes government agencies, multinationals and Fortune 500 companies.

As the name suggests, Unified Infotech is heavily involved in tech-based solutions that help solve new and old problems, and it brings an entire full-service array of options to the table for start-ups, small businesses and enterprises.

This agency is one of only a few that is capable of offering augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) solutions to clients, which can help immerse users in the brand and visions. It also has experience with other relatively new and underserved technologies such as blockchain and related solutions.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$50 - $99 / hrWeb Design
Web Development
>50-249 employees
>Industry focuses are Information Technology, Education and Financial Services
>Notable clients include NBC Universal, Citi Bank, Colorcon and Future Group
>More features at Unified Infotech

What Customers Are Saying
One recent client with a complex project left a review and rated the agency highly for its business sense and being able to “understand the technical challenges of developing different builds.” Another client has retained ongoing management due to being a “small business with few technical personnel.”

UnitOneNine

UnitOneNine-Logo
UnitOneNine is a digital agency that has its headquarters in Chicago and offices in Charleston, SC, and Dublin, OH. It has a large focus on the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design elements — both of which combine to make up about half of the agency’s work — and its main industry expertise is in business services.

The designers show a genuine ability to think creatively and make suggestions to clients, although they’re also capable of following design notes and requests from clients.

Some of this agency’s most recognizable brands include Jim Beam and Courvoisier, along with over a dozen other brands of alcohol, and it also serves Ad Results Media, which is the largest podcast advertising agency at this time. The podcast giant received a brand-new design, optimized user experience, content strategy, built-in custom video and audio player and other features.

PriceService LinesFeatures
$150 - $199 / hrUX/UI Design
Web Design
Product Design
>10-49 employees
>Industry focuses are Business Services, Consumer Products & Services and Information Technology
>Notable clients include Jim Beam, AOL, Cannuka and JLL
>More features at UnitOneNine

What Customers Are Saying
The owner of a Chicago restaurant had previously been using graphics and other brand elements that were not sourced from an agency or expert and explains, “Once I saw what professional branding looked like, I knew we had made the right decision.”

What Are Design Agencies?

This broad term describes thousands of companies that are involved in one or more creative processes such as website design, graphics, logos, product packaging and visual storytelling. These products and individual elements are often the first point of contact that potential customers will have with a business or other organization and the first opportunity to be judged worthy of further attention.

Publicly visible pieces of branding, such as those noted above, are known as front-end design elements, and they make up some of the most important building blocks for any business. These core elements are particularly important for newer websites, services and other digital properties that can’t afford to remain invisible within a crowd of competitors.

Most of the biggest and best design agencies can also manage the process of designing and implementing certain features that aren’t technically visible to the public but are extremely important to users and management alike. These are called backend design elements — they can be created using many of the same methods as for the front end — with common examples including APIs, servers, databases and even the operating system itself.

It’s important to choose a design agency that can handle what is being requested. Some don’t offer backend services or don’t offer much depth in that department.

Benefits of Design Agencies

Every website, digital property and application will benefit from having a clean and appealing look and from the underlying features and systems that remain unseen or unnoticed by users.

  • Professional appearance and branding opportunities. Successful companies stay that way by creating and reinforcing brand awareness via logos, color schemes and other recognizable elements, which ultimately builds trust and a long-term customer base.
  • UI / UX design is now essential. It’s rare to find messy, old and poorly designed websites now, and the reason is simple. Google doesn’t like them and won’t rank them in popular searches. User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design elements are requirements for success.
  • Skilled workers. Freelance designers of all kinds are available to hire individually and often at much cheaper rates than professional design agencies, but it’s usually impossible to assess how experienced and skilled they are.
  • Accountability and adaptability. Similarly to the point above, design agencies provide a layer between the client company and individual designers and others on their assigned team. This allows for more accountability on the decision-making process, and the agency can adapt the team over time to suit the client’s changing needs.

What to Look For in a Design Agency

  • Specializations and/or relevant industry experience. Most design agencies can proficiently handle projects in just about any industry, but many have gained considerable knowledge and expertise that could be put to good use for clients with similar needs.
  • Ongoing services. Start-ups and small businesses often operate with a lean staff comprised of carefully selected talents, and in many cases, it’s not cost-effective to employ various designers to handle a relatively small workload. Design agencies can fill these gaps with continuous maintenance, content creation or consulting.
  • Whether a physical presence is needed. The majority of current design agency clients will never need to visit the office in person, although it can’t hurt to have them nearby just in case. Some agencies can provide services at the local level such as in-house photography studios that may make location more important to some businesses.
  • Style and creativity. Modern design agencies aren’t always focused on creating something new and different just for the sake of it because they’re more interested in delivering a product that works. However, if uniqueness is a top priority, above ROI and analytics, potential clients should view each agency’s portfolio rather than its list of services.

The Cost of Design Agencies

Almost all of the best design agencies that offer consistent and professional services will cost between $50 and $200 per hour for typical usage by small businesses. There are only a couple of cheaper alternatives included in this list — one is priced lower because of its need to remain competitive where it’s based in India, and the other is lower because it uses a monthly subscription model — and there’s only one design agency listed with an hourly rate higher than $200.

The more expensive agencies generally have the tools, staff and proven track record that makes it possible to charge as much as 50% or more on top of their competition, which means they’re still worth a look for midmarket and enterprise scenarios.

However, many of the cheaper alternatives listed here should be assessed before ruling them out as subpar based on price. For example, the list contains a relatively affordable Ukrainian business that is competitive with designers in the United States that cost twice as much. These differences can have more to do with the cost of living in various parts of the world rather than a shortcoming in skill or credibility.