Starting a Design Agency

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: September 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

An independent design agency is typically commissioned by private sector, public sector or not-for-profit clients to provide branding, digital and creative design solutions and consultancy. Typical design work includes developing brand identity and designing websites, e-mail newsletters, exhibition stands, brochures, leaflets, flyers, posters, carrier bags, and internal and external signage. Although most agencies supply design-related work only, many also provide print management services.

Most design agencies have fewer than ten employees and tend to use freelancers and subcontractors to carry out certain aspects of design projects. The sector is extremely competitive: there are almost 150,000 designers in the UK, working both on a freelance basis or employed in consultancies and agencies.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a design agency. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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