Nowadays, a brand can scale through killer marketing graphics and creative visual storytelling. All those captivating marketing graphics you see on the streets are all thanks to excellent design and innovation consulting firms. And these top 30 are the cream of the crop every brand must check out.
Even if design firms are at the top of their game, they ask for help once in a while. Enter Penji, a design firm’s secret weapon. Due to projects piling up, you’ll need extra pairs of hands to fulfill client projects. Penji will boost your design firm’s productivity. So, outsource your design work with Penji. See how much your design firm can double efficiency and productivity rates. So with that said, look into hiring one of these design and innovation consulting firms for your next campaign.
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A full-service digital agency with its main hub stationed in New York City, it has locations in multiple countries around the world – 18 countries to be precise. What I find cool about R/GA is that they’re laser-focused. They stay at the forefront of technology and design, and it clearly shows with clients such as YouTube and Nike under their belt.
These guys are all about user interfaces. And if you’re like me, you’ll find that sort of thing to be incredibly important. Whether you’re designing an app, or building a landing page for a sale, having good design in that aspect will come in handy. Nowadays, Fantasy even works on artificial intelligence and operating systems, and that I find pretty special.
Based in the Big Apple, Fahrenheit is all about keeping things as predictable and profitable as possible for its clients. What makes them unique is that they see innovation as a skill, rather than a talent. They flex their ‘innovation’ muscle, so to speak and they’re committed to fusing ideas with business.
As stated by these guys, IDEO “is committed to making a positive impact.” Born out a 3 company merger, IDEO is stationed in sunny Palo Alto, CA. But don’t let the simple premise fool you – IDEO is actually a quiet global power, tackling major challenges such as healthcare and education from a human-centered perspective. Quick fact: it’s pronounced “EYE-dee-oh”.
This is a creative agency that is digital first, above all things. C&T designs products, content and many other things across a wide variety of platforms. In fact, they’ve been hailed as one of the “10 Most Innovative Companies In Design” by Fast Company.
As if the name wasn’t a sufficient clue enough, Innosight lives, sleep, and eat innovation. What’s really cool about these guys is that they employ a tactic called dual transformation. What this entails is that they address short-term problems facing corporate clients while simultaneously setting them up for long-term success.
To be honest, I was expecting an actual spaceship as a logo. Anyway, the stuff that these guys have done is nothing short of astronomical. Based in Brooklyn, Big Spaceship not only does product design, but they also handle brand communication and content for their clients. And these are some stellar clients too – they include Google, Hasbro, and Samsung.
Siegel+Gale is branded in New York City. That’s simple to understand, right? As a matter of fact, that’s their whole shtick: Simple Is Smart. And it shows in their work. Did you know that they helped simplify tax forms for the IRS? I found that pretty neat. Not to mention they’re global, with global clients along the lines of Microsoft, Pfizer and Disney.
Now before you think anything, no. They’re not a school. They are, however, a creative design and production studio that creates interactive media in the form of music videos and ads. Split between California and New York, Brand New School has multiple big name clients such as Apple Nike, and Google. Speaking of Google, they were behind the launch imagery for Google’s more recent phones – I found that pretty neat.
Now, this New York firm should be legendary to every design firm out there. These are the guys behind some of the most iconic logos to ever grace media. Chase Bank? It was these guys. NBC? These guys. National Geographic? These guys too. Need I say more?
Hungry for a Happy Meal at your local McDonald’s? The ad you saw that got you hungry more than likely originated from out of the studios of Huge. Since 1999, this Brooklyn design studio has been providing a range of design, strategy and marketing services. What’s really cool about Huge is that its clientele covers roughly 20% of the Fortune 100. Now that’s influence!
It’s always shown that the firstborn of a family tend to be special, isn’t it? Well, my bad attempt at a pun aside, Firstborn is definitely a special agency. Founded in the Big Apple in 1997, they deliver first-rate services to clients such as L’Oréal, Mountain Dew and Bloomberg. Also, they recently became digital AOR for Pepsi. How sweet is that?
13. House Industries
I found House Industries to be quite an interesting agency. They do things in a split manner – on one side, its physical design such as the usual drawing and painting. But on the other hand, they do digital design like everyone else. I find that to be quite charming.
14. Happy Cog
It’s doesn’t get more old-school than Happy Cog, if you ask me. These guys have been around ever since the Internet was just a baby. And using that time, they’ve built quite a solid presence in the digital design space. I mean, they design award-winning websites for some of the biggest world brands out there!
Do you know Landor? No? Then where have you been for the past 7 decades? Landor is widely known to be one of the world’s biggest and most influential design consultancy firms. They’re also famous for their annual brand trends reports.
Very simple, no? verynice helps businesses, non-profits, and governments expand their capacity for impact through design-driven innovation. And it’s pretty cool they’ve collaborated with big-name companies like Mozilla, NASA, and UNICEF to bring that to a reality. What isn’t cool is how their name is setting off my grammar OCD signals.
WHOA is a design and innovation agency based in downtown Los Angeles, that deals in creating ideal products services and strategies that tend to win awards and bring in billions in revenue. What’s even more impressive is that they literally named the company for the GIFs and memes. And it works!
Now, this is as wholesome of a design and innovation consulting firm as I’ve ever seen. GOOD focuses on helping brands apply creativity to purpose to produce breakthrough programs and powerful stories. They know how to design winning products and campaigns. They’re rocking more than 12 million visitors a month!
We’ve all heard of MENSA, right? The IQ club that the smartest people in the world are in? Well, here’s Pensa – an award-winning firm based in New York that specializes in product design, innovation, and invention. Inventors are always a cool set of people to me.
What I like about FROG here is that although their logo is fairly simple (it’s literally just a colored square), they design exceptional digital and physical customer experiences to transform businesses at scale. That’s a mouthful!
These guys take ideas and make them real. Seems simple enough. What’s cool about them is that they’ve even had the US Air Force as a client. Something tells me that’s not very easy to do.
Okay, this just sounds like a governor’s work residence, but no – it’s a design consultancy based in New York City that since 1997, abstains from specialization in favor of a problem-solving approach that can take any form or function. Talk about adaptability!
23. IA Collaborative
How often can you say that you’ve been the design consultancy firm that worked with Audi? IA can. Named a “premier practitioner of immersive design” by Fast Company, IA Collaborative still places our human-centered philosophy at the core of everything we do.
24. Smart Design
Smart Design is actually pretty smart – using design as a proven strategy to augment businesses. How? By humanizing the rapidly growing complexity of technology. And frankly, that’s something I find to be pretty necessary.
Based in California, Jump is a leading strategy and innovation firm. For 20 years, they’ve helped create new businesses and reinvent existing ones. Pretty cool that they’re so into the actual framework of businesses. Design is important, but having a working body is crucial too.
“To move people through design” is RKS’s mission. Indeed, RKS has helped clients in dozens of countries, has had hundreds of expeditions, and has garnered thousands of interviews. According to RKS, they aim to create solutions for clients relevant to the market. Next is to build their clients’ brands, then build an emotional connection that will hook their audiences.
RKS soon became a national wonder after creating Teddy Ruxpin’s production design, a toy industry hit. Then successful stories came after the other, which is why RKS is considered one of the best innovation consulting firms to date. And the company says it’s all because of using psychology as a significant element in design.
27. Woods Bagot
Woods Bagot is a 150-year startup that has over 16 studios worldwide. The design firm believes that to achieve excellent design outcomes, the end user’s values and design’s values should be the same.
They have a methodology called People Architecture. And this is built around inclusivity and diverse perspectives. If one aims to succeed in design, one must understand that the “greatest human endeavor is our passion for celebration.”
Designworks is the design innovation firm for the BMW Group. For over 25 years, they have been challenging brands to reach the top and stay at the forefront of their corresponding industries through design. For Designworks, “there’s no real impact if there’s no context.” They continually find solutions that dig deeper and solve pain points and not just the symptoms.
With over 30 years of experience in creating award-winning designs, Seymourpowell is one of the leading design firms that believes in making things and experiences better for people. Through delivering “transformative brand experiences” that people will love, your brand will grow to greater heights. This includes experiences across rail, air, space, and road.
The partners Robert Brunner and Matt Rolandson founded ammunition in 2007. Since launching, this international design company from California has been commended by popular design organizations worldwide including the Cooper Hewitt National Design. Their expertise is in service design, digital product design, user experience, brand identity, graphic design, and packaging.
In a noisy world where humans crave connection now more than ever, brands are in a pivotal place to establish trusted, long-term relationships with their consumers. FreshSparks helps businesses do this by becoming remarkable, purpose-driven brands that are positioned to attract and convert the right people (without worrying about the competition ever again). They will make you stand out with strategic and creative branding services for startups, small businesses, and non-profits – plus high-touch brand coaching for founders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before hiring a design consultancy firm, here are some things that you might wonder about them before partnering with them.
What is a design consulting firm?
A design consulting firm focuses mostly on solving problems done by skilled and specialized consultants. They develop a strategy ensuring the design problem is tackled through design assets or other visual means. Some design consultancy firms are also agencies that provide high-quality designs and other advertising and marketing services to their clients.
Is IDEO prestigious?
Considered as one of the top design and innovation consulting firms, IDEO leads in design thinking and human-centered approaches. Through their ideology, they can create innovative and successful designs, branding, and marketing campaigns for brands. Thus, they are one of the many revered innovation consulting firms out there.
What is an innovation consultant?
An innovation consultant has many responsibilities, but their main role is to provide advice to the business. One of their primary responsibilities is to identify some issues that may stunt a business’ growth.
Once they’ve identified these hurdles, they usually would provide solutions or offer new ideas to help businesses in the long run. And they would have a strategy in place to make this possible. They would include several themes and concepts in their strategy, such as marketing, design, psychology, and sociology, among many others. Having done that, it’s best to implement their vision and identify any unforeseen gaps, which could be improved.
How Design Firms Request Designs on Penji?
The Penji platform makes it easy for you to request any design project in three clicks. Some design services could take some of your precious time in creating projects. But Penji streamlined the process, so you receive designs within 24 hours.
Login to the Penji platform and click on “Create New Project.” Click on the design type that matches your needs. Can’t find it? Click on “Create a Custom Project” and describe your design brief in detail!
Once you’ve provided your design brief, you’ll get matched with experienced designers that will work on your designs in a snap. You can also message the designers any time on the Penji platform. This way, they can incorporate any changes and updates on the design.
First drafts may not be what you envisioned, and that’s okay. Let your designers know how they can enhance the design. Use the point-and-click feature where you can add remarks. This way, it’s much easier for the designer to edit those and amend it within the same day.
Plus, on any Penji plan, you can revise until you’re 100% satisfied with the design. Receive high-quality and compelling designs that your clients deserve.
The final step is to download the project. Click on the “Download” button, and the files are saved to your computer. Plus, access them anytime when you need it again.
Reduce Overhead and Increase Efficiency with Penji
We know you’re dealing with tight deadlines. That’s why the Agency plan is perfect for your design firm. You can request as many designs as you need to fulfill client projects. Other graphic design services charge higher (5x as much) and have fewer people working in a team. You don’t want that.
Plus, you’ll receive twice the outputs in a day! This means Penji designers prioritize your projects. So you’re one step closer to accomplishing your client projects. Sign up to speed up your design work without compromising quality.