Kerry Hounslea
Updated on 01 Nov 2023 · 11 minute read

The Best Branding Agencies to Work For in the UK

Contents

When you’re looking for the next step in your career, what your employer can offer you is just as important as what you can bring to the table, and finding the right fit is imperative to your career development and overall happiness.

The exact markers of a good agency to work for will differ from person to person. While you might be looking for an agency that can guarantee you’ll be able to learn from the best while working on some big-name clients, another may place agency location, or the ability to work from home at the top of their wish list.

To make your search as easy as possible, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best brand design agencies to work for in the UK.

From small agencies with a genuine passion for their employees' wellbeing to large agencies with a company culture that’ll keep even the biggest extrovert happy, there is an agency out there for you.

The best brand design agencies to work for in the UK

1. MadeByShape

    Shape April 2022 HR 98

    Image source: MadeByShape.co.uk

    This is Digital

    This is Digital by MadeByShape

    Kicking off with a completely and utterly impartial recommendation...

    Manchester-based MadeByShape is an award-winning design agency that specialises in brand design, web design, web development, eCommerce, content writing, and organic SEO.

    They’re a small (but ever-growing) team of 16, that includes web and brand designers, developers, SEO experts and content writers.

    Working here you can be sure you’ll be immersed in the design process from start to finish and learn from a talented and dedicated group of individuals who have over ten years of experience working with some of the biggest names in the business.

    Previous clients include designer fashion labels; healthcare governing bodies; award-winning skincare and cosmetics brands; national and international broadcasting and entertainment studios.

    They’re masters of their own branding too, and by spending time on their website you get a real feel for the kind of characters that make up this impressive team. Reading through the employee profiles, there isn’t one that doesn’t mention the relaxed environment, friendly and inclusive atmosphere, and overall good vibes that they get from working at the agency in both professional and personal capacities.

    MadeByShape
    have even been featured on the Best Digital Marketing Agencies in Manchester list.

    Office perks include:

    • A cool and comfortable office space designed by the whole team, with productivity, innovation, and accessibility in mind.

    • An open-door policy regarding communication amongst the team, with the founders creating a relaxed and welcoming environment for all employees

    • Flexible working hours, including hybrid/remote working and early finish Fridays

    • Team trips away, local nights out, and team building days to promote a chilled and friendly atmosphere

    • 2 weeks off at Christmas (paid)

    Madebyshape caption

    Image source: MadeByShape.co.uk

    Design dough

    Image source: Designdough.co.uk

    Located on Cardiff’s beautiful Bute Street, Designdough are a full-service design agency who are obsessed with brand, purpose, and people.

    They launched in 2006 in Managing Director Joe Brown’s spare bedroom and have since grown from a small branding agency into an impressive team of graphic, brand, UI and UX designers, content writers, web developers and strategists.

    Previous clients include Visit Cymru, Cardiff University, and Sport Wales.

    They describe themselves as an honest, immersive, and progressive branding agency backed by a super friendly team of like-minded individuals. The importance of positive company culture is clearly recognised, and they work hard to keep their team communicative, positive, and collaborative.

    Their website paints a strong picture of a constantly evolving, welcoming and collaborative environment where every member of the team regardless of ‘rank’ is valued.

    Working here you can expect to enjoy:

    • An inspiring, open-plan creative environment including the ‘Cosy Collaboration Room’ and a pool table

    • Regular team outings (a pizza party here, a pub outing there)

    • An unlimited supply of fresh coffee or tea, and a biscuit if you’re lucky

    • Being part of a super-friendly, supportive, and encouraging team

    3. Blaze Media

    Blaze media

    Image source: Blazemedia.co.uk

    Blaze Media is a vibrant, growing agency that prides itself on delivering engaging campaigns and websites. They offer a wide array of services including branding strategy, web design and development, SEO, eCommerce, content marketing, and social media marketing. Working here you can be sure you’ll get a taste of everything the digital marketing and design industry has to offer.

    Clients include a streetwear fashion brand, a cosmetic surgery clinic, estate agents and solicitors, and a local veterinary hospital.

    Located in a stunning penthouse office in Liverpool, the agency has quadrupled in size in just 24 months, and they understand that employee happiness comes from more than just a good wage.

    As standard, all staff here enjoy several benefits, including:

    • A comprehensive health a well-being benefit package that gives employees cashback on a whole host of medical and complementary therapy treatments, access to counselling, mindfulness sessions, discounts on cinema tickets, gym membership and even food deliveries.

    • Regular socials — whether that’s a few drinks after work on a Friday, bowling, go-karting, Christmas party, or even a hike on a sunny day.

    • Posh coffee and breakout spaces

    • Personal and professional development opportunities — they offer access to hundreds of training courses ranging from confidence coaching to leadership training

    • Flexible hours

    4. borne

    We are borne

    Image source: Weareborne.com

    Since its launch in 2016, small but perfectly formed Norwich-based agency borne has worked its way up the ranks and is now called home to a team sourced from some of the UK’s best creative and marketing agencies, all offering experience working with some seriously impressive clients, and across multiple sectors, markets, and channels.

    Their integrated creative studio allows them to offer a range of services to their clients, including branding and brand design, design for print and publication, integrated advertising, social campaigns, influencer collaborations, and digital and web design.

    Previous clients include Yamaha, Sowerbys, Handpicked Hotels and Imperial College London.

    Working here you can expect to work with an interesting and varied range of clients that changes at a rapid rate. No two days are the same and working on fresh projects consistently works well not only for job satisfaction but for building up work experience across a selection of industries.

    Working here you can expect to be part of a fun and welcoming working culture that includes:

    • Team days away, including bowling, skiing, meals out and karaoke (and a blowout Christmas party each year)

    • A gorgeous and inspiring office space that makes for a dreamy collaborative and supportive work environment

    • Friendly office dog — perfect for petting when you’re having ‘one of those days’

    • Friday afternoon drinks

    We are borne caption

    Image source: Weareborne.com

    Fortnight studio

    Image source: Fortnight.studio

    They’re a small but mighty team of creative thinkers and makers who design for ambitious and caring brands like Bumble, King, OnePlus, Simba Sleep, Riot Games (League of Legends), and many other awesome clients. They’ve also got a handful of design awards under their belt from big names like Apple, GQ, and Clutch.

    One city wasn’t enough for these guys, and they currently have offices in London, Manchester and Vienna, and offer completely flexible working hours to ensure their staff have a positive work-life balance.

    Perks of being part of the Fortnight team include:

    • Company perks and bonus scheme participation

    • Extremely friendly and relaxed working environment.

    • Company-sponsored outings and events

    • Company-paid conferences and professional development opportunities

    • Tech allowance

    • An encouraging environment to push yourself personally and professionally

    As experts in branding, design and development, Fortnight offer an exciting and varied work environment to anyone lucky enough to work for them.
    Nordic Moose

    Nordic Moose by MadeByShape

    The Impact of the Brand

    In an increasingly digital world, there are more choices than ever for consumers, and any savvy business owner will be utilising branding to ensure their company and products cut through the noise and find the eyes and ears of their audience.

    Branding dictates how customers feel about a business and, when done right, can elicit an emotional response at every point of contact the brand has with consumers.

    Research shows that presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can build trust and increase confidence among its audience by up to 23% — a not insignificant number.

    When done well, branding can make or break a business, and the skilled designers that fill the thousands of brand design agencies across the country are responsible for many of the successful strategies that you see in all their branding glory day-to-day.

    Visit What is a Branding agency? and How do Branding agencies work? to learn more.

    Businesses with strong brands retain loyal customers for the long run and have an easier time appealing to new audiences because they already know what those companies stand for. Branding also increases recognition exponentially, making it simpler for consumers to pick them out in a crowded market — literally and figuratively.

    Brand recognition can also be increased by up to 80% if using a signature colour scheme across all contact points and platforms. A tactic employed by all the most successful brands in the world. Just think of Coke’s instantly recognisable red, Facebook’s blue, or Cadburys signature purple.

    The UK Brand Design Industry

    There are currently 7,000 digital advertising agencies, over 25,000 marketing agencies, and around 2000 web design agencies operating in the UK. Most offer branding, as well as web design and development, social media, SEO, and content writing services (and much more) to people and companies in need of their expertise.

    The UK’s digital advertising agency industry alone is worth over £13 billion, and the field makes for a lucrative, interesting and secure career choice.

    The importance of brand design agencies in launching and maintaining a successful business is clear, and their popularity is going nowhere. Which is great news for anyone hoping to take their first steps in the field, and for established brand designers who want to shop around when deciding where they’d most like to work and flex their skills.

    When working at a brand design agency you’re responsible for the creation of every aspect of a company’s branding — from social media to physical packaging, and the visual identity that’s seen on every page of its website — is coherent and consistent.

    Your day-to-day tasks will cover all aspects of branding, including:

    • Logo design

    • Brand identity

    • Brand messaging

    • Brand voice

    • Brand positioning

    • Social media branding

    Launching a Career in Brand Design

    When looking for your new job, it’s good to think about your experience and the kind of place you feel you (and your career) would flourish. The job-hunting process can be gruelling enough without ending up in a role or environment where you’re unhappy, wasting your and your new employers' time in the progress.

    There are several things to take into consideration when researching agencies, including:

    Agency Size

    Do you have a big personality, and feel you would suit a large, energetic agency where you’re always meeting new people? Or are you more of an introvert that gets their energy and inspiration from a smaller, more intimate group?

    Both have their pros and cons, and an agency that will suit one, may not suit another.

    With a larger agency, you can expect to enjoy a livelier, more social environment where there are plenty of opportunities to make friends and regularly meet new people. A larger agency can also mean larger, more recognisable clients, as a sizeable team may be required for the project. You’re more likely to work amongst a focused team of other designers and gain little insight into the other aspects of a project or strategy e.g., content writing, web development or SEO.

    You can also expect to enjoy a more active company culture, with plenty of team bonding activities and days out. If you get your energy from socialising with others and thrive in a busy, bustling environment then a larger agency might be the best choice for you.

    But smaller agencies are not without their positives, and in fact, they can be the better choice for someone just starting out.

    A rarely considered plus of working in a smaller setting alongside a team of brand and web designers is the chance to get a front-row seat to each and every aspect of the design process.

    This can include the initial client meeting, the website build, the creation of the content writing and SEO strategy and the final rollout of the completed branding. You may wonder why this is important but being involved in each stage from start to finish can vastly improve your skills as a brand designer, as you’ll understand the full scope of the project and any opportunities and limitations that may not have been easily recognised early on.

    When working as part of a smaller but tight-knit team, your input is more likely to be heard (and valued), and you’ll be expanding your skillset daily just by soaking up the creative processes going on around you. Overall it can be a much more creative and enjoyable experience. Working in this way, and in a truly collaborative environment can ultimately make you a more intuitive, responsive, and valuable brand designer.

    Outside of this, if you’re the kind of person who suits a more sedate environment, and who prefers to build real connections with their colleagues as opposed to still be guessing the names of the people you meet in the lift a year in — working in a smaller agency will be more your style.

    Visit Small and Large Web Design Agencies: The Difference to learn more.

    Agency Culture

    Any good agency will know that work is about more than just turning up for a paycheque and want their employees to genuinely enjoy the time they spend in the office or working as a team.

    These days company culture can mean more than just a Christmas meal out, and many agencies go out of their way to create a vibrant, exciting environment for their employees that rewards hard work with some fun and memorable experiences. This can be anything from regular nights out to team bonding activities or even trips away. If you’re a ‘work hard play hard’ kind of person, then looking for a company with an established, varied and exciting company culture should be at the top of your list.

    That said, if the idea of ziplining with your boss, or doing trust falls on a Friday afternoon fills you with nothing but dread, then maybe put this at the bottom of your ‘must haves’.

    Agency Speciality

    Another important thing to consider is your own career goals and if any branding niche really shouts out to you.

    Before starting any applications, consider your passions and interests and decide early on whether you’d like to work for an agency that specialises in a particular industry or one that caters to a vast selection of clients from a variety of sectors.

    If you’ve never worked in branding in a professional setting, then choosing an agency that will offer you the chance to work across a range of projects will likely suit you best. This way you can get a taste of designing for a variety of industries and see if you find yourself drawn to any particular area.

    Working for an agency that caters to an array of clients is also a good way to build up a solid knowledge base of the branding industry on the whole — a great foundation for any new brand designer.

    If you have industry experience, then you’ll already know if you want to focus on finding a role at an agency that caters to a specific niche. With a little research, you’ll find agencies that specialise in branding for fashion, food, sports, tech, interiors, travel, and everything in between.

    Agency Location and Working Practices

    Whether an agency is office-based or offers flexible or remote working should be a major consideration.

    Since the pandemic, the number of people working exclusively from home has increased by 14%, with 50 of the UK’s biggest employers saying that they have no plans to return all staff to the office.

    Whether you can work from home can have a direct impact on your overall happiness, with a recent survey showing that 78% of people who work remotely felt that being able to improved their work-life balance, and 47% found that it improved their mental wellbeing.

    If you pursue an in-office or hybrid working role then you’ll of course need to consider location, and if you can realistically commute into the office on a potentially daily basis.

    With a little research, you’ll find there are thousands of agencies located across the country, in small towns and in every major city from Manchester to London, so you should be able to find one that’s accessible to you.

    Whether you should choose an agency where you’ll be working in-office or one where you’ll be mostly, if not exclusively, working from home truly depends on you and your preferences.

    If you’re new to the industry, working in-office can be advantageous as you’ll be amongst your new team, seeing the brand design process with your own eyes and will be able to ask questions without feeling like you’re annoying your colleagues with another email. It’s also easier to bond with your colleagues when you’re in the same space day-to-day, which can have a positive effect on your working experience.

    If you’re a people person, love socialising, and thrive in a bustling, busy environment then choosing an agency where you can work in-house is a no-brainer.

    Conversely, if you’re a more established brand designer, a hardcore introvert, live far from your agency of choice, or just get more done when working solo, a remote role can be preferable. Not having to commute each day is a major plus for most, saving you time and money, and let’s be honest, it’s pretty cool being able to work in your loungewear.

    If you’ve got the space, and an area of your home where you can set up your laptop and focus, there’s no reason why any job in brand design can’t be done successfully from home.

    When you’re looking for that exciting new job, what your employer can offer you is just as important as what you can bring to the table, and finding the right fit is imperative to your career development and overall happiness.

    The exact markers of a good agency to work for will differ from person to person. While you might be looking for an agency that can guarantee you’ll be able to learn from the best while working on some big-name clients, another may place agency location, or the ability to work from home at the top of their wish list.

    Stoneletters

    Stoneletters by MadeByShape

    Whether you’re thinking of taking your first steps into the brand design industry or segueing from a role you’ve outgrown, we hope our list has given you an idea of some of the amazing agencies out there that you could one day call your professional home.


    Written by
    Kerry Hounslea
    Hey! I'm Kerry. Content writer at MadeByShape.

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