In the competitive industry of graphic design, it can be difficult to establish a name brand. Nonetheless, there are a handful of design firms around the world that have managed to cut through the clutter and gain international prestige.
Their roster of clients, impressive portfolio of work, prominence in local markets and international reach have made them some of the most famous graphic design companies on the planet. Read on below for a list of the companies many designers dream of working for.
Identity: Riotous Company (via Pentagram)
One of the biggest and most famous graphic design companies in the world, Pentagram is owned and run equally by 19 partners – all of whom are leaders in the design industry. Their star-studded list of past and present partners includes names like Alan Fletcher, Bob Gill, Paula Scher and Michael Beirut.
Locations: New York, San Francisco, Berlin and Austin.
Notable clients: The Guggenheim, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Cosmopolitan, Boots, Revlon, Sesame Street, Citibank, 21st Century Fox, Harley Davidson, Codeacademy, Princeton University, General Electric, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Guitar Hero, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Sundance Film Festival, Bennetton, Sake Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co, Alexander McQueen, Grey Goose, Popeyes, MillerCoors, WeightWatchers, Stanford Law School, Rolls Royce, Vanity Fair, Sotheby’s, Nissan, Pantone, Nokia, Reuters, Penguin Press, Time Warner, Walgreens, FIFA, Nike, United Airlines.
Logo and re-branding: The city of Melbourne (via Landor)
In their own words, Landor is “the world’s preeminent brand consulting firm.” Headquartered in San Francisco with 36 offices in 20 countries, this design giant has one of the most enviable client lists on the planet.
Headquarters: San Francisco
Locations: Bangkok, Beijing, Cape Town, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dubai, Geneva, Hamburg, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo
Notable clients: FedEx, P&G, BP, John Deere, Smirnoff, Kraft, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, BMW, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, Moet & Chandon, MillerCoors, Tsingtao, Evian, Nescafe, Crest, Old Spice, PepsiCo, Vicks, Procter & Gamble, Cotton Inc, Juicy Couture, Levi Strauss, Rolex, 7 For All Mankind.
3. Meta Design
Identity: San Francisco Ballet (via MetaDesign)
One of the leading design firms in the world, Meta Design has crafted compelling brand experiences for more than 20 years. From reinventing Apple’s Mac OS design system to collaborating on Adobe’s packaging and identity, their caliber of work resonates on a global level that’s tough to match.
Headquarters: San Francisco
Locations: Zurich, Beijing, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Geneva
Notable clients: Adidas, AT&T, Apple, Adobe, AOL, Audi, Bank of America, Barclays, Belkin, Bugatti, Charles Schwab, Chevron, Cisco, Coca Cola Comcast, eBay, Expedia, FIFA, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fujifilm, Fujitsu, Gap, Genentech, Hewlett-Packard, Inkling, Intel, Intuit, Kohler, Lamborghini, LG Electronics, Lufthansa, McAfee, McGraw Hill, Motorola, MTV, Netflix, Nike, Nokia, Polo Ralph Lauren, Samsung, Sony, Volkswagon, Walmart, Wells Fargo, Xerox, Yahoo!
Identity: Vueling airline (via Saffron)
Based in Madrid, Saffron Brand Consultants‘ approach is to help “transform brands and businesses with the clarity of rigorous thinking and the courage of bold ideas.” Started back in 2001, the firm has climbed its way to the top by embracing globalization and the potential of emerging markets.
Offices: London, New York, Mumbai, Vienna and Istanbul
Notable clients: Goldman Sachs, West Bengal, London, Fujitsu, The Institute of Cancer Research, Vueling, CocaCola, V Festival
5. Happy Cog
Responsive design: Ben & Jerry’s website (via Happy Cog)
This New York-based firm was founded by web design guru Jeffrey Zeldman and has won more web design awards than just about anybody. Known for their engaging web environments, Happy Cog keeps their high-profile clients happy with their impressive web design, development, and user experience consultancy.
In their own words, Happy Cog is the design studio “behind web standards, and the place where responsive design began.”
Headquarters: New York
Locations: Philadelphia and Austin
Notable clients: Ben & Jerry’s, MTV, Zappos.com, Fonts.com, Standford University, Thompson Reuters, Mozilla.org, Lagunitas Brewing Company
6. The Chase
Calendar design: BBC Wildlife Fund (via The Chase)
Currently ranked number one in 2013 by Design Week National Creative League Table and clocking more than 250 national and international awards, The Chase has garnered attention for their innovative corporate branding and print design. These self-proclaimed “creative consultants” offer an interesting sampling of skills including calendar design, museum exhibits, and sports stadium branding.
Locations: Preston and London
Notable clients: Alibaba, Amnesty International, BBC, Disney, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Shell, Smirnoff, Yellow Pages
7. Flux Design
Branding: Springhill Villas (via Flux)
Known as one of Jakarta’s premiere design agencies, Flux Design has a huge portfolio of work for international clients like Citibank and GE as well as branding for big companies throughout Indonesia.
Notable clients: Citibank, Bank of China, Allianz, GE, Bank Indonesia, Kresna, Bank Jabar, Bank Mandiri, Bank of Tokyo
For more than 25 years, this Western Australian boutique studio has proven that size doesn’t always matter. Recipients of numerous Creativity International awards (along with quite a few more), Dessein is regularly recognized for their work in design and packaging.
Notable clients: Cafe Corporate, Black Swan STC, Whiteman Park, Albany Entertainment Centre
Interactive app: China Sephora stores (via labbrand)
Labbrand is a leading China-originated brand consultancy that is known for helping global brands translate and build brand awareness in the Chinese consumer market.
Notable clients: Sephora, Continental, Four Seasons, Marvel, Gucci, Pepsi, Quicksilver, Colgate, Britta, Durex, Weight Watchers, Wrigley, Bacardi, Mercedes
Branding: Tour de France Grand Départ Utrecht 2015 (via Total Identity)
Notable clients: Tour de France, Amsterdam Fashion Week, LG, Bavaria brewery, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, World Expo (Osaka), Dutch Ministry of the Interior, Royal Dutch Airlines
11. Litmus Branding
Brand identity: Indus Travels (via Litmus)
A Branding and design agency based in India, Litmus Branding‘s motto is to “make your brand strategy simple” – not that simplicity doesn’t mean hard work. Beyond brand strategy, web design and print work they’ve managed to knock out more than 400 logos in three years (that’s two per week!). They have a sizable portfolio of Indian clients as well as companies from all over the world.
Notable clients: Indus Travels, America Solar Clean Energy, Malaysia Kargo, Green Products, Luxor, C|Max
12. Casa Rex
Packaging design: Skyy Vodka promotion (via Casa Rex)
Casa Rex is a São Paulo-based, design firm that’s received accolades from all the heavy-hitters – Communication Arts, Core77, Good, HOW and many more. Headed by Gustavo Piqueira (who’s won 200+ international design awards, himself), the firm has mastered everything from typefaces and homeware to environmental projects and cutting-edge branding.
Headquarters: São Paulo
Notable clients: Dove, Unilever, Suave, Campari, Skyy Vodka, Burger King, Axe, Hellmann’s, Tresemme, and Magnum
Identity redesign: Rugby Romania (via Brandient)
Headquartered in Bucharest, Brandient design firm delivers branding solutions for a variety of big Romanian companies as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups. They pride themselves in succeeding in “difficult markets” with a multidisciplinary approach that bridges marketing and business with creative thinking.
Notable clients: CEC Bank, Dedeman, Domo, Vodafone, Nextebank, Bitdefender
14. ID & B
Sub-brand identity: Virgin (via ID&B)
Headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, the ID&B design firm boasts an impressive portfolio of branding work and communications design. Started back in 2005, ID&B’s work ranges from small niche projects to brand strategy for some of the world’s biggest companies.
Headquarters: Cape Town
Notable clients: Virgin, IntelX, Dr Hauschka Skincare, Coca-Cola, The Presidency Republic of South Africa
15. Eat Creative
A Tokyo-based design firm, Eat Creative specializes in branding, web design, print and content creation. With more than 10 years of experience in the Japanese marketplace, they’re no stranger to the importance of adapting to different cultural points of view – especially when introducing a Western brand.
Notable clients: Gap China, Volkswagen Japan, InterContinental, TEDxTokyo, Khiels, Deutsche Bank, ASICS