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Difference between Design Studio & Design Agency?

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#1 KotaroDesign

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 00:12

I stopped freelancing a few months ago and started expanding my business. I therefor called it a "Design Agency", however as I came across the term "Design Studio" more and more often, I began to wonder what the differences are between these two entities. I read that a Design Studio basically only focuses on actual Design, while a Design Agency also handles the marketing and advertising for the client. 


Does anyone know the precise difference? I am advancing the branding of my firm, so I want to get this right. Thanks! :-)

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#2 CraigP

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 11:44

I would basically agree with that, but I don't think it makes much difference.

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#3 ryan

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 14:48

They are both marketing terms in my opinion. 


Design studio - is literally that. Someone with an office space, a studio, who provides design


Design agency - agency is just a term for providing a service...

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#4 Notbanksys Copy Shoppe

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 17:36

Yep, Ryan is right. It's just semantics. Studio is a location, agency is an organisation. Just choose the one you prefer the sound/ look of. 

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#5 Gibson

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 17:39

IMHO 'agency' sounds more like a complete package and 'studio' sounds more creative and trendy.


I don't have any logical reasons for saying that, it's just what I would subliminaly think if I saw both terms.

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#6 Frankchester

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 19:17

I would say that an agency is somewhere with a larger group of skills beyond just development and design.


For example most agencies call the creative area of their team the "studio" anyway. I work in a studio, within an agency.


Call it an agency if you have dedicated account managers and such. Call it a studio if it's just you, or a group of creatives, who do the work but also organise yourselves.

Edited by Frankchester, 01 November 2014 - 19:17.

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#7 shubham1

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 12:10

Most studios are characterized as niche companies with the main difference being that studios focus on specific services. However, rather than the full range of services offered at agencies, studios subcontract out various elements of the project, such as writing, programming, video or photography.

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