Top 10 New York Graphic Design Firms


New York sunset

There is a multitude of graphic design firms in the creative industry, especially in the field of branding.log

There’s almost a 100 listed in the Clutch directory and about another 100 listed in Dexigner directory plus a many more that you can find on Google.

In the competitive industry of graphic design, there are many different sub-disciplines, but branding is probably the most competitive.

It’s difficult to establish your name in the identity design field particularly.

Logo and identity design is considered as the quintessence of a graphic designer’s art and it sounds like a dream job for most designers.

Branding is a key business tool and there are many new and existing companies who value good design Click To Tweet

However, not all the design firms are the same and some of them have managed to cut through the clutter and gain international prestige.

They made name for themselves with their impressive portfolio work and international reach have made them some of the most famous graphic design companies on Earth.

Read on below for the list of top 10 design firms that specialize in branding (order totally arbitrary) and are known around the world but based in New York City.

top 10 graphic design firms based in new york
Logos of top 10 NYC-based graphic design firms

Top NY Graphic Design Firms

  1. Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv
  2. Landor Associates
  3. Pentagram
  4. Interbrand
  5. Lippincott
  6. Siegel+Gale
  7. Saffron
  8. Wolff Olins
  9. Super Union
  10. FutureBrand

1. Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv

Offices: New York.

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv - graphic design firm based in New York
www.cghnyc.com

Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv is an independent New York City based graphic design firm specializing in the development of trademarks and identity programs.

The original founders – Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, are like dinosaurs in the graphic design field. They’re just like less famous Paul Rands.

Creators of many of the world’s most iconic and enduring brands.

Although the CGH design studio is small (only one location – NY), it was founded way back in 1958 and since then they’ve managed to work for some of the biggest clients in the World.

In 2006 Sagi Haviv became the 3rd younger partner to form Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv and in 2018 one of the original founders, Ivan, passed away at the age of 85. However, CGH is going strong and continue designing for big brands.

Recent clients: US Open, Dominion Energy, Imagen, Beko, RatPac.


2. Landor Associates

Offices: New York, Bangkok, Beijing, Cape Town, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dubai, Geneva, Guangzhou, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris, San Francisco, Seul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Zone.

Landor Associates - graphic design firm based in New York
www.landor.com

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 biggest clients in the portfolio.

The firms was founded in 1941 by Walter Landor and you already know how Landor got its name.

On the Landor’s website you can read:

Landor build some of the world’s most agile brands – brands that thrive on change.

They’re a huge company that have strategic experts and creative explorers committed to solving complex challenges.

With smart tools and global resources, they’re able to examine the implications of every brand choice, create new experiences, and open doors to opportunity, especially serving big organizations.

Recent clients: Australian Open, Cyprus Airways, Bank of Hope.


3. Pentagram

Offices:  New York, London, Austin and Berlin.

Pentagram - graphic design firm based in New York
www.pentagram.com

One of the biggest and most famous graphic design firms in the world, Pentagram is owned and run equally by 20 partners—all of whom are practicing designers.

The Pentagram’s structure is quite unique (different from other graphic design firms) and works more like a bunch of independent design studios (each run by a different partner) under one umbrella.

The world’s largest independently-owned design studio.

This is the only major design firm where the owners of the business are the creators of the work and serve as the primary contact for every client.

This is probably the best known graphic design studio ever with almost 1,000 projects in their portfolio, so if my only criteria was the impact on graphic design industry I should probably move Pentagram to #1 on my list.

Recent clients: American Express, Expedia Group, MasterCard, Verizon, Hillary Clinton.


4. Interbrand

Offices: New York, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Canada, Cincinnati, Cologne, India, Japan, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, New Zealand, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Zürich.

Interbrand - graphic design firm based in New York
www.interbrand.com

Interbrand believes that growth is achieved when an organization has a clear strategy and delivers exceptional customer experiences.

They do both, through a combination of strategy, creativity, and technology that helps drive growth for their clients’ brands and businesses.

Strategy, creativity, and technology to grow brands and businesses.

The brand consultancy has a network of 21 offices in 17 countries and is probably best known for its highly influential annual Best Global Brands report.

Which, by the way, inspired me to put together a list of 100 Style Guides of Best Global Brands.

Recent clients: Santander, PyeongChang 2018, Juventus, El Salvador, AT&T.


5. Lippincott

Offices: New York, Boston, San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Paris and Seul.

Lippincott - graphic design firm based in New York
www.lippincott.com

Lippincott is a creative consultancy. They believe that success in a changing world requires a more creative approach to solving problems. It demands both rigorous business acumen and courageous creativity.

Inventing businesses, brands and experiences.

They combine both strategy and design. This unique combination is brought to everything the firm does, guided by one purpose: make it meaningful.

Lippincott core beliefs are big ideas and big action. On the about page they list a whole bunch of other capabilities apart from pure graphic design.

Recent clients: Hawaiian Airlines, Nokia, Nissan, Taco Bell, Hyatt.


6. Siegel+Gale

Offices: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.

Siegel+Gale - graphic design firm based in New York
www.siegelgale.com

Siegel+Gale is a global brand strategy, design and experience firm which set itself apart from other graphic design firms by its core belief “simplicity”.

Using facts, intuition and creativity, they blend science with art, unlocking the power of simplicity to help organizations realize their full potential.

We are the simplicity company.

The company was founded almost 50 years ago by Alan Siegel on the premise that simple is smart. And that’s what the design firm is all about to this day.

Siegel & Gale has passion for simplicity that inspires them to deliver work that’s unexpectedly fresh and remarkably clear.

Recent clients: SAP, YMCA, HP, NBA and 3M.


7. Saffron

Offices: New York, London, Madrid, Berlin, Istanbul, Mumbai, San Francisco, São Paulo.

Saffron - graphic design firm based in New York
www.saffron-consultants.com

Saffron is a global brand and innovation consultancy. Similarly as with Siegel+Gale, the design firm sets itself apart by it’s core belief: disruption.

Disruptive thinking for ambitious brands.

The agency challenges themselves and their clients to push boundaries; challenging the ordinary, to achieve the extraordinary.

From strategy to design, Saffron help brands develop a concise set of bold and innovative initiatives that challenge the status quo and make the brand vision a reality.

Recent clients: Gulf Air, YouTube, Xing, Vueling and Fujitsu.


8. Wolff Olins

Offices: New York, London and San Francisco.

Wolff Ollins - graphic design firm based in New York
www.wolffolins.com

Wolff Ollins is a graphic design firm that for over 50 years have been helping to create and build some of the most powerful and purposeful brands in the world.

As Siegel+Gale was all about “simplicity” and Saffron about “disruption”, Woll Ollins emphasizes on working with “ambitious leaders” to build “radically better businesses”.

We partner with ambitious leaders to design radically better businesses

Their work span four areas: leadership story, customer experience, employee experience and equipping to deliver.

Wolf Ollins also emphasizes that they always design from the point of view of the user, creating experiences that are for the many rather than for the few.

Recent clients: Grubhub, The Met, Spotify, USA Today and Aol.


9. Super Union

Offices: New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Cape town and Dubai.

Superunion - graphic design firm based in New York
www.superunion.com

Superunion design consultancy recently rebranded itself (Brand Union) and brags about being a brand new agency with 200 years of experience.

200 years? Well if you combine the experience of all the companies that merged – that’s true: The Partners, Lambie-Nairn, Addison, VBAT and of course the mother company – Brand Union.

Great brands unite.

Superunion is a union of 750 people in 23 offices and 18 countries. Their skills, experience and backgrounds are diverse (different companies), but they’re all united by their passion to deliver the very best work for their clients every day.

Recent clients: Equinox, Dell, Land Rover, Pfizer and Pizza Hut.


10. FutureBrand

Offices: New York, London, Sydney, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Geneva, Dubai, San Francisco, Auckland, Beijing, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Shanghai, Singapore, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, Santiago De Chile, Sao Paulo, and Amsterdam.

FutureBrand - graphic design firm based in New York
www.futurebrand.com

FutureBrand is a graphic design firm that unites experts in strategy, design, innovation and experience, who work together across the globe to harness the power of brand for growth.

FutureBrand was founded in 1999 and is a relatively young design firm if you compare to others from the list. However, the firm is has offices all over the world and won many awards as well.

We make brand experiences for a more connected future.

Their capabilities range from research through strategy to design and beyond. Quite impressive for such a young company and their work is exceptional too.

Recent clients: Forever 21, NatWest, Bentley, Nesquik and Merck.


Which graphic design firm is best and why?

Are you in search for a graphic design services provider?

Do you need strategy or just the design?

How much money do you make?

Each of those graphic design firms has some unique strong points. E.g. CGH is a small design studio that is primmarly focused on design, the rest from the list are bigger agencies with multiple locations.

Pentagram seems to be the most prolific graphic design firm on the list and they work not only with the big brands but also mid-size companies and organizations.

Landor and other design agencies serve primarily big brands with budget, who need other extensive brand building services (apart from graphic design), like positioning, insights, analytics, strategy, naming and more.

How much top design firms charge for their work?

Wonder how much these companies charge for a logo?

Or what their design process looks like?

Just check their websites and past work, then contact the ones that you think make a good fit for you.

They’ll usually have a simple contact form on the bottom of their page.

Landor Associates design firm - contact page
Landor – Contact Page

Also check this site, that critique recent branding and rebranding projects, where you can find some of the “behind the scenes” and insights into the design process of some of the firms from this list.

FYI – this list consist of the top-notch graphic design firms that usually serve big clients with big budget.

So if you’re a startup or a small business, you might rather want to consider working with a small, local graphic design studio or an independent designer.

If so, check my other article where I talk about the pros and cons of working with a designer vs agency.

How to pick the best graphic design firm

Apart from my list of top 10 graphic design firms, there are many more independent design studios all over New York.

The choice is really up to you and it depends on your needs, your budget and how deep of design expertise you’re looking for.

Have you had an experience in working with any of them whether as a client or a designer, please share your thoughts below.

I worked as a designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv before going freelance and I have lots of respect for them and the work they do.

So I would certainly recommend working with CGH, if you asked me.