Power your Media I.Q. - 8 Actionable Tips to Choosing An Animation Studio [2018]

Power your Media I.Q. - 8 Actionable Tips to Choosing An Animation Studio [2018]
take the media iq quiz

Are you looking to incorporate animation into your next video? There comes a point when you need to choose which animation production company you are going to hire.

So, where do you start? Do you Google "animation production company" and start plowing through the results? Well, if you don't have a history of working with a company, that's one way to approach it.

This post will show you how to select an animation company and get the best results out of your marketing.

Step 1. What type of animation content do you need?

An animated social media post shouldn’t cost that same as a spot for TV. An animated spot used in research (animatic) follows its own production schedule. This timeline is foreign to traditional animation studios. Many animation companies say they do it all. Search for studios that specialize in the mediums that match your needs.

  • Broadcast TV/Film
  • Social Media
  • Explainer video
  • Internal communication
  • Animatics
  • Mobile

Step 2. Don’t forget audio!

Sound design, music, and voice-over are 50% of the viewing experience. Keep this step in the back of your mind before you start reviewing studio work. Sound production demonstrates how a studio understands the total viewing experience. The best animation studios will have the ability to offer custom sound design for your spot. If your budget is tight the studio may suggest using stock music.

Step 3. Determining if you need a freelance animator or animation studio

Animation can be a very involved process and can need several experts to collaborate. If your budget is under $1000.00, consider contracting an individual freelance animator. You can post your job on a freelance website and have animators bid on your project. You will also be able to review customer comments and the animator’s reviews. I have used these services and have had mixed results. I chose to include this as it’s a viable option for smaller projects with smaller budgets.

Step 4. Do you like their work?

Now that you identified the type of studio you need, review the studio’s online portfolio. Do you like their visual style? Does their audio enhance the work or is it generic? Have they worked with related companies in your industry? Do their videos look cool and are they made in a professional manner? Next check out their social media accounts. These pages will often showcase their passion projects. Do they offer case studies that explain what problems they have solved for their clients? Do they list client success stories?

Here is an example of a case study we feature for potential clients. Do they offer something similar?

case study example

Step 5. Do you need concept/story development and script writing services for your spot?

If you work at an ad agency, you likely have this covered from a top notch creative team. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need a studio that provides more. You may need creative development, script writing, and layout services. A common misunderstanding is that video is all about the visuals. In reality, the story and concept are the most important factor for success. See if they offer these services on their website.

Step 6. Do they fit your budget?

One of the most important questions to ask up front is cost. Make sure to ask, “For the budget I have to spend, what can you offer or suggest for me?"

Estimating the cost of animation can be time consuming. It saves time to know up front what style the studio can produce within your budget. They may suggest 3D animation, 2D animation, or storyboards edited together with a music track. It shows the willingness and Media IQ of the studio when they can suggest ways to meet your budget.

Step 7. Set up a creative call

When you have selected your studio, arrange a creative call to review your concept. You will be able to tell if the studio is excited about your project and what insights they can bring to the table. Do they show genuine interest in your organization and your goals? Do they ask relevant and specific questions, such as: what are your objectives with the video? Who is your target audience? What will be your main message? After the call you’ll have a good feeling about whether you should move forward or keep searching.

Step 8. Get a production timeline with milestone deliverables at predetermined dates

Producing an animated video is a complex team effort. Depending on the type of project, it can take anywhere from 10 days to over eight weeks. A calendar with milestone delivery dates will keep everyone on target and on the same page. Does the studio have an online collaboration workspace that can streamline the process? Do they have any other tools to make the workflow efficient?

For example here’s a video we show potential clients about one of our online collaboration tools

online collaboration tool


Increasing your media I.Q. is an ongoing task. You have endless options for picking an animation studio and I hope this article will help your task.

We’ve helped many ad agencies and international brands that needed animatics. If you’d like to learn more please send us your script/concept and give us a call.