Medium sized international design firms?

I was recently looking at Frog Design and Ideo’s websites, and noticed how ridiculously large they have become. I get mixed emotions from that, because I think that big firms inherently become inefficient, and lose their personality.

Does anyone know what internationally known design firms are still small to medium sized?

I just started researching, but so far, I know of:


Oh, and I’m talking general design here, NOT a specialized company (ie those who only do, for example furniture, or exclusively to graphic design).

tried this already? Core77 Design Directory - Where Business Finds Design

I know what you mean. I hate to see when companies hit that ‘bloated’ point, where there are simply too many people in one location to avoid getting ‘corporate’. That being said I think IDEO have done very well in keeping their individual offices at a reasonable size. So although their website is all corporate I think the studios are still more personal in feel.

You seem focused on culture. -You should assess what sore of culture you want, one that is deepening the area of ID, or one that is taking ID away from the core and into other areas like UX and research, etc…

Size matters, but you have to start by taking a look at the way you learn and what environment makes you excel. You need somewhere that will allow you to thrive, not just swim with the fish. And this happens in small, medium or large firms.


Since Paul is too much of a gentleman to say it, look into TEAMS as well. :wink:

A couple others:
Fitch (maybe big already?)
New Edge

Some of the big design companies you mention have addressed this in the past with satellite studios to keep the overhead down and teams smaller

haven’t posted for a while but thought I get back into the game here :smiley:

I am looking for design work as well right now and have some (hopefully) useful research to share in regards to the size of companies you are looking for.
Generally, the Design Directory is a good tip but there are many more out there.
Here are a few I have contacted recently. Some of them might be more “small” than “mid sized” but without knowing the company personally, it is hard to know.




Wild Design




One & Co





Fuse Project

General Assembly




Design Partners

Design Central



New Deal





So, those were a few… hope it helps!

how many of the above mentioned agencies are really “international” (if OP meant them to have several offices around the world) ?
I think there are not so many mid-sized agencies with that attribute, maybe we should start defining medium sized as frog and alike have ca. 1500 employees vs for example ziba with ca. 100 (?).

Was wondering that as well before I posted but as OP mentioned SeymourePowell and Priestmangoode, both only in London, I assumed that the OP is referring to firms working with international cliental, instead of having offices all over the world.

you are right, and maybe this is already nailing it:

“…what internationally known design firms”


The size question often comes up. I’m often curious how many actual Industrial Designers each of the larger firms have. Firms like Frog and IDEO have hundreds of employees, but ID makes up a surprisingly small fraction, often between 5 and 10 per location.

Nothing wrong with that, but its an important factor for an applicant to consider when they are trying to weigh up the culture of a place. -Is the firm ID-centric or do the Engineers, Graphic Designers or Researchers rule the roost?


this is calling for a nice info-graphic :slight_smile: