5 steps to getting an animation bid
Hiring an animation studio may seem like a daunting task. However, with the proper preparation, you and your animation consultant can work together to create a strong project that meets all your company’s needs while staying on budget.
These five essential steps will guide your planning process when setting out to get a bid from an animation company:
step 1: Concept
You may be tempted to plow through this step, but slow down. Your message may be clear to you, but without taking the time now, you may find yourself struggling to communicate it later on. Start with defining your audience, including demographics and the message they should take away. Use your company’s mission statement and the goals of this particular project to identify the problem you want to address and the solution to that problem. Finally, describe your pitch or call to action. Whether you’re introducing a new product, explaining a concept, or launching a new program, this is your time to advertise.
Step 2: style
Your animation style should reflect your company’s branding, appeal to your target audience, and match the tone of your message. The best place to start is your company’s brand. Things like font, color, and logos should all find their way to your animation hire so that they can produce an on-brand product. Even if you don’t pick out one style, using descriptive adjectives like bold, modern, etc. can help narrow down your desired style. Another good thing to do is to create mood boards. An animation studio can also help create mood boards, but providing them with inspiration from competitors, the internet, or your potential animation company’s showreel will steer them in the right creative direction.
Read more about choosing the right style in our guide here!
step 3: format
Animation studios can produce various types of explainer videos, PSAs, apps, ad campaigns, 2D or 3D animations, AR, and VR. However, which format you use depends on your specific project, audience, and the message you want to convey. Start by thinking about how and where your project will be distributed. Then, consider the length, whether you would like to use multiple formats, and if you need any audio or voiceover elements to accompany your animation. When picking your format, think about the time required to complete it and if your animation studio will be working under a tight deadline. Whether you have an event or launch date coming up, you should always give your hire ample time to execute the project according to your standards. The more time you give them, the better your animation will be.
step 4: Budget
Ask your potential hire for samples with pricing. This will give you an idea of what the studio can do within a specific budget. Having an idea of how much your project will cost will help tenfold when getting an animation bid. The most important thing to remember is that animation is scalable. An animation project can be done in various styles and price ranges. More expensive is not always better. A well-executed minimalistic concept can be more successful than a poorly executed complex concept. If you don’t have an exact number yet, provide a range. With a known budget, your animation studio can tailor the project to your needs and resources, saving time spent in headache-inducing negotiations.
step 5: Creative brief
Finally, combine all your previous work into one document: a one or two page creative brief. First, define your product in one or two lines. Make a section for your target audience and another for the top three talking points of your project. You can add support for these points in a different section, but keep it concise and clear. Then, summarize your ask in three bullet-pointed sections dedicated to the project’s style, schedule, and scope (length, requirements, format).
While a lot goes into choosing the right studio for your project, these five steps can help you plan out your proposal and get a solid bid. Working out your vision, style, format, and budget beforehand will help you through the process of hiring an animation studio.