Good agencies don't gatekeep

May 15, 2024,
Words by
Maansi Kaylan, Creative Strategist

Here’s our pick of the 10 best-in-class creative agencies you might of never heard of

NB: Some might call this blog career suicide, but we aren’t phased.

Good agencies produce culture-defining work for the brands they collaborate with. Even better ones shout about the other collectives in their field that are just as good. 

We aren’t afraid to talk about the other creative agencies on our radar who are doing big things within design, content creation, branding and more.

While we wish we could entertain work from every brand out there sometimes it just isn’t possible - but the work still needs doing, and we fully back that. So, in the name of healthy competition and getting things past the line, here are just 10 agencies that you need to know about…

Mouthwash Studio Top Agencies 2024
Mouthwash Studio Logo


Based in: LA

Known for: the translation of Apple’s first-ever commissioned art piece, ‘Mirage’, onto a dedicated website

Born in 2019, Mouthwash are an innovative young agency who work with industry leaders within sustainability, architecture, tech and more. Their experimental approach to briefs means their creative executions often inspire others in the industry to think outside the box.

Athletics NYC Studio Top Agencies 2024
Athletics NYC


Based in: Brooklyn, NYC 

Known for: designing a brand identity for the Chromebook Plus as it was unleashed into the world.

‘Useful’ doesn’t have to mean boring. And it’s a sentiment that Athletics live by, designing to turn heads while also maintaining functionality, ensuring their work actually works for their roster’s visual branding needs. With 20 years and brands like IBM, Amazon and Conde Nast under their belts, their design does the talking where words can’t.

CC Studio Top Agencies 2024
CC Studio - Hallucinate motion design


Based in: London

Known for: supporting the single releases of musical titans such as Dua Lipa and Jamie XX through complimentary visualisers and motion design

You only have to look at CC’s website to know what you’re in store for - a controlled explosion of creativity. They’ve projects spanning across the hottest brands and cultural icons of the moment, and are versatile in their ability to easily generate design that differentiates one brand universe from the next.

Gander Agency Top Agencies 2024
Gander creative company


Based in: Brooklyn, New York

Known for: recently becoming a part of FastCompany’s 2024 list of the most innovative design companies

This collective places kindness on a pedestal, choosing clients who match their ethos and have something to say. Gander’s skills within branding, packing and web design give these brands a voice, transforming the mundane into the ‘spectacular’.

Leslie David Studio - Top Agencies 2024
Leslie David Studio - SOWVITAL


Based in: Paris

Known for: creating a digital visual experience for Prada Beauty’s perfume, Infusion d’Iris, for the launch of the famed brand’s TikTok account

Swimming in the luxury fashion and beauty spaces, the Leslie David lot’s playful-yet-elevated design work has been the go-to choice for the world’s most refined brands. Their work is consistently elegant while also carving out a unique identity for every project, setting each apart from the rest.

Kiln Studio Top Agencies 2024
Studio Kiln


Based in: London

Known for: cooking up a brand refresh for D&AD’s prestigious ‘Young Blood Awards’ initiative  

Refusing to define themselves through a specific style and medium, Studio Kiln works to express the identities of today’s contemporary brands. Their strategy and design efforts are based around creating something that is ‘unexpected and uncommon’. 

Instrument Agency - Top Agencies 2024
Instrument creative company


Based in: Portland, LA, NYC

Known for: reimagining Nike’s ‘Year In Review’ app experience and rolling out this newer, fresher journey on a global scale

Instrument have been merging creativity with technological insights over the last 18 years. Their team’s multidisciplinary offering has drawn in brands such as Notion, Dropbox and Marriot Hotels, who were keen to improve their digital entities. 

Studio Yukiko - Top Agencies 2024
Studio Yukiko


Based in: Berlin

Known for: helping to create the ‘Hinge Phone Book’, a social impact initiative to encourage the dating app’s Gen Z audiences to unplug 

Fluent in both IRL and URL, Yukiko is a creative agency for rebellious design and direction. Influenced by current culture as well as simultaneously being future-facing, if you want to create something that is truly embedded in youth culture and today’s internet trends, your search ends here.  

Barkas Studio - Top Agencies 2024
Teakop - Barkas Studio


Based in: Copenhagen, Denmark & Stockholm, Sweden

Known for: designing and launching ACNE Studios’ e-commerce experience, inspired by the early internet days

Grounded in the principle of ‘Clarity’, this independent creative company methodically uses design to illuminate brand and campaign objectives, cut through clutter to get through to the audience in a way that most resonates with them. Barkas are a diverse group of creatives hailing from the film, architecture and comms spaces (to name but a few), and the many perspectives they hold are beneficial in coming up with unique solutions.

Cold Cuts - Top Agencies 2024
Setanta Racing - Cold Cuts


Based in: Brooklyn, NYC

Known for: launching Made Index, a directory that makes it easier to source and buy American-made goods

Nate Baltikas and Landry Miller might define themselves as ‘ordinary and unremarkable’, but we’re here to tell you their design work is far from. Whether the Cold Cuts duo are working in collaboration with other agencies (some who we’ve mentioned already!) or going it alone, their headcount may be small but their branding and art direction work is anything but. 

If you’re a part of one of the agencies we’ve just spotlighted and you want to give our followers an insider’s perspective, tell us more in the comments! 

Stay tuned for more of this because, again, we 👏 don’t ​​👏 gatekeep 👏.   

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