The term "boutique studio or agency" is used in several different ways. In the advertising community, the term is used for an advertising agency that focuses primarily on the creative aspects of developing visual communication. In the creative community, such agencies are small companies that represent a limited client list and offer highly personalised service.
They usually have small staffs and may work with contract workers and freelancers to get a specific look and feel for particular projects. Clients approach them when they want high quality creative work. Larger advertising agencies may refer clients to these smaller, creation-focused agencies when it comes to developing the look of visual communication and campaigns.
What does working with a boutique agency mean for clients? It means working with an agency who consistently adapts their project management methodology to fit the needs for each specific project or client. It means working with an agency who works hard to stay ahead of innovation, who maximizes their resources and actually listens to what you need versus telling you what their time-tested methodologies have proven.