The scene takes place in a Parisian cafe a few decades back. We can imagine a smoky interior, the smell of coffee and absinthe. A woman approaches a man at the table and asks him to sketch something on a piece of napkin. The artist quickly puts a few lines that form a simple drawing. The glad woman reaching out her hand for the piece of paper, but the man will not give it to her for free. The horrendous price surprises the woman: – It took you 30 seconds; – No – says the man – it took me 40 years.
The man at the table is Pablo Picasso, one of the most recognizable figures in the history of art. This anecdote from the artist’s lush life is a good introduction to discussions about prices in art and design.
When ordering a graphic design project, you wonder if you maybe overpay, what is included in it and whether the total cost reflects the market. I hear these doubts very often. The designer should list out all the elements that makeup the final quote. However, it’s not a case most of the time?
When I prepare an offer for my clients I try to include all the components that it contains. And so, when ordering a visual identity, the client will find out that the price includes visual strategy, 3 initial logo designs , and a brandbook.
But is that all? Each project has a number of variables that determine the basic rates for each designer that we don’t put in the offer. Although they are very important in the whole process. Below are some of them.
Designer experience and the price of graphic design
When creating graphic design project, one of the most important elements determining its price is an experience. A beginner freelancer will usually be cheaper, but the risks associated with hiring him higher. The one with a longer career is usually more familiar with working with clients on commercial projects and will be able to understand their needs better. However, you must remember to seek the designer whose portfolio is reflecting the kind of designs we are interested in.
The market value
The larger the company and its greater market value, the more expensive the graphic design going to be. This rule may not seem fair to some, but it is quite logical. Larger companies with an international reputation risk more ordering graphic materials – from business cards to their employees to branding.
A more expensive service usually means that the contractor has more time to refine the details and will take responsibility for any mistakes. Designers who offer cheap graphic designs usually have to work on several projects simultaneously. This means less time to fine-tune projects. Large companies, producing materials in large quantities for millions of recipients, risk a lot by implementing a cheap project.
However, you don’t have to be a big player to make this happen to you too.
Small and medium-sized enterprises also have to take into account the risk of hiring a cheap designer who juggles projects and take any clients to pay the bills. The possible risk of implementing a poor, underdeveloped graphic design project is relatively smaller, but for companies with a low budget, it can be equally problematic.
Risk is not everything while working on graphic design projects
When many designers leave the valuation based on the hourly rate, an added value is one of the key elements of efficient pricing. What does it mean?
Graphic design like visual identity, logotype or website is not only a nice-looking image but above all a function that it fulfills in the company. This means that thanks to them you are able to achieve your goals even more effectively. Your website becomes the first touchpoint with your brand, and the logo allows it to be recognizable. Thanks to this, even before your potential customer is able to contact you, you’re able to build trust and attachment. These are the great features of a good graphic design. Therefore, the time spent on it is not the only thing that makes the price of the graphic design project. It is primarily a function that the graphic design performs in your company.
Added value is also one of the elements that make prices of graphic designs differ from one designer to another. Because it is difficult to define it clearly and it is often determined very individually.
Customer’s budget and graphic design projects
The budget is always a quite controversial topic. Few customers want to share this information with a freelancer. However, knowing it designer can offer you solutions that suit you more financially and maximize the outcome.
In my case, I have a standard price list, in which I specify what kind of materials are included in the scope of work. Transparency is most important to me. However, if the customer has a higher budget, it allows me to offer an even better plan and choose additional solutions. In the future they will support the brand’s activities and make communication even more effective. All this in line with customer expectations.
So, yes, if you know how much money you can spend on a project share it with the designer. It can help you achieve even better results in pursuing your goals.
The scope of the graphic design project
It is quite obvious that the price of a graphic design depends on the scope of work, but not everyone fully understands what it means. When you first contact with a designer, it is important to take into account all the components that we care about.
If we order a website design, it is worth communicating how many pages it should contain and what functionalities. For example, whether we care about implementation or rather the design itself.
Many clients forget about it, but the awareness that each project is not the same can help you understand what the final valuation of a graphic design project depends on.
Graphic design exploitation fields
This aspect of valuation is closely related to the market value of the project. This means that a project that will only be used on a small Facebook fanpage can cost relatively less than one that is intended to become part of a big campaign. Although the work on the project can take the same time, the risk associated with the implementation of the logo is much greater.
Designer hourly rate
More and more designers don’t use an hourly rate to evaluate the project. They know that the time devoted to the project is not everything that should be included in its valuation. However, for those who still use this type of calculation, the price depends on experience, the standard of living, place of residence, whether the designer has his own business. For a graphic design project valued at an hourly rate, the most important element determining the price is the workload and complexity of the project. People who are skilled in design and who work quickly can have higher rates. This allows them to maintain their business and have a dignified standard of living.
Graphic design price – summary
The prices of graphic designs vary greatly depending on the designer. Bidding is influenced by many factors and is an individual matter for each freelancer. It is worth remembering that they are affected by many more factors than just hours spent at the computer.