This is a common question – especially for independent graphic designers like me. I work with clients of all types – from marketing consultants to in-house marketing teams – and for businesses that don’t have a marketing team at all.
All these clients have different thoughts and expectations when it comes to price.
Like all suppliers, when you choose a graphic designer, you have to consider what you’re getting as well as what you’re paying. A logo might be quoted at anything from £150 to £2,000 – but what’s the experience, expertise, advice and output from those suppliers ?
In my experience, price comes down to three things :
- What do you need ?
- What can you afford ?
- What will you get ?
What do you need ?
The best way to get an accurate price for a graphic design project is to be really clear about what you need.
For a start-up business, you’re going to need branding, plus assets like business cards, social media graphics, brochure and other marketing materials.
For an established business, you might need a full brand refresh and updated marketing collateral. And for a marketer, you may need ongoing design support for a range of projects – either for your company, if you are in-house, or for your clients if you are an independent marketer.
When you know what you need, you can see how many deliverables your designer might need to work on, and this will give you an idea of the size of your project.
What can you afford ?
All businesses have to work within their limits. I would never suggest that a business spends more than it can afford on design. And it’s certainly the case that the most expensive designer isn’t always the best choice. So it’s best to talk to two or three people, give them your brief, see what their proposals look like and choose the one that you think can deliver the best results for the money you have.
What will you get ?
Ask about experience. Whilst all graphic designers will be creative, it’s beneficial to work with a graphic design partner who has the commercial experience to offer you design advice.
For example, if someone is charging you £100 and presenting 10 different logo options, how long do you think they are spending on each one ? It’s better to up your budget and look for a graphic designer who will provide three or four well-considered concepts, where you know time, thought and expertise has been invested in the outcome.
Hourly rates vs. fixed price
Some graphic designers charge by the hour. Costs can mount up using this model, because the designer could get things right in two hours, but it also might take twenty. So you’re no clearer about the final cost until you get the bill.
A simpler way to work is with a fixed price. Your designer will quote based on a thorough conversation with you about the project, and be specific about the brief. That way, both parties know what’s expected, and what they’re getting. You can budget for cost, and your designer can scope the project clearly.
Or you could consider a monthly retainer. This gives you an agreed number of hours of design time every month at a fixed fee. This makes it easier for you to budget from month to month and you save time because there’s no need to go through the proposal stage for each project. Even better, your graphic designer may give you a rate discount because you are committing to a monthly plan.
Here are three of my recent projects with a ballpark costs figure. Each of these had a clear brief that the client and I worked on together, and a project process to make sure everything went to plan. Clients had direct access to me, as the graphic designer, and we worked collaboratively to get the projects delivered on time – and on budget !
Client in Legal Sector
Needed a range of materials designed for their Annual Conference
• Annual Report
• Branded Social Media Assets
• Branded Sponsorship Media Boards
• Branded Screen Graphics
• Branded Banners
An early-stage business in the technology sector
• Brand Guidelines
• Branded Assets
Ongoing design support
Creative support for in-house marketing department
Monthly Retainer £500