One of the most common questions asked by new freelance or self-employed Designers is ‘How do I set my Graphic Design Pricing’. Graphic Designers who are employed full time generally don’t need to worry about this problem as their employer sets the pricing level, but those who are self employed or freelance on the side can find this a difficult issue to resolve.
Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules to Graphic Design pricing and so Designers need to consider a range of points and use all of these aspects to reach a definitive pricing policy. By using a fixed system to work out their Graphic Design pricing, Designers will find the task much easier and they will also have greater confidence when applying their pricing as they will know that they can justify it if it is ever questioned.
This is arguably the most important factor to take into consideration when a Designer is establishing their Graphic Design pricing. More experienced and highly skilled Designers will be able to charge a premium and those new to the industry should be aware that their lower skill level may reduce what they can charge compared to more established competition.
Local factors impact on all aspects of pricing, though it’s perhaps more obvious in respect to hourly charges, as Graphic Design pricing can vary quite dramatically between big city design agencies and businesses operating in smaller provincial areas.
It maybe useful for a Designer to request quotations for jobs from other design businesses in the local area before setting their own Graphic Design pricing.
Once an hourly rate has been established, it becomes very easy to price jobs, though in cases where a quotation is required before starting work, Designers need to become adept at accurately estimating how much time a job will take.
There are some other points that should also be considered beyond the hourly rate when setting a Graphic Design pricing policy, to ensure customers are charged accurately for work carried out.
Cost of Materials
Designers may need to pay for various materials when undertaking design work for their clients and obviously these costs should be carefully recorded.
Typical expenses that are incurred by Graphic Designers are printing costs, both for client proofs and final products, and fonts or stock images that are required to achieve a specific design.
All other costs that are incurred directly or indirectly should also be noted. These maybe specific to a job, such as travelling expenses for a client meeting, or general expenses such as ongoing office costs. These will include things such as rent, electricity and phone costs and if an approximate monthly cost is known for all of these items, they can easily be split down into an hourly cost that can be combined into a Designer’s Graphic Design pricing policy.
While many Designers who are new to working on a self employed or freelance basis find it difficult to put an accurate price on their time and skills, by following a set framework of criteria, they can find establishing their Graphic Design pricing much easier.