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A serious problem with the services required forum.

Discussion in 'GDF Feedback & Help:' started by bigdave, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    But nobody is asking designers to lower their rates - there will be people in the market happy to work for 10, others for 20 and others for 30 etc, this doesn't mean that they keep lowering their rates, just that they're happy to value their work at that price?

    For the record, I do agree with your general point that having lower cost competitors filling up the market isn't helpful and that design is often quite undervalued as per another thread.

    For the sake of debate though, sometimes I do feel as though designers can be a bit precious about their job and how more and more people are coming in to the industry but perhaps without the equivalent level of training and so on.

    When there were 100 people who were able to complete the work, of course the prices were higher as they held greater value. If through improvements in technology has meant that there are now 500 people able to complete the work then the price and value of each individual designer will naturally fall.

    The biggest argument seems to be of a lower quality and lack of knowledge and so on, but if the new people are incompetent or their work isn't deemed good enough then they will soon disappear and customers will go back to those who charge more.

    But if they do keep on getting the work and the repeat custom then maybe you have to ask whether they really do lack the quality, is their lack of qualification really hindering their service?
  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I personally think that Ian is probably better plased to write about the cost and value of a designers time as I myself am only really starting out and trying to work out how best to value my own time (which might I add certainly isn't minimum wage).
  3. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I don't think the majority of them issue low quality work, it's more mediocre and rushed. The problem is that people will often accept mediocre these days for the sake of saving some money. This then becomes the norm. They accept this standard of work and don't realise that sometimes the grass is greener on the other side, and maybe it's better to pay that bit extra (ie. going rate) to be issued with a professional project to be proud of.

    Those type of budget designers wont disappear.
  4. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I am going to get my head down and do this properly. Hopefully we can submit what we've all got and it will be a good reference point to at least educate the clients on what goes into what we do. I don't think we can do anymore than that.
  5. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, if Ian is happy to start with an initial layout/draft, post it here then others can add and offer advice as to if anything needs to be changed etc. Will then move it to the correct forum.

  6. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Perhaps someone should sign up to a copywriters forum and ask if we could have this written professionally but not pay as it may lead to some paid work later? :icon_lol:
  7. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    As I said, if you can't pay, you shouldn't ask to buy. :icon_biggrin:
  8. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    Just came across this post. Considering similar subject matter, thought it you might also be interested...
  9. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    But if you were a Mercedes dealer and I told you I wanted to buy one of your cars but only had second hand Ford money, what would you say?

    I personally feel that people looking to engage a designer should post a brief and leave it at that: "I want x and I want it at this price" - no; "I want this - what's it going to cost me?" - fine.
  10. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    Payment plan with nice interest % - could be something worth trying surely?

    Client, "I neeeeed, yes NEED, you to do me a logo... but can't afford much right now. Can you put something together for me and I'll give you some business from my brother who said he might like a website soon?"

    Designer, "I'd love to work with you, but I'm afraid my prices are fixed per hour and no one in life can afford to work for nothing. How about we put together a payment plan for you? A small deposit will get the job done, and you can pay the rest off over the coming year with only 15% interest. Interested?"

    You never know —*might work :icon_dunno:
  11. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Ok, fair enough and I agree with your second paragraph.

    But likewise, if you go to a general car garage and say your budget, they will direct you to the lower end cars and not to the Mercedes of this world.
  12. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I imagine the main problem is people looking for design work are perhaps thinking more about the final design as opposed to the time taken to create it. They think someone will just work up the first idea they have (which is probably what happens on the cheaper jobs) which will only take a few hours.

    Perhaps a break-down of the actual design process detailing roughly each stage and the time taken will help people uderstand why design seems so expensive for such a 'simple' process?
  13. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    Granted, but they don't come here with that intention. They want professional design at budget prices. They hope (and they usually get) a designer to work at a lower rate to work within their budget. Some, not all, know exactly what they are doing.
  14. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    Spot on Paul. I'm writing up my post now and it includes that. :icon_thumbup:
  15. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    I think, however, that the design process varies from job to job and person to person: in the immortal, heavily paraphrased words of whoever it was that said it: 'it took me 10 mins to do it but it took me x years to learn how to do it in 10 mins.' Also, I've worked to 'limited budgets' in the past and I've been entirely complicit in making a mug of myself as profesional integrity inevitably makes a late appearance when you realise you don't want to churn out cack.
  16. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    I PM'd you yesterday Boss. You had a look?
  17. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Hey Ian

    Not had chance sorry, post it up here for others to take a look for now.


  18. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    Ok. I'll put it on now. It's long winded but maybe everyone could chip in where they feel appropriate or suggest ways to condense it.
  19. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    As graphic designers we sometimes forget that a client is paying for something that they will have no idea what it will look like until they get it. Clients do not usually know the time and work involved in creating a professional logo / artwork, that will look as modern in 10 years time as the day it was created.

    This is not the same service that you will receive from a budget designer. If you want a logo, that is simple and low cost then a budget design studio should be your chosen option. You can usually talk them through a brief and have a logo by the next day and may cost you from £25.00 to around the £100.00 mark. They will usually come up with one idea that they work at and offer to you as a final artwork. If this is what you require then that is great and it could work for you.

    A professional designer, on the other hand, can charge anything from £10.00 - £60.00+ per hour depending on their experience. Others charge using a fixed sum, but mainly around the same rate bracket.

    The designer will spend a considerable amount of time researching your business / product / market and they will assess your competitors. All this will be included in the project timescale, ensuring that the final artwork you get will be a profitable addition to your business. They will usually offer you 4 - 6 ideas to work with and carry forward.

    The following is a step-by-step guide detailing how our a typical professional graphic designer would operate.

    • Client interest / designer receives contact from client.
    • Some designers like to get a feel for the business they will be working with by talking to the client, some issue a questionaire to the client, which the client returns to the designer, assisting the designer on client needs and prospective quotation.
    • Designer issues quotation based on company history / questionaire answers, client requirements and budget.
    • Designer pitches to client (if required).
    • Client approves or disapproves quotation. If the client requires a second quotation the designer will re-assess the offer. If the designer feels they can help the client they will reissue a quotation, if not they will maybe inform the client that it is the best offer and they may have to re-assess their budget or options if they want us to provide our design services.
    • Client approves quotation.
    • Meet or contact the client to establish detailed brief. Inform client if quotation needs to be revised on the basis of the information given to the designer at the meeting / contact.
    • Present detailed brief to client within next few days.
    • If the brief is accepted, present client with contract / terms and conditions to be signed and dated by both parties. Project will not normally go ahead without either parties signature. Contract will usually state that a percentage of quote fee will be required for work on project to commence.
    • After first payment has cleared, project begins.
    • Contact with client remains throughout the project. A professional designer will sometimes offer 4 - 6 detailed ideas extracted from scamps (rough, quick ideas) based on the brief that had been established. Signatures may be required throughout to progress to the next stage.
    • At project halfway point some designers may require further payment required on outstanding balance. A project approval form may be issued to the client to ensure everything is going as planned.
    • Following approval, final stage commences, in close liaison with client.
    • Completion of project. Client required to approve completion.
    • Remainder of payment required from client before work released by designer.
    • Final payment cleared into designer’s account. Project released. Client signs off project.
    • The designer will sometimes issue a follow-up courtesy call to ensure customer satisfaction and to thank client.

    Clients, through no fault of their own, are not usually aware of the time that goes into a design project and hopefully by reading this, you will know what type of graphic designer you require to suit your budget, so when you receive a quote from a designer within this forum, now knowing the process, please respect that as designers we all work differently.

    Thank you.
  20. Ian Bonner

    Ian Bonner Member

    Sorry about the length of it but felt if we were going to do it might as well do properly!

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