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Designing: how long for?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by GilmoreVisuals, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    I have been looking around other designers sites and noticed that some statements that they how many hours they spend on a single graphic piece, which I can understand, but when claims like '40hours' are being said i'm a little skeptical to that being true or not.

    I guess a lot of it depends on the skill of the designer on software (and thoughts/ideas) which will then speed up or slow down the process.

    How long does it usually take you? Lets say, for a leaflet, or an event poster?

    I would never want to say it would usually take me 60 - 90 min on avarage (sometimes more sometimes less) because it would come accross as not trying or putting much effort into it. Still, I ask payment for the project, not for the hours I work, so its not a real issiue for me whether I tell my client how long I take (in hours) to deliver the graphic.
     
  2. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    Good example of my work, looks relatively simple, but it took me more than 12 hours.
     
  3. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Usually it depends on who it's for as to how long I take. If it's for me it takes a lot longer to do anything because I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to these things.

    If it's for someone else, I try to put my perfectionist attitude to one side because they might have a deadline and I would like to work on other things, instead of tying my self down to one project. I have already decided that I'm going to charge for a project though, and not purely by hours taken to complete it. I'd say for a poster it would take me around 2-3 hours depending on what it's for and if I have done similar designs in the past. I find it's more the inability to make a decision or stick to a certain style and instead keep trying different things that makes me take longer than I should on things.
     
  4. DWildish

    DWildish Member

  5. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I like to conveniently forget about all those hours it took me to re-do a line or choose between different colours etc because it just "didn't look right".
     
  6. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Initially mrp, I thoguht 'how could it take so long?' then i actually looked at the detail and understood why! Thats very impressive.

    I think I would spend more time on a project for a client or a project, because those graphics are going to be seen and represent me as a designer, instead personal ones will not be seen as much in comparison to those.

     
  7. Surely it's not all about the speed of work? Doesn't quality come into it?

    60 minutes would cover setting up a file, having a browse through some inspiring material, having a cuppa and doodling. A poster or leaflet may take hours, until I'm (or more importantly my client) is happy. I'm currently working on 2 versions of a leaflet and the clock is at 3'59"... I'll probably do this job for free as the client is ace and I value his custom.

    I'm often asked for may 'rates', the questioner expecting a price per hour. I'll point out that each designer works at a different speed, on different software, with different results. As such, I'll quote for a complete price, outlining exactly what they will receive in return. I'll also time the job and include that time on the invoice.
     
  8. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Yeah, I agree, but what I initially said about a wrong impression I might give a client is the reason that I wouldn't want to reveal how long I actually took ('because it would come accross as not trying or putting much effort into it.). So i think yes, the outcome is the most important part, but the way that you give and build up to that outcome will be affected to how long or little you take on the graphic.
     
  9. I don't hide the fact that a job took me 12 minutes or 12 hours from a client; If they are paying me to do a job I'll deliver on that. They are paying for my experience and ability as a designer, not the amount of time I appear spend on a job.

    On the contrary, a client yesterday was thrilled that I had made alts to a concept layout within 2 hours and fired back to her - I was working very quickly as I wanted to impress!
     
  10. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I think personally it's one of those things where regardless of how you present it, you're always going to get at least one person think, "Oh... well they didn't spend very long doing that..." or "Christ... they take forever. That one single client may or may not be the best thing that happens to your career within a period of time.

    You could say that it's unlikely if they are so eager to judge, but in the real world most people do it and most people do it when you're not around to defend yourself.

    I'm willing to have my mind changed on this but I can't see why you'd want to take that risk?
     
  11. WEBIAN

    WEBIAN Senior Member

    You shouldn't evaluate your work by the hour.
     
  12. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Not talking about evaluating here, just about client impressions. :p

    Thanks. Thats a great way of putting it, and very true too. I think i'll not hide the fact anymore, of how long I take to design something, like you're argument suggests, obviously, within reason.
     
  13. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    If I were to tell a client "this job will take around 40 hours" that would be an estimate based on everything required to finish the job, such as research and development, revising the design based on feedback and creating the final print ready files, not just 40 hours spent actually designing.

    I always try and add a little extra onto the estimate because jobs rarely run smoothly and this helps to cover your back when something does crop up.

    There's a lot more to a design project than just creating the final thing. Emailing clients, getting quotes from printers and physically checking the quality of their work all adds up to a great deal of time. Surely you'd want to be paid for it?
     
  14. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    This is an incredibly good point, there is always going to a great deal of time going back and forth over details. I'd imagine a conservative estimate of 20 hours time spent working on a project could easily spiral into 40 once you add in emailing, phone calls, feedback, meetings....
     
  15. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    That is very interesting and helpful. I still lack the experience in dealing in a professional way with a client, and haven't really considered the fact that I should be charging for the pre-work I have done, like emailing etc. Its fair and good to know for future, thanks again.
     
  16. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I believe the original question was around time taken to create a leaflet/poster or something similar. So in this instance I thought we were talking purely about how long it would take to design something

    Of course in the real world there a great deal of 'other' jobs that you need to do for one client in order to hand them one item you spent x hours designing. Last night I spent about two hours analysing a website from an SEO point of view and writing it up into a document that can be understood by people with no knowledge of SEO.

    It's not time spent making the changes for SEO but it's pre-work that enables me to do my job properly. This is part of the service and needs to be charged for accordingly. It's also just as important for me to do this pre-work as it is for them. For instance their last web developer did a pretty bad job on the SEO - and unsurprisingly they don't rank in the first page for any of their key terms. By showing them them that I have identified the issues and have put together a strategy in order to solve the problem it reassures them that I know what I'm doing and builds on the trust and communicational elements of the relationship - which might be a deciding factor in whether or not they hire me again in the future!
     

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