Print Reseller Scheme
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Future Of Graphic Design?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by DavidMarlow, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    Hey Guys - I'm new here so please be gentle

    I've been in the industry for 16 years - Freelancer for 11 - loved the freelance life - mainly been in long term contracts earning good money...


    I've recently left a role - my choice, thinking 'theres loads of work around'.....

    There isnt?... its weird? ... a lot of 'freelancers' i know either have or are looking for perm roles?.. and the recruitment agencies I have spoken to are being a bit cold - saying i'm pricing myself too high etc... (£25p/h artwork)?.. i mean.. thats the going rate isnt it?, it has been for years... I'm even finding a couple of companies that DID pay that - suddenly saying they'll only pay £23?.. anyone else finding this?...

    So the Question is... has the bottom fallen out? are there just too many 'freelancers' out there willing to take less money - driving the price down? or am i missing something?...

    What is the Future for Graphic Design, is it more about Digital now?, what should be polishing our skills at?, or what should we be learning?, animation?, 3D?.. anyone know?
    1 person likes this.
  2. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Surely it depends on the role you're looking for if, presumably, you're looking for a full-time position?

    £25 p/h in a full-time position is a £45k salary. Unless you're looking for a particularly senior role I think you're being a little unrealistic in your expectations.
  3. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    I'm talking Freelance - the going rate for a Freelance Artworker has been £25p/h for years
  4. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    Fair enough, when you said recruitment I assumed you were looking for a full-time role, particularly coming after mentioning the permanent roles.

    Competition is fierce and it does remain tough times for most industries out there currently. Looking to the future, I think there's always going to be a market in print design, but clearly technology will play an increasing role and designing for tablets and digital devices and so on will come more into play.

    That said, I also feel that as long as you can keep on top of new areas as they emerge and remain aware of the styles that are 'in', if you like (not suggesting you simply copy the trends, but at least knowing what people may now expect or desire), then there's no reason why it should be more difficult for those reasons.
  5. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    Would the agency require a fee per hour in addition to the £25ph? Or is that figure net?

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Really? I'd love to charge that sort of fee. I'm stuck charging £16 because if I charged any more, I would get no work in.

    £25 may well have been the going rate in the past, but everyone knows that design in general has become really popular in recent years. Whether it's because some people think it's an easy choice at university, or whether people actually enjoy it is neither here nor there. The fact is, there's ridiculous amount of competition now. You may well be worth more but you have to do what you can to get work by any means necessary - lowering rates for a while, learning and offering new services - anything.
  7. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    One of the issues now is that everyone can be a 'designer'. Microsoft has a lot to answer for. We get countless amounts of terrible designs supplied in Word, Publisher and Powerpoint and because is prints out fine on their inkjet printer, they think it's perfect for professional print.

    When you say that it'll cost £60 or so to 'fix' they look at you like you're crazy.

    Unfortunately, because people can do it for themselves in some form, there's less work for designers. And there's still a lot of designers coming out of college who fill up the environment.
  8. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    I feel your pain. I've been freelance for 4 or 5 months now and whilst we have some digital print in-house and are known in the area life is tough. I think the only way to survive is to say "yes' to anything (well - within reason!), be very flexible, offer services that perhaps others don't offer, team up with a PR or Marketing freelancer in the area who can use your skills, learn web design (or team up with a web developer), be a print reseller.

    Joe Public became a 'designer' way back when computers and 'desk-top publishing' first hit the trade. They soon learnt that they couldn't do it properly and they will again. Even before computers - yes I remember before then - people wanted to do their own artwork - until they had to buy dozens of Letraset sheets at £7 each...

    We do need the print trade to charge these 'idiot designers' to fix their work and not do it for free... or recommend a good designer.
  9. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    where are you based? if i could only get £16 i'd either change industry or get a permant job, in london you used to get £28p/h and upwards for freelance desgn
  10. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    totally agree - getting some sort of 'group' of professionals together is the way to do it
  11. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    This is it - theres loads of 'designers' around - just hard to come across good ones - guess the bad ones are driving the price down and the clients are lapping it up
  12. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    I'm seeing more and more 'digital' designer ads now - but still not massive money - I'm reluctant to spend time re-training in web coding purely to add a feather - i mean, coders.. can only code - their designs are terrible, wheras a designer can 'design' a website - just not code it - I also think too many clients are accepting a 'poorly designed' website, because that's what the coder offer, and this is widely accepted nowadays - they look awful - but then the time and effort (we) as designers would have to put into learning the coding side - is it really worth it?, i mean - would you get LOADS MORE MONEY for being about to design a beautiful site, and code it - i tend to think the client wouldnt pay any extra, they'd happily go to the coder and have a site that looks like and I.T. website!

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    Blackpool. One of the poorest parts of the country. However I refuse to work in a job I don't enjoy, and I'm lucky enough that my partner earns enough for me to do this job earning what I earn.
  14. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    They usually charge on top - so they bill you out at 28/29p/h
  15. DavidMarlow

    DavidMarlow New Member

    A friend of mine said that freelance rates were £13p/h in Leeds!, its not right is it!
  16. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    £13ph is about £25K If you can work ALL 40 hours in a week - then pay tax on that. Seeing that you probably work 20 hours a week the minimum has to be £25ph...

    Lucky you Arrivals having a partner earning! Both of us are freelance at the moment!!

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    I am lucky. Though I've always said, if we needed more money, I'd go work at Asda. She's happy for me to do what I do. And lets be honest, £16 an hour is still good.

    I don't think you can say what's right or not. Times change. You have to be sensible about it. If this is the job you want to do, then you're going to need to make sacrifices. You can't just charge £28 an hour just because you did 20 years ago. The fact is, whether they're good or bad, there's more competition, and more and more businesses looking for the cheap option. I don't like it, but whilst this is the situation, I'll charge what I can to get work in.
  18. dot design

    dot design Member

    Hi David, are you more of an artworker than a designer, because maybe the problem is that agencies know they can get a designer who can artwork for the same price rather than just an artworker.

    I think that the need for artworkers has decreased over the last 10 years, just my experience of the industry.

    EDIT: Also on a completely different topic, I used to be moderator here and I used to have alot of 'Thanks' for certain posts, I've not been here for a good while and my 'Thanks' seem to be zero. Shame.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  19. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Hey G, everyone lost their thanks on the upgrade :icon_frown:, nice to see you back dude.
  20. Dodfaefife

    Dodfaefife New Member

    Hi all. Long time lurker, first time poster.
    I'm a freelance artworker and also design. I charge £27 an hour £50 for retouching, refuse to work for less and do well at it too. A lot of it comes down the fact that creative agencies know the value of experience and reputation. They know they'll get the work done quickly and correctly and value my input. Jo public doesn't see the value of something that only takes an hour to do because they don't see the twenty years experience that let's it get done in an hour.
    Remember as well when talking direct to corporate clients they're regularly billed way more that £27ph for studio hours from their creative agencies so, your fee is still cheap in comparison if you can guarantee the same level of expertise.

    I would also say there are a lot of people calling themselves designers who really shouldn't (I've made a few quid 'fixing' their work). That doesn't help the integrity of the business.
    It does worry me when I see freelancers undercutting each other but I understand it too.
    Keep the faith guys.

Share This Page