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Graphic Design & Dairy Farming

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by Stationery Direct, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    The only 2 industries where the buyers think it's o.k to say what they are prepared to pay!!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I've been thinking about pricing recently, namely about how I need to effectively triple my prices if I want to move to the next level of starting an actual studio, rather than being 'a designer.'

    If (new) clients can't or won't pay that, then that's fine, they're not my target market and it's no skin off my nose. There's always someone cheaper, but I'm not worried because my pricing isn't (or rather, won't be) based solely on cost, but value.

    I guess it's slightly different for someone in your position, especially with regards to print where customers only see a price comparison? That guy that says he can give you the same final product at half the cost is just as good, right? Maybe the quality is comparable, but I'd bet my right nut the customer service isn't. They have to cut corners somewhere.

    Similarly, when people ask me what a website costs, and are flabbergasted when I tell them pricing starts at £1500 for a very basic site. That may sound steep for someone who doesn't understand what's involved or has heard lower prices cited, but those lower prices are lower because something is missing from the creation process, be it competent development, testing, ux, scalability…
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  3. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    @Paul Murray Back in the day websites used to cost on average of around £1K so £1500 is reasonable for nowadays if you consider the evolution of websites and the web in general.

    If they don't want to pay that, they can always 'build' themselves a drag and drop webshite, I mean website....
  4. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I mean, designing and building just a single-page website takes on average 3 days as a minimum once you've factored in the initial research and consulting with the client, wireframes and first drafts, design revisions, coding (even with a framework like Bootstrap, you still have to actually write code), then there's the tweaks and amends when the site doesn't look right across devices, and the inevitable error that only the client has that you can't replicate but somehow need to find a solution to.

    An approach I'm trying now if a client just "needs a website" is to steer them towards Wordpress and a premium theme, and charging a flat fee to take care of the set up and guiding them through the user interface. The client gets a decent looking site that they can edit within budget, I get paid for a job I can do in an afternoon and can move onto higher paying work straight away.

    The problem I partly have is I attract clients who are looking for a sole designer rather than a studio, often due to budget. This is what spurred me on to get a studio off the ground and go after bigger clients. Don't get me wrong, I make a pretty good living as a freelance designer (when clients finally pay), but that's not really what I want to do with regards to my career.
  5. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Pricing has always been a tricky area for me and I'm my own worst enemy.

    I was once told "Put a zero on the end of your fees. You'll lose 90% of your potential clients but do 10% of the work for the same money".
    I know that's probably a little extreme and I've never tried it but I reckon there's some truth at its core.

    I'm setting up another side which is a bit more branded to being a studio/agency.
    Not that I'm going to pretend I'm and agency and do the whole "we" thing, more as a kind of umbrella as I work in lots of different areas which is a bit hard to market when your a 'Billy no mates'.

    At the risk of going OT, I've been looking around at local design companies and I've been pretty surprised by the low quality of many of their sites and work.
    Many of them look like they need to hire a design company themselves.
  6. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    That's exactly what keeps me going. At times I question whether I can achieve what I'm promising myself I can, then I see the quality of some work that clients are actually paying for from other studios and realise I can do better.
  7. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    *That's exactly what I do, but then I have to in a way as I'm not a web developer and clients don't want to pay enough to cover my costs and a developer's costs that I'd have to hire. They are usually more than happy with a nice premium WP website so, it's a win all round I suppose. How much do you / would you charge for doing for that? I guess it is a lot cheaper than you building a site from scratch (obviously). I never really know how much do charge for that kind of 'work.'

    I think it's every designer's dream to open their own official studio, but you need a substantial client base to get things off the ground. I don't charge via hourly rates, unless I need to on small jobs, but what I did over the years is increase my hourly rate by £5 every January, I have frozen my rates for the past couple of years as I think I have reached the point where clients sometimes find it a bit pricey (which it is not) but are still happy to pay due to the value, quality and service they recieve. I don't think I can go any higher without my rates putting them off or potential new clients being scared away by my rates. Saying that, my rates are very reasonable in my opinion. I'd love to charge more and go after bigger clients, but that's easier said than done and I would hate to risk losing the clients I already have over money. Generally speaking the bigger the client the harder they are to attract for obvious reasons.

    I'd need to assemble a team to have any realistic chance.
  8. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I've seen other developers charging around £350 to £400 for something like that so I'd aim within that region. That generally covers set-up (including sorting out their web hosting and getting a database running) installing appropriate plugins, and maybe even adding in content (though you could show them how to do it and leave it with them).

    If they request extra functionality or changes to code that require you to edit source or CSS, then I'd charge them a fair wack more since you're now into development time. With fixed fee jobs you should be charging a decent wedge anyway because you assume the risk of how long it will take.

    Some might say that £400 to install and set-up a Wordpress theme is too much, but the client isn't paying for time, they're paying for expertise and value. The value is, they get an editable site up and running in a matter of hours at a fraction of the cost to design and develop from scratch.
  9. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I think £400 for a site that's up and running that you can manage yourself is pretty good going even compared with the DIY sites like wix when you factor the time to actually do it yourself and the fact it'd probably look shit.

    I think that'd be a good service to offer.
  10. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Exactly, I've designed and built sites from scratch for clients in the past for £750 and it's not really a feasible option in order to do a decent job, especially with the code (I don't like to rely on frameworks too much). For half the cost, the client gets much more, and you have a fraction of the workload. You can potentially do two or three sites in a day and relax for the rest of the week.
  11. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I usually charge around £500. Too much? This is to cover costs as you've mentioned, but more than anything; time. I'm not as experienced with WP as designers that work with them on a weekly basis, so it probably takes me at least twice as long to put together a site, to the point where it is up and running without any hitches. Also, I don't get this type of web work very often, but maybe I should start promoting my services for this much more.
  12. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    That's not for me to say. ;) Just be sure you're charging clients based on the value of the service you're providing for them, rather than your efficiency or lack of. Basically I think from a client's perspective £500 is a good price to pay for the above service, whether it takes you 5 minutes or 5 hours.

    If you're charging more simply because it takes you longer to complete because of your own lack of experience, then I'd look at gaining experience to become faster. It's not really fair to pass those additional hours onto the client.
    @GCarlD likes this.
  13. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    @Paul Murray

    Yes, that's very true. But I got to that fee by judging roughly how long I think it will take me to completely the job, the general service I provide and to cover costs + any unforeseen issues. More importantly, bare in mind, this was before I knew the 'going rate' for this kind of work. I guess I wasn't too far off with my pricing.
  14. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    I just saw a job ad for a Graphic Designer.

    The Candidate:
    Working in this fast-paced and highly creative position, you’ll be responsible for designing a kick ass range of only the coolest and sexiest emails, affiliate promotions and website graphics – using your knowledge of fashion to showcase the latest trends in a way that makes our customers scream for more.
    With a killer portfolio and a passion for hot creative work, you’ll love fashion, retail and product. You’ll also have strong experience with a range of design packages, with advanced knowledge of Photoshop (experience with Illustrator would also be useful).
    With an awesome understanding of layout and typography, you’ll have strong attention to detail with the ability to work closely with the Creative Manager in building a brand image that makes us melt with aesthetic pleasure.
    You will be innovative, working alongside the Creative Manager, you will bring the brands vision to life using your knowledge to best showcase and complement our hot campaign and editorial imagery.
    Our girl is a rule breaker with a taste for only the hottest things in life!
    Essential skills:

      • Fluent in Adobe Indesign, Photoshop and illustrator
      • A portfolio demonstrating excellent layout skills and a keen eye for detail
      • Excellent communication skills
      • Must be a team player with a positive attitude
    If you believe you can break rules in style and have the passion with kick ass attitude to go with it, send us over an email showing us how you can rock our world!
    (Include a CV and examples of your work or a link to an online portfolio)

    Job Type: Full-time

    Required experience:
    • Graphic Designing: 2 years
    Salary: £13,000.00 /year

    I mean.... WTF!?!
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    thats not even minimum wage based on a 40 hour week..... actually you could earn more doing the bins.
    scotty likes this.
  16. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Sadly I bet they were inundated with applicants, even with the 2+ years experience requirement. They can pay so little because there's always someone who will work for that amount.

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