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How long should a designer take on designing an artwork?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by whatsoutthere, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. whatsoutthere

    whatsoutthere New Member

    [FONT=verdana, geneva, lucida, lucida grande, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Hiya
    Please help! I am really confused about how to charge people for design work.

    Currently I am designing a postcard/A5 double sided flyer for a client so my questions are:

    How long should a postcard design front and back take?
    And what is the norm on charging for something like this?.

    The client has given me their logo and a brief of what is the purpose of this flyer and their website link to do research about them. They would like to see what I can come up with which probably means they don't really know what they want.

    I am a graphic print designer who loves trying to create new things and sometimes gets too passionate about the design that I end up using more hours than the client probably needs.

    I have been working in the design industry for roughly 2 years now as a freelancer in a company and on small monthly contracts.
    This is a client I would like to win over so I don't want to over charge or under charge him either.

    Please let me know what do you think?

    If you have anymore questions then please do ask me.
  2. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    For quoting and pricing it's a simple mathematical formula really. I don't tend to work on hourly rates and always go in at a fixed price per job. Just seems to make more sense to me that way. So I go;

    [Hourly Rate] x [Number of Estimated Hours + 1/2 again] (email time, phonecalls, revisions) = £xxx.xx

    As far as how long a flyer should take, I guess it depends on how much needs to be on there and what exactly they need. Always hard when the client doesn't know what they want. In that case, I'd put down 2-3 full days of work I think. Covers all your bases.
  3. whatsoutthere

    whatsoutthere New Member

    What is the norm price for a double sided postcard flyer?

    Hi Tony

    Thanks for your response.

    The mistake I have done is I have just taken the brief and started designing and given the client 5 revisions and now waiting for a reply on them.

    I have taken no upfront deposits and done no negotiations. I was worried about losing them if the price is too high or too low.
    Now I am worried that the client won't pay if they don't like the designs or may think I am charging too much.

    I don't know if it is too expensive to charge for just a postcard for 3 days work. That would be like 336 pounds. Too much right?!

    Would you pay for that much? I mean what is a good price that wouldn't sound too expensive... and the norm?

  4. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Market forces come into this as well and, in my experience, no one is going to pay £336 for a flyer design.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  5. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    This is true. Cost varies from job to job, designer to designer. Ultimately what it comes down to is what a client is willing to pay, and whether you can accomodate that budget. If you do a flyer for £40 and it takes you 2 days, that's not very good business. But, if you charge £40 and do it in an hour, well that's £40 for an hours work.
  6. whatsoutthere

    whatsoutthere New Member

    How much would you charge for a flyer design?

    That is true no one would pay for such a high price.

    True that design varies and depends on the designer. It is annoying that there is no fixed average price I could refer to on things like this.

    Anyone knows how to find out?

  7. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    There are different things to factor in. The designer's experience, the amount of work, the timeframe, etc. You're gonna have to just decide on a price and ask for it. If the client pays and it's too little, or if they refuse because it's too high, you''ll have to learn from it and move on.
  8. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    Nobody will be paying £300+ for a flyer. £336 means you must be working at about £14-£15 an hour? When I posted my original post, I was thinking as a rough guide. You do have to use the old noggin a bit too.

    Don't go in at £300 but as Paul said, if you go in at £40 and it still takes the 3 days, it's not good business. You have to weigh up risk/reward/time factors. Different people have different opinions on things.

    Also, always make sure you get a 50% deposit, and, if the cost is low (Under £200-£300) always get 100% of the money up front. I also don't think presenting 5 variations of a flyer is a good idea, as there is too much scope. 2 ideas at the most I think.

    There are zillions of options and ideas to consider, and getting your pricing right is easily one of the hardest jobs (second to designing for yourself). Guess you just have to take the plunge and go for it, if you scare a few off, you probably didn't want that sort of client anyway, so move on.

    It's hard though, definitely. Sorry for being vague :icon_smile:
  9. spottypenguin

    spottypenguin Active Member

    2-3 full days for an A5 flyer??? With all due respect unless you are creating an epic piece of earth-shattering design'esque there is no way it should take that long, even allowing for communication with the client & research.

    Most A5 flyers (I am being generic here) call for a strong front image and impact message with info & contact for the reverse; unless the client has specifically asked for a bespoke illustration to be created your hardest task is finding the right imagery. Personally I normally go in at 2-3 hours. Of course each job needs to be looked at on an individual basis but we still have to be competitive. There are countless printers / design bureaus out there who have set prices for this kind of work. So while we can argue that we are providing a specialised service, the training, experience, dealing with the client individually rather than as a "mass product" etc. the fact is what most of them want is something that "looks good". The most important thing you can do for a client is make them feel that you are working with them and providing something where they think "this guy / girl really understands what we are looking for". I have designed countless flyers / logos that I don't particularly like but my clients have been over chuffed with them and come back.

    Anyway back to the original question, if you Google it you will find muppets offering a double-sided design for £20 :rant: and on average a lot of places charge £50+ for a flyer design (I'm not saying they are any good just talking numbers) - any client who is worth having shouldn't be phased by £60+ for a professional graphic designer
  10. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    Sam, how can you be going in at 2-3 hours to produce a flyer? What are you? Rocket man? :icon_biggrin: You probably use that in just emailing a client back and forward and revisions? Nevermind research and development.

    I think maybe 2-3 days was an ambitious amount, but I guess that comes down to what you're charging. You can only do a flyer in 2-3 hours if there are existing images, e.g nothing at all to source, the company has it's branding and something that you can easily refer too.

    I try not to take on any projects that are less than £100-£200 unless they form part of an existing project, e.g a logo project then building up the livery from there. £60 for a flyer or whatever isn't really even worth the hassle. That might sound arrogant/vein or whatever, but it's probably a full days work for £60...I don't know. Can't say I've experienced it many times.
  11. spottypenguin

    spottypenguin Active Member

    Ok maybe 2-3 was a bit speedy :icon_biggrin: but then again a lot of my clients I have had for years so I kinda intuitively know what they want. Also I worked for many years in a print bureau so it really was production line churning stuff out. I did an A4 trifold for a new guy just before Christmas, emails / research / photo hunting the whole thing took 3hours and he said it is the most professional looking design he has ever had *shrug* ... not boasting just saying.

    I guess it depends on the project too, no way would I be looking at too much refinement / development of an A5 flyer for the local car wash shop.

    I have to say though the most I have ever received for an A5 flyer (design only) was £200; most of them run a mile if I say anything like £125
  12. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    I think that's about realistic. I think I may have jumped the gun over at 2-3 days, but, it's always easier to negotiate down that up! :)
  13. spottypenguin

    spottypenguin Active Member

    Depends on location as well mate, up here in Edinbugger I hardly ever do logo designs for anyone because they all want to pay under £99 - not happening (unless it is a charity / friend / special circumstances). Simlarly if I trot into a business and tell them printing 5k of flyers will be £125 and the design is £125 I would be told a lot more than "och aye the noo". I don't and wont work for peanits but you also have to consider your target market.
  14. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    Aye, totally agree with you there. I just hate it when people make a habit of ripping designers off. I've started looking really hard at everyone that wants to work together. Don't just dive into everything I can anymore.
  15. spottypenguin

    spottypenguin Active Member

    It's a total lack of knowledge / understanding what goes into design. There is a cafe near me who I designed and printed some window vinyls for, the other day I popped in to see of they were updating their menus etc. / could I help etc. and the female partner said: "why would people go to someone like you when they can do it themselves and print it at home?" :icon_rolleyes: - she wasn't being arsey but that is her (and many people's) belief.

    Similarly some guys have just opened a net cafe / phone repair shop, they want flyers, quoted them and they were quite happy until I told them £60 for design (just a single sided A5) and the guy laughed in my face and said "look we did this ourselves for free", queue the production of some nasty Word Art / clipart disgusting thing. I had my portfolio with me, showed him a couple of my designs and while he conceeded "they were very nice" (gee thanks) he said they couldn't justify that amount of money on design when they were able to do it themselves!!!

    People will never understand that bad design costs them far more than good design will bring them.
    viperdesign likes this.
  16. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    That's the nail on the head. As designers though, we have to try and convince clients what it will do and how we can bring them more business.
  17. whatsoutthere

    whatsoutthere New Member

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    I am going between between 100 pounds to 200 pounds. The reason why it is a little high than usual...i think this includes communication, research, creating a side logo with creating illustrations and much more has gone into it.
    If the client had provided all the information and I had to do a simple artwork compilation...then yes 2 to 3 hours.

    Only their website I had to refer to..which was dated anyways.

    Well let's see what the client is willing to pay now!

    I guess I will learn from this and know how to charge in the future...

    Now the client would like to add 10 newspaper ads! another price challenge... Any suggestions? I guess I could do an overall price for her.. Maybe 2 hours each newspaper ad? unless it is only resizing and minor tweaks...

  18. cpcards

    cpcards New Member

    I have worked with lots of graphic designers over the last 20 years and what sets the great ones apart from the good ones are the ones that have a 6th sense. Some just seem to know exactly what a client is looking for with minimal input. I do bits of graphic design, nothing too wonderful and I struggle to grasp what a client wants. Even when I have got lots of details and followed their brief precisely, I have failed to create something they are happy with. I really envy the designers that can do top class work, in next to no time, I guess you either have or don't have the knack.

    Obviously, if you do have the knack, you can earn a lot of money per hour as an hour may be all it takes to to a cracking design that the client loves with little or no alterations...

    From experience with creating designs for plastic cards (probably one of the smallest things to design for) maximum cost we could charge would be around £40 / £45 + vat per design.

    However, because of the current climate (ok ... everyone is skint!) we are offering free design to help people out.
    matobo likes this.
  19. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    When you are new to designing it can be a real problem knowing how long something might take. I have a little timing programme which I use all the time (well most of the time...) so that I can tell exactly how long something takes me and therefore know if I am making money on the artwork or not, and then how much to charge for similar type jobs.

    I generally handle the print for my clients also, so I often give them an all-in price. But I do like to know if I've also made money on the design/artwork. I charge time at £40 ph generally and work from there.
  20. gprovan

    gprovan Member

    This thread just goes to show how things can be very confusing.

    I feel everybody is right in that you have to gauge the time required based on what the client tells and gives you.
    I have a client who usually gives me a very concise and accurate brief with all of the graphics and I've found that I can do double sided leaflets in 2 hours without too much trouble.
    In saying that, there are some who say it's simple "just text" and it can take 8 hours.

    So it really just depends on the brief and the client. :icon_biggrin:

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