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How Much Does Design Cost?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by Tony Hardy, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    There's always a lot of discussion about how much you should charge your time at. A lot of clients don't appreciate your pricing, and a lot of designers seem to have some stigma attached to discussing it.
    I try to be open and honest about everything I do so I'm interested to see who's charging what and why?

    This isn't a thread to flame members charging lower or higher than you. It's a thread to make us think and initiate sensible discussion :)
    At the minute, I'm billing out at £15 per hour. I know, some will say that's fairly low, but technically I've only been trading 6 months, and at that rate, it's paying my bills and things. Prices are busy getting reviewed though!
    Also, who does and doesn't work an hourly basis? I have an hourly rate, but I only use it to calculate the price of an overall job. I hate quoting out in hours and would rather give a flat rate for the job to be completed. Then, additional extras on top!
  2. si_p

    si_p Junior Member

    I vary the price depending on the client and the nature of the job.

    I have done simple web banners for £30 as they only take an hour for a small company, up to charging production companies in Qatar £2000 for two days of After Effects and C4D work.
    I agree with you Tony that its good to use an hourly rate to calculate an overall price for a job, I then add in the contract/quote that any work asked for that is not quoted for is billed at my hourly rate on top.
  3. wac

    wac Senior Member

    What design is worth and what you charge are seldom the same thing. The same goes for any self-employed profession. My hourly rate is £30 but it could conceivably be a lot less if I was getting 10 solid hours a day.
    Also, most people don’t like to be charged by the hour so after an initial period where I would give people a per hour quote for a logo or website, I now give them a solid price regardless of how long it takes based on an average of how long previous projects have taken.
    Of course this means some people pay a little more than 30 and some people pay a little less but I’ve got far more commissions from giving a solid figure than by giving an hourly rate and trying to explain that the final cost really depends on their decisiveness and for god’s sake, never use the phrase ‘how long’s a piece of string’.
  4. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    Someone once said to me "Add a zero on the end of your price/rate and you'll lose nine out of ten of your clients but you'll make the same living from doing a tenth of the work.
    Never tried this but I'm gonna.
    To Add:
    The company I'm in-housing for at the moment just told me they were paying out between £60 and £80 per hour for web and graphic design and "were nowhere as good as you" which has made me rethink things a bit.
  5. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    It really does depend on the type of work.
    I wouldn't charge the same hourly rate to re-render an image compared with me modelling a scene. The first is literally my pc sitting there doing all the work while I keep a check on it and the second is me working with the client and/or working from their plans etc. It not only takes more time but more effort and skills.
    If I'm working on an hourly rate I would charge a little higher than my 'base' rate to cover unexpected overheads and a little lower if I'm taken on a retainer/pre purchased number of hours because I know I'm getting x hours and this lowers overheads.
    Another thing is how quickly a client wants it, if a client wants something in a shorter time frame it may mean I need to do some extended days/nights so I would charge more for 'unsociable hours' while if someone is a bit more relaxed on the time frame allowing me to fit in around other work I would charge a bit less.
  6. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I like to avoid hourly rates where possible, I don't like being in the position where I've worked hard to get something done before a deadline, and then to be penalised for it by being paid less. I think for more complicated projects where there is so much that can go wrong or right with the project and is very difficult to actually estimate a completion date for anyway, it might be more beneficial to have an hourly or weekly rate where you're expected to work x amount of hours a day or something.

    As Levi does, I prefer to base the price per project, i.e. if they want it quicker then I will charge more. That's largely for web work though, for smaller things like print designs, I would definitely charge per project and not per hour, it just eliminates that aspect of the client having to worry about whether or not they are going to get burned. True, I have to build in conditions, i.e. x amount of revisions, but I think it's worth it.
    GilmoreVisuals likes this.
  7. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    I also have to do this! Much prefer a flat rate but I like using an hourly rate to estimate the flat rate, much easier :)
  8. sureewoong

    sureewoong New Member

    That's a tricky question. Definitely not lower than £10.
    But I prefer to charge base on per project rather than per hour because when I charge per hour, I spend too much time tracking
    the time I spend on the work.
    While charging per project, I can put more focus on the project. This is what I think, I am selling services, knowledge, skills, etc. My time is not for sale.
    Thats a good idea :)
  9. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    It's my favourite way to do it. Right, "that's 30 hours x £15" = £450 = flat project rate. Keeps everyone happy!
  10. sureewoong

    sureewoong New Member

    Hi guys, I've found an article in David Airey's site and I think it might be useful to share it here. Check out the article here
  11. DavoSmith

    DavoSmith Member

    I've been thinking about ths quite a bit lately. Came across a design brief on PeoplePerHour, don't now if anyone has ever used this before. Someone had a "logo design" brief, and their budget was £10, asking for a cheap but very effective design. I mean, come one. That is the value placed on a logo for a new company??? I'm not an expensive freelancer by any stretch, fitting in to the £15 - £20 per hr bracket, but that just seems absurd to me.
    Just imagine how many of the logo jobs you would have to be awarded on PPP to even come close to making a living.
  12. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    I hate People Per Hour. There's no need for sites like that. Devalue the industry. They'll get some muppet to do it for them too.
    DavoSmith likes this.
  13. DavoSmith

    DavoSmith Member

    Man, it had i think 11 proposals. Seriously dumb business to be offering your work for £10 flat. If I was taking briefs such as that I'd have had my house reposessed by now 100%
  14. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    I'd need to be creating 40 logos a week to survive haha.
    ilovedoinglayouts and DavoSmith like this.
  15. scotty

    scotty Well-Known Member

    That's not to be sniffed at. Just follow this simple formula:
    Business Name > MS Word > Comic Sans + 3D Effect + Rainbow Fill = Done!
    You could pull up to £120 per hour by my reckoning.
    ilovedoinglayouts and DavoSmith like this.
  16. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Or you could just set up a photoshop actionscript so it does the same 'effects' on your text for every logo lol
    ilovedoinglayouts and DavoSmith like this.
  17. shaunalynn

    shaunalynn Active Member

    I'm two years out of school and my hourly rate is $65/hr. While I know that is high for someone so soon out of school, I have about 15 total awards under my belt in that time for various projects I have worked on and so I use that towards my experience. Not to mention I have to take into effect cost of living and such.
    But for illustrations I'm sticking more to a flat rate based upon the project in particular only because I've had experiences with clients not caring for hourly. I include a buffer area in it for extra hours that may be incurred for extra changes beyond the scope of the project so they are aware.
  18. The Simulator

    The Simulator Active Member

    I charge £25/hour most of the time (less for some of my good regular clients).
    Like most people though I work out roughly the amount of hours a project will take, then add on 15% more time for client indecisions etc and give them a flxed price for the project.
  19. danielmasoomi

    danielmasoomi New Member

    I dont do web design and I dont know how good your client base is or how well know you are but if i can ask. When you quote a big company £2000 how often do they say yes and is there a big debate and battle involved to keep that price there?
    I have only dealt with small clients while at uni and most of them squirm about and what it all for free never mind anything over £100
    ball ache most of the time. especially when your starting out you feel like you have to give in as the work can be few and far between at first.
  20. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    You have to know your value. Anybody worth your time won't squirm at a fair price. Don't go trying to rip people off, but if a client is (EDIT: NOT) willing to pay a 3 figure sum for a logo design, they're not worth bothering with.

    Just out of interest Daniel, what are you showing prospective clients?

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