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Running over your estimate....

I'm usually pretty accurate estimating the time it takes me to design a website. The trouble I'm having is consistantly getting my estimates correct for logo designs that I'm doing.

Since going freelance I've had logo projects where I've nailed the concept after the first few ideas have been shown, and I've had others (like one I'm currently working on) that has run 2 days over my estimated time. I guess sometimes it just takes longer to reach an idea/concept that the client likes.

How do you guys price logo design projects so as to avoid this?

Also going back to the example of the logo I'm currently working on that's over run by a massive 2 days - I know I need to get more money for this, but am a little reluctant in case it jeopardizes my relationship with the client. I also had a bad experience in a similar situation a few months back....any advice?

Tom Sound

Active Member
It is an estimate after all so if it's through the work taking longer for genuine reasons then it should be negotiable. I know what you mean though, it does depend on the client. You could always over estimate the next one to compensate.


Senior Member
Like most of these dilemmas, the answers come with experience. You may decide to begin working these projects on an hourly rate basis, or you might accept the give and take and realise that things balance out in the end.

Like you say some projects run shorter than you expect other run longer, but as a whole what you lose on one job you gain on the other, so are you really losing out?

As long as this kind off balance is struck where is the harm in keeping going with your current system and using them to gain a better understanding of estimating your time project to project.
Thanks for the replies guys.

Do you think then that I'd be wrong to say to my client that they've run out of time and that any further amends / changes will be charged at my hourly rate?
I do everything (excluding Web Maintenance) on a fixed price.

Just makes things so much easier!

If I find that I have spent far too much time on one project, I just increase the fixed price for that element on the next quote.
As a client I would expect a fixed cost and a maximum number of amendments (sliding scale), with a known cost for extra revisions - waived if the designer did not work to spec

eg First 3 revisions included in fixed price - extra revisions at £x per revision

There is a difference between a revision of an entire design and the revision of subtleties within a design.


Senior Member
Depending on how much your estimate was priced at and how much you can go over it theoretically should matter too much becuase the logos that you get nailed in the first concept or two will give you extra time for the ones that you dont.

Perhaps offer logo design in stages, i.e. 3 concepts, 5 concepts, 7 concepts each with a certain amount of changes....
Only 2 days over? Count your lucky stars its only 2 days mate.

I have been doing the rebranding for a client of their entire product range- a big money gig let me tell you (Well, my biggest to date). Last week they Oked the final concepts then remembered that they needed to show their subsidiary partners in Belgium the new packaging...well, you guessed it, the Belgians hated the new designs and demanded that everything get redone from scratch- 3 months of work down the toilet!

Problem is signed a contract for a fixed fee (which included unlimited revisions! Silly me!) and so there is no more money coming...losing my socks on this one!

The punch-line is that they went right back to my first concept (the one they rejected initially) and have asked for the new design to be based on that! I was right all along hehe.

Thankfully my margins are quite high and my overheads are quite low so I can hopefully absorb the losses.