Florida Web Design

What should a graphic designer charge for their designs?

I live in Orlando, Florida and I do graphic design work in my own time, but people have been asking me to design things like business cards for them, logos, etc. What should I charge for my designs? Whats a good starting charge?
Chris: email me at hdawnielle@aim.com and I’ll show you some of my stuff.

You want to base your costs on your charge by the hour, though many designers offer flat rates based on time. The big killer for a designer, that they don’t calculate for early on, is turn-arounds. So, let’s say you are doing a business card. You need to come up with an estimate for how many hours it will take. It might take only four hours if they want nothing fancy, up to sixteen or more if they want something customized or unusual, or if they want a total branding package. But lets say they already have a logo and want you to integrate it into a fairly stylized but straightforward card. Perhaps that would take eight hours inclusive of time to send to the printer. Figure into your estimate about two turn-arounds so the client can approve work, give feedback (which they ALWAYS do). Each turn-around is about half the length of the last. So that means that this business card will take 8+4+2 hours = 14 hours. Say you charge $35 an hour (which is lowballing, but may be a way to get a job in a competitive market), that means that you would bid around $500 to design a very nice business card, and this does not count the cost of printing. NOW in today’s economy, many people will opt to just do business cards on their ink jet printer with those pre-scored cards. In the case you are dealing with someone who is leaning towards that, and you still want that client, you need to consider if A. you can work faster and still do a good job B. are willing to work for only $30, even $20 an hour. You do NOT want to cut out charging for turn-around time EVER, and in fact you should build in that after a couple of turn-arounds you will charge double your normal rate or something, to prevent whiny indecisiveness. Sometimes it is smarter to sell a whole branding package (biz cards, stationary, envelopes, web banners and coffee cups or whatever) and charge much more, as it could break down to being a better deal for them for you to design all of it at once.

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