“Why so damn much?”. Four words and a question mark that, at some point in time in your life, came out of your mouth after hearing or seeing the price of a particular item or service. This all-so-common question reflects the viewpoint of the person being charged a lot of money by someone else who’s capable of accomplishing a particular task, providing a service, access to a certain product and so on. Especially graphics costing so damn much!
While it may be easy to assume that the person charging a large amount of money is “greedy”, more than likely, his or her cost boils down to the time and value placed on a particular skill and the speed in which that skill is executed. This applies to many freelance jobs, including graphic design. In this article, we’ll answer the question “Why do graphics cost (graphic design) so damn much?”
First, the hourly cost of hiring a freelance graphic designer depends on five main factors: PROJECT TYPE, DESIGN ELEMENTS (or what tools and software are necessary for the project), EXPERIENCE, REVISION PROCESS (or how long the freelancer takes to make changes to the project) and LOCATION. However, the lower your budget, the higher the pressure will be to find a freelancer that will get the job done in the time that you want.
On the flip side of things, skilled graphic designers charge on average 23% more than standard graphic designers, and can charge up to US$150 per hour. Rates like those can be ridiculously tough for small businesses and solo-preneurs. Keep in mind those numbers do not include bonuses, overtime or the revision process that some designers may charge separately. It’s also common for the client to be billed in increments (such as 25 or 50% upfront and the remainder at the completion of the project).
Secondly, the more research needed in the pre-design phase of the project, the more expensive it gets. Flat fee pricing, where a designer can charge a fixed, per-project fee for a visual, should include a predetermined number of revisions. If you’re the type to require a lot of revisions, just so your project comes out as perfect as humanly possible, the designer may then bill you for the additional hours worked. This can range anywhere from US$20 to $150 per hour. The key to keep costs at a minimum is to manage expectations and agree what an ideal revision process looks like from the start.
Additionally, a graphic designer’s salary will depend significantly on his or her level of experience. In other words, a graphic designer with more years of experience than an entry-level one will earn more money. There’s also the possibility of a “hidden fee” that’ll come with hiring a full-time graphic designer, where they’ll want a subscription to software like Canva, Inkscape, Pixlr or Adobe Creative Cloud.
Oftentimes, a graphic designer will shop for the best prices and contact several print-shops before giving you a quote. Usually included in the price that they charge is the time spent at these print-shops asking for proofs, bringing them to you for approval if requested, and picking up and delivering the material once it’s printed.
With regards to the length of time a professional graphic designer should take on a project:
PRESENTATION: A professional-looking presentation should take at least 3 – 4 working days to create.
INFOGRAPHICS: The design phase should take around 4 -5 working days, since a lot of time is usually spent on strategizing, ideation and planning.
ANNUAL REPORT: The design phase should take at least 8 working days – including creative strategy, layout and typesetting.
E-BOOK: it should take between one to two weeks to properly design and format it (of course, that includes its cover design and overall layout).
You should keep in mind that freelance graphic designers receive no benefits, are constantly seeking out new clients, and are usually wearing a lot of hats. They’re not just the creative, but also their own secretary, salesperson, customer service representative and so on. They do ALL the work, and it’s included in their hourly rate. The price each designer charges per hour varies according to their education, professional experience and skill level.
Also, the complexity of a project and the number of revisions needed are the two main factors that will increase the number of hours needed to complete it. For example, designing a poster for a one-time event will generally require less time than creating the corporate identity and branding of a company (which usually includes its logo, business cards and letterheads).
See what Graphics are right for you, by taking our Quiz right here (coming back soon).
So what other reasons can you think of why graphics cost so damn much? Let us know in the comments below. Feel free to share this article so that more people will be aware of our services, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more updates, free resources and specials.
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