Graphic design Pricing

How much should I charge for design? One of the most common questions asked by graphic designers. It is also one of the most difficult to answer.

There are so many factors involved that no answer or formula can be applied to all cases.

The ideal is to have a method, formula or list of pre-set prices, which modify depending on the particular case of the client. Here I leave this method, which works quite well.

1. How to make our price list?

a) To determine our cost per hour. We have to consider our level of expertise to determine a salary per month: Student, Novice, independent experience, with office, etc.

Then in the desired salary base we use the following formula:

(Monthly expenses + monthly wages) ÷ hours worked monthly = PRICE PER HOUR

I recommend visiting a virtual price calculator Freelance Switch:

b) Determine the hours that will take us some projects. For example, the design of a triptych. From experience we know that if the client gives us graphic material (photos, illustrations, etc.) Design we can take X number of hours. If we have to design or take photographs different number of hours. Thus we have different cases for brochure, flyers, etc.

c) Multiply the number of hours proposed by our hourly rate. So then we have a BASIC DESIGN PRICE LIST

Once we have established a price list:

2. Use the rules of good, fast and cheap.

This method is explained very clearly by Jacob Cass in:

The idea is that customers must choose 2 of these 3 words, and this we will take into account to MODIFY OUR COST BASE established in the previous section.

Fast, good and cheap – choose two:


If a client wants to work fast and good then of course we can set our prices at a high level. We have to postpone other work, cancel appointments and meetings and stay up 24 hours to do their jobs.

In this case increased by 15% to your price list


If the customer wants a good inexpensive design then he will have to be patient to get it because they are getting a discounted price … We have other projects to work with customers if they pay the normal price we will give priority to them.

In this case you will probably be lowered to 10% or even 15%, which will be reflected also in time, ie 15% will take longer.


Designers hate to produce low quality designs, but if a customer wants a fast and cheap, then he should expect that the result is far lower. We do not have the time to do the job as good as could be, more than that, hardly receive any benefit on the design.

3. The customer and the location

These factors also help us modify our final price.

a) The value of a design project depends not only on the amount of work that a designer has to put in it. It also depends on BRINGS VALUE TO THE DESIGN TO CUSTOMER. It is not the same an advertisement for a local newspaper, that a notice of the same size but appear nationally and in the mainstream media.

b) Location; as shown in surveys of salaries of designers graphic design costs can vary dramatically depending on the location of the designer. This can be a boon for creative work remotely and keep customers in large cities.

4. Always know the market.

Designer’s duty is to always be in touch with the market and know the maximum and minimum prices.

The four points above to help us have a clear idea of a price list and price as our client. This should help us for what is perhaps even the last point is the most important of all.

5. Always try to deliver the quotes as quickly as possible.

Nothing is more frustrating to customers who do not have a price when needed. This is not to say that the moment is due to give a price as some customers demand. But if you must send a formal quote within a reasonable time that must go from 12 hrs. Remember that there is always someone cheaper and unprofessional that it will do immediately.

I leave you some links that will be useful to go deeper into the topic:

Wage survey in the U.S.:

Salary Survey:

Have any particular method?

Send us your comments and your observations.

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Javier Cantero

Javier Cantero