Designers, charging for your work

Design pricing is not an exact science. There are many factors to take into account when quoting clients for a project: your experience, your skills and talent, how long it will take you to complete the project and, very importantly, how much value you will add to the end result.

First of all you need to have an ‘information gathering’ chat. During this time you will ask questions regarding all sorts of aspects of the project; usually target audience, demographic information, call-to-action, life-span (or shelf-life) etc. Then there are content questions such as; Document spec requirements. Who is writing the copy? Is the client supplying images or will you need to source them? Etc. All of these will have a large impact on the costings of the project and will leave less chance of either party having nasty surprises later on.

Only when you have all of the information can you give a price. Don't short-cut this process, I've done it before and I've seen others do it. It never works out well, trust me. If your client wants to short-cut the process and keeps asking ‘I just want a quick, rough price’, don't be tempted. Just explain that to do your job properly, you need more information up-front before any prices can be given. Anyone who can give instant off-the-cuff prices is not doing their job properly and will be missing vital information. It's like asking a car garage how much a car is – there are too many options available to give one specific price. If a client is persistent then I sometimes give a price range, or say something like ‘Identity prices start at £xxxx and go up from there depending on the scope of the project’. This type of comment can fend off time-wasters who are just looking for the cheapest supplier.

There are a few companies out there who charge £50 for a logo design. I've seen the quality of some of these logos, however that's another topic all together.

More on this next week.