Putting a price tag on design

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How much do you charge for your design services? And how in the world did you come up with those numbers? There are a lot of different factors to consider when establishing your pricing methods as a designer and, frankly, a lot of designers have no clue when it comes to effective pricing.

This post will cover a few solid strategies to help you as you determine how much to charge. If you have any tips to add, please do it!

Investigate the competition

One strategy you could try is investigating your competition’s price tag. After all, anyone who is still in business in your area must know something about pricing.

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But be careful.

After all, what if a company like Redbox would have taken pricing strategy tips from Blockbuster? Sometimes, what the market needs is a complete reworking of pricing strategies. If you can find a way to make more money and have a more attractive price tag than your competition, why not try it?

Interview potential clients

If you don’t like the idea of checking out the price tag of your nearest competition, why not go straight to the source: Your potential clients.

Perhaps you can run a survey online, call potential customers, or even stop in at their office. ask them questions like what they would expect for a web site of a certain magnitude. Ask them how much they think a logo design should cost and how much they would be willing to pay for it. Ask them how much they would be willing to pay a talented graphic designer per the hour. Ask them anything.

As motivation, perhaps you can offer them a discount on their first project with you or something similar. After all, you always want to be careful when discounting design work.

Base it solely on your goals

If you’re a complete introvert, you can try just basing your pricing on your own business goals. Dedicate an entire afternoon one day to establishing your pricing strategy. I know accounting and budgeting are most likely not your strong suit, but it’s got to be done!

Figure out how much you want to make this year, this month, this week even. Then factor in your current income, your current expenses, and anticipated expenses.

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Are you bored yet?

I know, but it’s really important. Next factor in the number of hours you want to work per week. Last, you should be able to figure out how much you have to charge per hour, per week, etc. to meet your monthly and yearly goals.

It’s going to be an afternoon filled with numbers and formulas instead of typography and HTML5, but you can do it!

A whole slew of other factors

There are tons of other factors to consider. For example: should you charge by the hour or by the project, are you going to be available 24/7 for your clients?, what about vacation days or pro bono work?.

Putting a price tag on design can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. What tips can you share with us about pricing out design services. What questions do you have? What has worked or failed for you? Share a comment so we can all learn together.

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is an entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, and the founder of this blog. You can contact him via twitter at @prestondlee.

Leave a Comment



  1. Great post Preston.

    I found that when we started out we were priced very cheaply and got cliets that where only out to save money.

    We then re looked at our pricing and found a middle ground, where we weren’t the cheapest anymore but we were not as expensive as bigger companies and agencies. The result was that we started getting more work from a better caliber of client.

    • Great information. Graham, do you mind sharing what you were charging and what you changed your pricing to? Maybe logo design as an example.

      I am running in to the exact same situation and truely like designing, so gaining a higher caliber client is what I am really looking to do.

      Thank you!

  2. @Graham
    Exactly what happened to me, upped my fees and noticed that I was happier with the new clients I was getting.


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  2. Putting a price tag on design…

    How much do you charge for your design services? And how in the world did you come up with those numbers? There are a lot of different factors to consider when establishing your pricing methods as a designer and, frankly, a lot of designers have no clu…


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