Freelance Graphic Design

i’m sure a couple of people here do some freelance graphic design, so i was wondering what fees you usually charge?

i’ve done a few flyers etc. for a friends clubnight, usually he pays me £15 for a poster and postcard flyer based on the same design, but i do it partly as a favour. anyway he recommended me to another guy for whom im doing a label design for a promo-cd for his label.

so i was wondering what you guys think it’s reasonable for me to charge, bearing in mind i do have a visual arts degree, but im not actually a professional graphic designer or agency and i only do this on a casual basis - so i would expect to be fairly cheap, but not free. does £30 or £40 sound reasonable? i think i spent 5 or so hours on it, and there are a few changes to make still, but to be fair i was slightly rusty on photoshop having not used it for ages, so i could probably have done it abit quicker - hence i probably can’t charge an exact hourly rate.

here’s the actual test piece i did:

http://www.loadsavedelete.com/g/%5b%202008…omo_draft04.jpg

this is the background image, which i’ll also be throwing in free

http://www.loadsavedelete.com/g/%5b%202008…um_pic_only.jpg

/\ any feedback on the actual piece would be useful too, aside from neatening up the positioning of everything, is there anything i should add/change? i can’t really move the head in the background off centre much because the image doesn’t extend too far beyond the edge of what you see, so i’d have to stretch it and it wouldn’t look as good

also i was wondering how would you go about making fancier looking text/fonts in a dance music style (or can you point me to any useful tutorials… i had a google but i couldnt find this specifically?)

I consider the following charges reasonable:check out what average hour rates are for such jobs and charge one or two quids less then multiply by the amount of time you spend on it.
If such folks ask 100 pounds/hour, you might wanna charge only 50 pounds an hour and you would still be reasonable.

You can also adapt rates to (estimated) average income of your customer… the more popular they are, the higher demands you can make. In that case you are reasonable priced for every type of promotion.

Maybe you were slightly rusty, but then again you reflect on something like that and that alone makes you better than many people in any industry you could name.

“Being a professional” sometimes means knowing what you’re doing, and sometimes it just means acting like you do.

Also, consider that you can ALWAYS lower prices. You can NOT raise them as easily. It’s very easy being taken for granted, and you ought to find the fine line between greed and being too humble.

That’s my 2 sunday morning cents anyway :D

This is a basic economics and marketing question: the general rule is charge what you can get away with, and don’t charge what you can’t get away with. (And “don’t piss people off” - my own personal addition to the rule!)

Your learning process is quickened if you have a lot of job offers: some will find your higher prices acceptable, some will not. The balancing act is maximising (price per job)x(number of jobs). Clients often negotiate prices down: let them do this to a limited extent so you can max the number of jobs while learning what range of prices is acceptable.

A good rule of thumb is to tweak prices upward for each new client. Annually, index your prices upward only in line with inflation so your existing clients don’t feel cheated, and so you are not tempted to ditch old reliables :)

I do freelance also. I currently charge around $30 AUD per hour, and an A2 poster takes me between 4 and 8 hours to get to an exceptional result. I have found that my smaller clients are pretty happy with the pricing. A poster does not leave my hands for under $100 unless there is exceptional exposure (and thus exposure -> new clients -> invoke the new client = new pricing rule).

Good luck.

cheers the tips, alas it seemed there was something of misunderstanding; the guy was expecting it to be free… but neglected to mention this until i’d finished the design and told him how much i wanted for it.

i suppose its partly my own fault for not laying out my terms from the beginning, so its all experience one way or another… i didnt give him the finished thing so i can recycle it into something else anyway… :wink:

Yes thats right, never work for free unless it is for a friend or really will give you more work…

What you should not have used on that piece is the bevel on the text, be careful with bevels they can look cheap…

Over here the local chamber of commerce has a booklet with what the average fairs/hourly rates are in service jobs. (Mind you, this is a non-GB chamber of commerce.) Check out if your local chamber of commerce has such info as well.

A quick conversion shows about 30 quid/hour for a starter (so put yourself at 25 or so).

If it’s a simple job, keep it that way, if it’s slightly harder multiply it by 1.5 (37,50/hour), if it’s a rush-job (short deadline) or very hard for you to do, double the fare (50/hour).

But before you even start thinking about telling him hourly rates and stuff: check if he has a certain budget. Sometimes your hourly fare doesn’t fit their budget, so you two should negotiate about a fixed price which both fits in his budget and is worth your time (and be generous, don’t claim the full budget ;)).