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Did you know that graphic designers can earn more doing what they do best? No guys, I’m not talking about doing other jobs or side businesses. I’m referring to the fact that graphic designers can earn more while working in the field of graphic design. Since graphic designers are a specialized lot, they need to understand how to get the maximum out of their expertise. While it is still a question of debate that graphic designers are value and paid, there are some creative ways that graphic designers can employ and earn more than what they are earning right now.

Here are 7 innovative ways through which you can rake maximum benefits out of your graphic designing careers:


1. Add more value to your work:

The concept of adding value is extremely helpful for graphic designers. Value addition is the price that your clients are willing to pay more than your standard price. Suppose you charge $200 for a logo design, you can increase the value of your work by adding more quality or speed and charge $500 for the same project. The most important part of adding value to your work is to differentiate your style and methodology so that your clients are willing to pay you more than before. There are many clients that value quality over money.

2. Maintain a healthy network of designer friends:

Social media for graphic designers has been more or a blessing and has allowed them to interconnect with the graphic design field. Popular social media sites like twitter and facebook help designers build a healthy network of designer friends from all spheres of the world. For example, if you a logo designer, a web designer friend of yours could refer his clients to you for a logo. Similarly, you could refer your clients for a website to your developer friend.


3. Keep long-term relationships with client:

On many occasions graphic designers underestimate the benefits of a stable and long-term relationship with their clients. They just focus of the relationship till the end of a single project. There is a concept of retaining your potential clients. Instead of trying to earn more by finding clients, graphic designers should develop a long-term relationship with their existing clients so as to retain them for future endeavors.

4. Provide extra services:

Although this can be called adding value to your design services, but I would like to call it supplementary services. For example graphic designers can entice their clients by offering them multiple services at the cost of one, or a bundle package like get a website design and obtain a complimentary logo free of cost. Not only will this attract more clients, but will also act as an incentive for retaining existing clients as well.


5. Segment your clients:

Another mistake that many graphic designers make is that they keep a static fee for all clients. That is they charge each customer on the same basis. Instead of keeping universal charges, designers must learn to segment their clients. Opt on charging more from big clients like multinationals and less from small business owners. This type of technique is known as market segmentation, dividing your clients into niches. To get an idea of how high can multinationals be charged, refer to my ‘famous rebranding cost’ post. On the other hand, keeping charges less for lower segments will earn more clients who have tight budgets.


6. Be a Jack of all trades:

Although the saying is “Jack of all trades, master of none”, I believe in the ‘Master of one, Jack of all” philosophy. Being a master at your area of expertise will earn you more, but having command over all aspects of the business will earn you more prospects. For example, if you are a web designer, don’t stick to being just that. Learn other concepts of the graphic design field and develop into a versatile designer. Keep knowledge about logo designing, brochure designing and other aspects of graphic designing as well. This will earn you more clients and projects.

7. Spread your knowledge and expertise:

So you’re a professional graphic designer? Share your knowledge and expertise by writing articles related to your areas of interest and specialization. Not only will this rake additional money, it will add credentials to your graphic design portfolio. Moreover, spreading knowledge broadens you horizons and you get to learn more and harness you skills more. If believe that you have the ability to teach others, you can also opt on delivering lectures on graphic designing which is a well paid work as well.


Best of Luck to all Graphic Designers!!

I hope that these above mentioned points will help you guys acquire the maximum benefits out of your graphic designing careers.

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. Matin On September 25th, 2010 at 2:29 am

    very helpful!

  1. lawoman On September 25th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Regarding point #1 in your article: How are you adding value or earning more by charging $200 for a logo design? That is why graphic designers are under-valued to begin with because people are willing to charge ridiculously low prices.

  1. val berger On September 27th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    This list is anything but innovative. there is not a single point, thats somehow innovative. Yet, those are quite good points, but most of the people who are working in the business for more than 2 Years may already have figured out most of them

  1. Manz On September 27th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Agree with some; not sold on all.
    #5 is important if you want to take on various types of clients – from blue chip to volunteer organisations for example. If you want to fix your rates, you’ll be focussed on a niche market, which is fine also… it’s how some major firms do it – run with a handful of blue chip clients only.
    #6 is an interesting one… I’ve been playing around with a post myself that pertains to that, but still working on the message I want to deliver… if I have one!

  1. Eko On September 28th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hi, thanks for the tips…really useful for me

  1. Julio Verani On September 28th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Iawoman, i guess the “suppose” term, used right before the “you charge…” means that is an hipothetical situation, specially because true designers don´t have one specific fixed price for this kinda project.

  1. Tushar Garg On October 1st, 2010 at 4:12 am

    This article is pretty much common sense. Though I agree with the Jack of all trades philosophy,

  1. G3 Creative On October 1st, 2010 at 5:09 am

    Nothing new in the above list but for new graphic designer’s worth reading.

  1. T On October 1st, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Who the hell charges $200 for logo design? Even $500 is pushing the low end! What are you? An internet insta-logo generator?

  1. Roy McClanahan On October 2nd, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Most of these “innovative ways” possess just the opposite trait and degrading to the serious graphic designer. Number 4 is a disaster! NEVER… and I mean NEVER give your design talents away for ANY reason. If you are talented, and we know when we are, then your creations have a market-value as well as the billable value. Giving away yoiur design is implying it’s worth nothing. Add value by ADDING to the design items requested, not cancelling them out.

    Numbers 5 and 6 aren’t much better. As for number 5, you should NEVER charge one client differently than another for billable hours… only for the market-value of the work. For instance, if you design a logo for a local coffee shop, that would have less of a market-value than designing a logo for a worldwide insurance company, even though the billable hours may be the same, the market value will be drastically differnt.

    And for number 6, If you are a key-person operation (one-person show), concentrate only on the areas of discipline you are good at… DO NOT DEVIATE FROM YOUR MAIN AREAS OF TALENT.. especially on your web site. Doing so will turn clients off because they want “personalized service” for WHAT THEY ALREADY KNOW YOU OFFER. The only exception to this is when you are operating a do-it-all company with teams of staff

  1. Craig Risk On October 3rd, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Very useful information, got it marked as a favorite!

  1. CJWitte On October 5th, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Interesting Article. I find it intriguing that many designers find that someone paying $200 for a logo design is “too much”. Two wods… WAKE UP. 99Designs, and LogoWorks, and tons of other companies are going to eat your lunch. Your value is going to be in providing consultative, personalized services. Logos, and other design services are being commodotized. Unless you have some unbelievable reputation (who does?), then the days of $150 and hour for design services are DEAD.

    And, sorry Roy, you can’t be more wrong about altering price. Pay attention to what big companies do. They charge a little (or even give something away for free) to get you in the door. Once you become a customer, you get charged full rate, unless it’s a slow time. Major corporations have huge overhead, so $150/hr isn’t much to them. A mid size company may be willing to pay $75/ hour. Start ups can’t afford eaither of those, usually. If you want the business, charge the rate they are willing to pay. Negotiation 101.

    And, i think Charlie is saying diversify. Of course you want to be known for something specific, but if you can expand your traits, you can expand your business. And if you really want to grow? Stop designing, start leading, hire another good designer, and sell, consult, and sell some more. Read the “E-Myth”- best book ever.

  1. Rick Mainstreethost On October 13th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    CJ you bring up a good point, the fee charged is what it is. The graphic design field is so watered down with so-called designers just because they have a design program and think they know what they are doing. That is why some companies are so shocked when they find out the fee for a real designer/consultant.

    At we understand this concept and are trying to fight all the time to try and explain it to the clients.

    Leading is the key here, your client needs leadership and guidance and the years of experience is what they pay for.

  1. Roy McClanahan On October 17th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    First of all, CJWitte (is that your real name?? Googled you and didn’t see a peep) I don’t understand the beginning of your comment. It kinda waffles and it’s obviously written incorrectly. Buuuuut… haha… you do what you want in the altered billing arena… God help you when another price-searching client discovers they were charged a much higher rate for similar work.

    I believe that so many of us are so good at what we do, we forget that our expertise (as well as our time) actually have a value to them. But with all these super-low priced graphics out there, I guess we all just need to figure out what side of the fence we’re on… a graphic designer that offers low prices… or high performance. Say what you want… but you really can’t have both. You can browse over those quickie logo sites all day and think to yourself… “Wow… some of those are really nice!” But when it comes down to pleasing a quality-minded client (and let me stress the words QUALITY-MINDED…) it’s an entirely different story. Kinda like having war plans all figured out… then it all changes after the first bullet’s fired.

    But as far as price goes, all the years (20+) I’ve been doing this, CJ (can I call you CJ?) I’ve had, maybe, 3 or 4 clients that have asked me “How much will this cost?” Haha… so price is not the issue in our fields, friends and colleagues.

    My rule of thumb is: If it’s only low price they want, they’re not a client I want.

    The first order of business is gaining clients… not making money. Money will come with good service.

    So. CJ, the bottom line is… if you have to depend on low rates to sell your design services, then maybe you don’t value your talents enough… and the client senses that and eats YOU for lunch.

    Shouldn’t short change yourself, CJ…. that goes for all of us who want to cater to each and every client as if they are the only ones on planet Earth.

  1. AOB On October 21st, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Nothing says you’re an awesome designer like throwing in a logo free of charge with your web design. It’s a shame that this is the number one result for ‘design blog’ because this site has useless information that will only harm young designers.

  1. Daisy On October 21st, 2010 at 10:21 am

    @Roy McClanahan: You must be filthy rich! How can you fault business owners for wanting to the know the price?! Every business owner has to keep his business expenses under control or he will lose it! Most businesses are small and don’t have an unlimited budget as you seem to have.

  1. Ben On October 22nd, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    He is right with segmentation, you can charge more for clients who the multinational companies who appreciate design more because you will put more time into it. Where I live design is not appreciated much, but is desperately needed. But, I can show the area the importance of design by taking a good local company and blowing their competition to smithereens with professional design and fantastic marketing solutions. Their competition will need to step-up their image of go out of business, either way is fine with me.

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