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After spending some years in graphic design industry, couple of questions bewildered me the most… How much a graphic designer should be paid? On what criteria should he be paid? Although I confess that I joined the design field for the sheer pleasure and obsession, but then again, a person has to make ends meet as well. Right from my first ever project, I have continuously pondered on the subject of wages for graphic designers and as to how they should be paid.
After having heard numerous common statements which clients say to graphic designers in my career, it is now that I am able to answer how graphic designers should be paid. This is because I solemnly believe that apt criteria and standards should exist for graphic designers’ remuneration.

1) Size doesn’t matter:

I completely agree that a graphic designer’s worth increases with the level of experience and expertise. But many clients come up and assert that since it is just a little project it should cost very less. This is where the misconception lies. For graphic designers, no project is big or small. They confer equal and utmost importance to each of their projects irrespective of their magnitude. Clients, while selecting a graphic designer want the best work done in the lowest price possible. It is an irrational argument that a relatively small size project should cost less, while detailed and large projects can be charged more. Consider the case in point of “General Services Administration” who spent $18 million to redesign their Web site. While some of us would consider the amount on this project to be absurd, it just goes to show that graphic designers’ work should never be held in low esteem.

2) Simple but creative concept:

Sometimes a design concept may appear simple, but it takes enormous creativity on the part of designers to come up with concepts. A client views the design work as simple and easy and argues that it should cost less. Taking the Nike swoosh case, although the concepts seems simple but its creative aspect cannot be measured in monetary terms. The concept that turned out to be one of the leading brands in the world was a simple yet extremely creative one. This demonstrates the weight of creativity while determining designers’ earnings.

3) Design work with less graphic details:

Many clients come up to the graphic designers and claim that since their design work contains less graphical images, it should not cost more. What they tend to forget is that it is not only the colors and graphics that is appealing, it is the ingenuity in the work that holds the value. An excellent case in point is the FedEx logo design, which is regarded as one of the most creative logo designs in the world. While there is no such graphical details in its logo design, the marvelous concept of using negative spacing to create an arrow between the “E” and “x” is what is worth the money.

4) Time is money:

Moving towards the major concern, I believe that graphic designers (freelance or permanent) should be paid based on the amount of time involved in their projects. After all, time is money. Regardless of the complexity of the design project, it involves considerable time on every assignment. Clients who want to pay less on the pretext that the project is small are risking the quality of work. When a designer will be paid less, he will not want to waste a large amount of his time on the project.
Which one of the criteria do you think deserves the most priority in determining graphic designers’ worth? Do you have any other criteria in mind that should be considered in assessing the designer’s real value?

  1. Richard Eldridge On March 4th, 2010 at 9:28 am

    This was an article that most designers should have to read. In the end, I think a combination of the experience of the designer and the amount of time spent is the only fair way to price. The more people want your time, the more you can charge for it.

  1. Roberto Blake On March 4th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I really don’t think people appreciate what “real” graphic designers go through in the course of anything we have to produce. People assume that if they just tell us what they want we go into photoshop and make it happen.

    Its so much more involved with that and they can’t begin to appreciate how much of our job actually includes research (assuming someone is doing this properly), and how much trial and area goes into developing even one good concept.

  1. Donald Livingston On March 4th, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I liked this article. I agree that it can be very difficult to quantify how to value a Graphic Designer from a clients point-of-view. At the same time there are a large number of dilettantes out there trying to pass themselves off as professional Designers but having very little actual skill.

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  1. Laurent JOUVIN On March 4th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    The irony is that the Nike logo was one of the cheapest ever created. A graphic design student named Carolyn Davidson designed it in 1971, and she submitted a bill for $35! Fortunately, she has been compensated in other ways.

  1. Laurent JOUVIN On March 4th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Logo designing fees should be based on 2 things: the time spend to design it and more importantly, the creative.

  1. Patrick de Nobrega On March 5th, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Thank you so much!

    Clients always complain about the cost of an illustration or design but I guess they are right seeing as i/we “draw and colour-in for a living”


  1. Christian Logan On March 5th, 2010 at 5:42 am

    I think creativity should itself be enough to determine the value of a designer. But then again, like you said, clients find things like too simple, not creative enough, too little time as random excuses just so they can pay less. I think you can do a whole post on things clients say to get a quality design cheap. Oh ya, coming from you that will be a good read I bet!

    Good job once again! *thumbs up*

  1. Joe On March 5th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I think the best way to charge for design work is by the hour.

    How much you charge per hour is down to how experienced you are and how valuable an hour of your time is. If you are a popular designer you can obviously charge more..

    It is a tough one though!!

    Good Post!!

  1. Vikas Ghodke On March 5th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Yeah right people dont really realize the amount of hardwork and dedication is there behind any design work. And i think we are here for that only, we should aware people about the real value of particular design.

  1. José On March 5th, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Hey, I study graphic design in México and I’m working on an investigation work about how graphic designers are underpaid or not hired at all to do graphic design related jobs. Here in México it is very very common that people who needs a logo or anything hire their cousin or whoever who can just use a computer to do the job. I was wondering if i can use this information as a part of my work.

    Thank you! Have a nice day.

  1. Tracy South On March 7th, 2010 at 4:03 am

    So glad i found this post. I am a final year graphic design student and i do small jobs here and there in between my studies, but the worst part about them is trying to figure out what to charge.

    i am doing my research paper on why designers end up burning out and changing career paths. Maybe this could be another aspect of why we change over , being bullied over what to charge as a creative. Like you said a person still needs to make ends meet. Just a thought… does anyone have any other links or suggestions on routes my research paper could follow up.

  1. Fluffy On March 7th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I had never noticed the arrow in the FedEx logo before!

    I’m a design student and I can tell you how much work is put behind a small, simple logo. You bet your butt I’m going to be paid decently for my efforts in the future!

  1. tri-fold brochure design service On March 8th, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I think creativity should itself be enough to determine the value of a designer…….

  1. Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing On March 8th, 2010 at 5:35 am

    it was a nice read. it’s sometimes sad though , when clients refuse to give due respect and payment for the work that a designer has done.

  1. Ruggy On March 8th, 2010 at 5:47 am

    The more cycles of aimless and arbitrary revision work a designer is forced to do, the more the job should cost.

  1. CrackHeadWithAPaintCan On March 8th, 2010 at 5:55 am

    The reason graphic designers are paid so little is because they aren’t even worth that. I’ve seen crack-heads with spray paint that have more true talent that today’s educated “graphic designers”. The graphic designers I’ve met decided on their field of work because they wanted to take the easiest way to a bachelors degree and did OK in High School Art Class. And as for the Nike and Xerox emblem, they are about the 4th and 6th generations (respectively) of previous emblems. They evolved into what they are today. They weren’t designed like that by a graphic designer. And, oh, by the way, what does a new CEO do when he doesn’t know what else to do when he gets into his office. 1. he “reorganizes the organization” 2. he modifies the company logo. Neither one of which add a single dime to the bottom line of the organization.

  1. Karen On March 8th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    The apocryphal story that is often related to young artists is about Toulouse-Lautrec. It seems he had a client who wanted a pastel of a favorite horse. Lautrec told him to come back in a few hours.

    When the man returned he saw the drawing and was very please. Then Lautrec gave him him the final cost. The client found it an outrageous sum for a few hours work and expressed his displeasure.

    Lautrec reportedly said: You are not paying for the few hours it took to draw the horse this well. You are paying for the 20 years of work it took to learn to draw the horse this well.

    I have had lookie-loos balk at my prices and tell me, quite literally, that they could buy a framed print at (Wal-Mart, etc) for $20.00. Seriously, I don’t want that person owning my work.

    But I am speaking as a fine artist. I went into my profession with a foreknowledge that it’s not exactly high on the list of top earning jobs. Designers have another battle to fight. But I do sympathize.

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  1. Peter Chon On March 8th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    The ONLY reason why the Graphic Design is so convoluted is due to oversaturation of unqualified “designers” that advertises their services for $50.
    Our only chance for survival or growth and recognition of our industry would be is to hold is to have professional designations and/or certificates that is governed by a organized committee (much like a PhD program).

  1. Karolyn On March 8th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I love this post!
    Sorting through “Closed” jobs on freelancing websites like or, or contest sites like helps me get a feel for the low-end of what certain tasks are priced at.
    Students or anyone looking to beef up their portfolio BEFORE “charging what they’re worth” should totally bid on the open projects on these types of sites too - PLENTY of the so-called experts are software-focused and do not know as much about principles of design as students!

  1. Michael A. De Bose On March 8th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    As I understand it, in finance any product that has the capacity to enhance you financially will cost you financially. The more money its going to make you, the more money its going to cost you and the fee correlates to the upside.

    Unfortunately outside of the arts and politics, most don’t fully appreciate the value of capable design. To that end the political field pulls in everything advertising has to teach it.

    The biggest issue I suspect is that most graphic designers are weak on the business side or simply don’t care for it. Business has a vocabulary and generally understood norms of communication. If anyone needing a graphic designer got a same or similar discussion in the fee negotiation side we wouldn’t be having this discussion. You can go from accountant to account and lawyer to lawyer. They may have different methodologies and strategies they employ, but when it come to the money, the conversations are roughly the same.

    Recently I had a client come to me mentioning how they spoke to a web designer who quoted them plus $1500. Despite their exasperation, I didn’t miss a beat and told them that sounded about right for a full custom but basic website. I shared with them that they could bring cost down by going with a template, but made certain that they no longer considered that guy a bandit. If a designer chooses to work below market it’s better to express the price as a current special or let clients know what market truly is. This way every client becomes more educated about the space and will increasingly think with enough phone calls they can dictate the price.

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  1. Denver On March 8th, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    They should get paid a lot especially if they are sleeping with their clients.

  1. Rebecca Wolford On March 8th, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks for this article. I wish more people would read this…not just designers, but anyone that is looking to hire a designer as well. I tend to think that the pay on a design should be based on the hours put into it and the skill of the designer.

  1. seo tools On March 8th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I do not know on what criteria should a graphic designer paid.But i know one of my friends is a graphic designer whose work is graphic designe and his salary is good in our city.

  1. china sim card On March 8th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    My friend whose work is graphic designe gets a nice salary in our city.

  1. Katie On March 9th, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Interesting article, I think salary should be dependent on experience and time spent on the project and believe as you say that some designs like Fedex or Nike initially do seem simple but for those companies their logo is a huge part of their advertising and marketing campaigns and has set the brand apart from its competitors.

  1. mother board drivers On March 9th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Belittle by some clients, but they are one of the most essential people that is badly needed on a project. Design is one of the factors that a client should focus for it will be the factor that will be needing extra effort to awe people and caught other’s attention and garner appraisal. Through this, that particular project will be a big success coz it is noticed by everyone.

  1. Ronnie Saini Design On March 9th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    It all depends on how you sell it! The art of being a great designer isn’t enough, you must know how to get the value of your work from your clients and refuse to the work if it doesn’t work for you, if you keep working according to your client rates, you will get frustrated easily and it affects the quality of your work and the whole game is lost.

  1. Leah On March 10th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I love this article! I agree with what you said. It is up to us to educate those clients that are misinformed about project pricing as well as the process a designer undergoes when working on a project.

  1. Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah On March 10th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    There is a great deal of time spent designing a project. Researching competitors and finding images for the project take up a lot of the time. Once the design process begins, often designers will create several different versions of a logo, business card, or flyer for the client to choose from. Never under value yourself. If you have talent you are worth every penny of what you charge. If you find yourself constantly being nickled and dimed maybe you need to change your target market. Never under charge, businesses pay for quality and quality costs. Also ask for a retainer before you begin work and have clients sign a contract, it could a few words on an estimate. If a client isn’t open to paying a down payment on a design they aren’t serious about paying you at all.

  1. Labeed Assidmi On March 15th, 2010 at 1:13 am

    From my experience about %75 of the projects I do I am paid less than what I deserve. The appreciation of our work needs to be taught to our cleints and to the public. They think creativity has a button and we just press on it and boom good design appreas on the screen magically! Thats why I like my steady job and my side freelancing projects. Going solo on freelancing is too much of a risk I have a family depending on my creative button!

  1. g13 media On March 16th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    As a graphics designer you always feel as if your paid short, but I guess thats life. You feel so good about what you worked so hard to design. Its hard to let go of almost. lol

  1. Rodrigo On March 17th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    here in Brazil the design market is a pain, the commerce in general don’t want to pay for our work, it’s hard man, we need to overload our work time to get a good income here.

  1. 509 Media On March 21st, 2010 at 11:13 am

    A lot of people view design work as a non labor intensive means of work thus feeling less inclined to pay for the services. I basically tell my clients if they want cheap to go find some kid out of college. If they want someone to show them how to get results then they should be willing to pay. After all many people I deal with own businesses. It does not take long to make them understand they get what they pay for. If they do not see value in what I have to offer then I really do not want to work with them anyway. The less they value my service the less they value my time. Sure I do jobs where I feel like I should have been paid more but I pick the ones where I get into this situation. I try to make them count toward getting more work in the future.

  1. bariatric surgery On March 22nd, 2010 at 5:40 am

    The most important thing in this profession according to me is to express one’s theme or convey a message as a logo. But only a person related to this field of art and design can understand the pain taken by a designer to make a logo or design.This requires a lot of skill and for this the designers should be paid according to their strength. I think time has changed and nowadays designers are making lot of money.

  1. ferzam On April 10th, 2010 at 2:31 am

    designing is a bloody job to have but it is very rewarding :-)

  1. sneakypriest On May 5th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you for this interesting post. I am not a graphic designer but will be a web designer and I know all too well how people like to try and take advantage of what they consider to be “an easy job”. As previously stated, they think that just because they say “I want this” that we can wave our magic photoshop wand and presto! What about the time spent trying to decipher what a client is trying to say because they don’t have they technical vocabulary to convey what it is they’re truly looking for. Or my other favorite saying “I want it to look like this”. As a web designer its going to be almost impossible to create an original site without having original graphics and logos(which do take a lot of time and effort to develop). So I can appreciate the struggle of trying to be paid what your worth when there’s always someone who will do it for a dollar less.

  1. Justin On May 20th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I have to edcuate new clients on every job I do and let them know that design is a business not a hobby.
    Designers have alot of moeny invested in thier education and equipment, and even if you work out of your house you do have expenses. Clients need to know they are not paying for pretty visuals, they are also paying for your advice, expertise and knowledge.

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  1. Derek Kimball (DesignBuddy) On June 22nd, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Interesting read. I’ve had my share of clients who think a quality logo should have beveled edges, incorporate detailed imagery, or explain everything about their company all in a single graphic. Trying to explain the concept of “simple is more effective” when it comes to logo design is one of the toughest things to deal with in my opinion.

  1. Paul Sousa On June 25th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I think that goes with most creative professions. My brother is a great finish carpenter. He can raise the value of your home by thousands of dollars and get a fraction of that in his paycheck. A classic catch 22, I guess you just need to really stand by your work and let the quality speak for itself. And hopefully the client will see that also. Thanks

  1. MAD MEDIA On July 2nd, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    look ive been working as a media graphics designer for a long time i have no degree but ive always been a bad artist and my vision was always noticed ….and now as a media graphics designer working based on my experience on art and on the programs used and needed for graphic design i get paid minimum wadge and i work my ass off woring about deadlines and other peoples shit with a stupid paycheck at the end of every two weeks. so yeah we r underpaid BIGTIME

  1. Jeff Lewis On July 6th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I believe that sometimes designers are afraid to quote/ask for their true worth because some don’t get it. Its the designers much of the time that undervalue themselves. And cheapskate clients. Clients who think there’s nothing to it and its easy. Well push your computer or brush over to them and tell them to do it while you sit back and watch. Offer to pay them $10 an hour to WATCH THEM WORK THEIR MAJIC. Sometimes you just have to have the stones to throw it back in their laps and walk away.
    There are designers making $10k a year and there are some making $100k a year.

    However I disagree with a couple points you made in #1. First, I don’t put the same value on every project and I don’t think you can. You have to pick your battles. Different clients, different projects, different expectations - sometimes you get a reasonable job done quick. Other times, when you know its going to be appreciated you throw everything you have at it. There is nothing worse then wasting an awesome idea on an unappreciative client. Whenever I speak to classes of design hopefuls I always bring up that they have already made a compromise between fine art and business when they choose GD as a career path. Graphic design does not exist without the business client.

    Also, the point about the 18m on the government website is obscuring the fact that a media/design firm/agency skimmed 99.9% of that 18m off the top from those that actually designed it.

  1. Kodzer On August 24th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I think there are some good points made here. I would like to point out however that the vast majority of designers do not have the opportunity to work on such prestigious brand names, however talented or skilled, if you consider design to be more of a craft, they may be.

    I am an Irish designer working in the field for 14 years now. Arrogance is not a trait I see much value in. I do however consider myself, having had exposure to a large amount of other designers work, to be in the top 25 percentile of designers working in Ireland. After a long struggle with mastering the technicalities of my field and striving to preserve my creativity in the meantime, I have found that my country is not culturally or artistically aware enough to offer the creative opportunity or monetary rewards for skills such as my own. It was only upon moving to Denmark for a couple of years that I found myself receiving a good salary working for a well-known brand in a relatively well-respected position, with no efforts on my part, other than attending the interview, to secure the job.

    On reflection after all these years of struggle with stress, deadlines, demanding bosses, comparatively pitiful pay and chronic illness related to all of the latter I have often found myself wishing I had chosen a simpler path, and taken that apprentice offer in a menial job. I love what I do when I feel valued and worthwhile for doing it, but it isn’t often this occurs. Most designers are generally resented by their managers and the marketing type and considered to be a necessary evil in the field of advertising and design, which generally leads to low pay and the constant dream of one day having the business savvy to start ones own business. Business savvy is of course not a very good bedfellow for the mind of a creative graphic designer.

    It is heartwarming to see that there are others like me who feel strongly enough to blog about this subject but I’m left yearning to read something about the on-the-ground realities of the literal torture it is to have chosen to pour your soul into something only to be left with the feeling that what you put your very essence into is considered a societal frill at best.

    One last point: with regard to the equal attention to all jobs coming a designers way - I only wish to ones day meet a person responsible for paying my wages who is open to an explanation of why I consider all work important, let alone give me the time on the small jobs to do them well.

    There do exist those strange and slinking creatures, in the lower floors of this house of cards, who have also given their lives for love.

  1. joseph crane On September 27th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    For the graphic designers be paid for work of theirs, it is essential not they be undervalued irrespectively. After all, the work is providing services value to client and companies, and dedication is most appreciative. Why other they would do it in the topmost position?

  1. Anamika On November 23rd, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I really like this post , it gave me a boost that yes we designers are equally hard working as any other guy is , but the problem is the clients think that we are the most inwanted people and can work for any stupid amount they offer us , even if we manage to land a good work they want a unicorn coming out of that work which makes that pay useless as by that time we have done so many rework that the charm of work just vanishes . i wish there could be a way so that no one can exploit us .

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  1. citydragon On April 8th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Let me tell you, this once was a greatly admired profession, especially before B.C. (Before Computers). Creativity and ideas rendered on paper were a great skill and rewarded with top pay. When I made the transition from traditional to computer aided graphic design back in 1990, it was also very lucrative because the were fewer designers working this way.

    About 6-7 years ago, I and my graphic design colleagues started to noticed a change. The influx of many “wanna be” designers who would work for less money and or free began emerging into the field. Thus, clients looking to save money and having lower budgets started to take notice and prices have fallen ever since. You get comments from clients like, “don’t spend too much time on it” or “can you do better on the price, I have more work down the road for you if you do”.

    The way designers work is changing also, most times a designer would be given a brief about the project and would come up with ideas to present later to the client. Now, in a lot of cases the client demands to sit or stand behind the designer and art direct changes on screen.

    I have been pretty lucky over the years and have been paid well, but this profession is going bad and thankless. What a great ride it has been looking back, but things will never be the same as far as top dollar pay goes and there are many good young talented designers out there who deserve a good wage.

  1. Sessions College On April 13th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    For potential students currently looking into graphic design careers, it should also be mentioned that there are now tremendous opportunities to learn through online degrees from accredited colleges. A student can learn the creative, technical AND business elements of the profession - all within their graphic design curriculum. Along with their inherent creative talent, they will then have acquired all the elements necessary for a satisfying and sustainable career.

  1. Godzson On June 5th, 2011 at 2:16 am

    I think a designer should be paid what he/she is worth and their worth should not be determined by someone that doesn’t know what goes into the craft. When someone comes to me and wants me to do some work for them, but cringe and the price I will tell them what it cost me to purchase the software to give them top of the line graphics and I will then begin to explain to them the process of what it will take to achieve the look they want. I will also sometimes open up one of the programs and let the workspace intimidate them. I will also explain the amount of hours that go into creating motion graphics. If that doesn’t get them to see the big picture then I invite them to do it their self. When they realize the money they will lose by having shabby work the usually see just how worth it, it really is. If they still don’t then I don’t need their business. If they are they CEO and they make $100,000 a year and I tell them that is too much how would they feel?

  1. Dinesh Krishna Kumar On June 22nd, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    In Singapore the designers market is a pain, general don’t want to pay for our work telling all such reason that HR Pay survey say that Designers Pay cap is limited to shit, who the hell are they to determine the pay scale for a designer,

  1. Regretting being a designer On September 21st, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Graphics is a commercial practice that is part of business development and marketing Strategy. Unfortunately as the economy gets tougher the design industry gets more saturated. I have talented, skilled experienced graphic designers coming to me weekly looking to get foot in the door offering to work for free. I have job offers that are wall to wall expecting me to provide 20 years of expertise and current skills into providing design services at rates that would not pay to use electricity for the day or a days phone bill. I am also frequently asked to “help out” or “advise”… To maintain any kind of business I have to throw in alot of extras in order to compete which is not even wrking out sine so many will work for free or since so many will hire a brother in law cuz he’s great at the auld “computers” . Many business’s are copping on fast that we are ten a penny. I think the business has been crumbling particularly the last 4 years. Whatever about the negotiating a fee and contract problem… the actual insult to a human beng to be expected to design a brand identity for free and do a professional webdesign service at an unreasonable low rate is not only unprofessional is plain subhuman… since we have to eat too. Your;s with love, from a crumbling EU state, tired, broke and want to work, will clean toilets for a living.

  1. frans On October 24th, 2011 at 3:56 am

    To late to change career now, I’ve been a graphic artist for almost 10 years now. Yes it’s true, before you can get paid well on this jobs. But now well to many people playing designer now a days. And to many client does not know good design or the effort put to a good design. I’ve resign to the fact, that client is taking the role of director, telling you what to do. putting many years of experience down the drain.

  1. MPOD On November 10th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Learn how how to sell and communicate value in your skills. If someone doesn’t value what you have to bring to the table then simply approach the next the next business owner you can possibly help and if they say no keep refining your approach. Then go back to the ones who said no. Talent alone doesn’t cut it in this world and that goes for any profession. I know many talented designers that never went to school, but produce great work and get the job done. I for one have learned to convert a cheap vista print customer every time. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it! And if you must know I dropped out of college as well and learned to grind the streets and produce results for my clients.

  1. harryposter On January 8th, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I have a 50 policy:

    Whatever the work, it’s going to be 50 per page, 50 per banner, 50 per business card etc. or 50 per hour

    Just stick to it and leave the free work to guys in Hyderabad or school-leaving “designers”

  1. Mike Antonio On January 10th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    We all need a governemtn regulated union and we all need to police ourselves and make sure nobody is working outside of the union. WE ARE GETTING RIPPED OFFF wholesale.
    I don’t know if it’s bc we are dominated by females and art sissys or what — but the problem is real and it’s killing us. WE can’t get a fair wage for a complex job that demans a specific and talented type of individual. We should be earning more than any construction worker or landscaper or other NON-EDUCATED worker - and we don’t even come close in most cases. WHAT the heck is going on - this is a national crisis. The Colleges need to stop pumping folks out like there are jobs that can pay back our loans. This is robbery and nobody is holding them or the employers accountable.

  1. Mike Antonio On January 10th, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Also - if you think your making it and doing well - keep in mind a pro with a degree and ability like yours should be making $70,000 a year (no doubt) and if you are freelancing and pulling 40 hours it should be around $90,000.
    So if you are not doing those numbers - you are just another poor sucker satisfied with the scraps and charity pay (pathetic) and missleading your fellow designers into thinking they just arent trying hard enough. DEMAND what the stiffs make and DEMAND better from your collegues in regards to denying crap pay.

  1. Mike Antonio On January 10th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    It’s a good idea to hord together any designers you can and create guilds and unions and make sure nobody slips thourgh the craks to undermine your pricing. We need to create virtual monoploies so we can value our work where it should be instead of cutting each others throats on a daily basis. That only helps the cheap business guy that thinks a 2year old can do what you do.

  1. Salvatore Marotta On January 16th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I think there are three criteria for developing a price.

    The definition of the piece: what is this and what is this used for. Is it an ad or a brochure?

    The elements needed: are you buying stock photography and painfully retrofitting a photo to make an ad or is the client supplying the photography. Are you writing the copy or is the client.

    The time it will take to finish: the hours you use to design, plus the hours you use making adjustments. (usually for the clients ego)

    I can’t see how any graphic design job could be less then $1500. If you are simply setting text, you are not designing anything, you are typesetting. A common misconception in this field.

  1. Richard Adams On January 28th, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    What a brilliant topic.

    Recommendation is your best tool. Work to a formular and always include a
    Contingency. Always insist on a retainer. never underquote, never ever discount!

    If you’re confident and can back this up with skill, the sky is the limit!

  1. Karen On March 6th, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Lost a great job twelve years into my career, and am now applying to $34k jobs. Reality struck me when a marketing colleague recently told me to “just add some more clipart in there.”

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