For the better part of my career, I used project/value-based pricing which often made it difficult to explain design fees. Finally after all these years, I have changed my entire pricing structure. I will no longer be using project/value-based pricing but instead will be charging according to time. You should find that this will either even out to what you've already been investing, or work in your favor. My goal is to encourage larger projects and more campaigns to keep administrative costs down on my end. This change goes into effect immediately and is across the board for all my clients.
*My minimum time allotted for a project is ½ hour. I try to dissuade small projects because they each involve an administrative process on my end that I do not bill out. However, I understand that sometimes the need does arrive for something small, in which case I need to bill for a minimum time slot of ½ hour.
PROJECTS VERSUS CAMPAIGNS
A “project” is any design, that involves a deliverable with its own purpose, requested in its own time. For example, a printed flyer serves a different purpose than a web graphic. Even if they share the same design, if they are requested separately, then I have to account for their separate administration, AND USAGE RIGHTS, and bill them as separate projects. HOWEVER, multiple projects can be billed together as a CAMPAIGN in the same billing period, HOWEVER, they must be requested at the same time in a SINGLE correspondence to ensure proper workflow. If you would like to override this policy, I am happy to offer a retainer-based agreement option as well; see below.
How it used to be...
Minimum 1/2-hour, then one hour, then 15-minute increments
Revisions per instance: minimum 15-minutes, then 15-minute increments
SMALL PROJECTS were...
$35 for first 30 minutes (minimum)
$65 up to one hour
Problem: While I tried to keep pricing simple, this model did not offer any flexibility or savings with print design. (see “all-inclusive printing” below)
LARGER & LONG-TERM Projects were...
Larger or long-term projects had value-based pricing as recommended by The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines:
- Amount of value the client needed to gain from the project
- What the client could invest at the time
- Anticipated amount of time (not always easy to predict)
- Amount of future work the project would bring to me
- Depth of skill and excellence that I brought to the project
- Project usage and royalties
Problem: Too much abiguity and immeasurability
“All-Inclusive” Printing was...
My most popular printing requests were priced as flat fees that were all-inclusive of design, printing, and shipping.
Problem: Did not accurately represent design fees
How it is now...
1/2-hr minimum then 1-minute increments toward the initial design process
Revisions per instance: minimum 6-minutes then 1-minute increments
TIER 1 --> $30 per half hour
--> base** fee for all print-based design that leads to HRG print fulfillment
TIER 2 --> $40 per half hour
--> base** fee for graphics work that does not lead to print-fulfillment
TIER 3 --> $60 per half hour
--> base** fee for all print-based design where you acquire print-optimized files to either print yourself or supply to another provider when HRG can fulfill the printing for you
LARGE & LONG-TERM PROJECTS
To eliminate ambiguity, prices on larger projects will follow suit to the pricing on small projects by default. A final invoice will itemize the actual time spent and associated costs. For long-term projects where these fees may not be feasible, I will gladly discuss a reduced-fee retainer-model pricing.
Print prices have been converted to tier-1 pricing and are no longer all-inclusive. Invoices will be itemized to reflect design fee, printing, and shipping.
**Base fees do not include add-ons such as stocks photos, special fonts, printing, or website plugins. Add-ons will be itemized on your invoice.
What this new pricing structure means for you...
Lower design fees due to reduced time increments
Greater savings on campaigns versus piece-work
Reduced rate on design-work that ends in HRG print fulfillment
Correlation of savings to consolidated revisions requests
Overall more accurate billing of actual time spent on design-work
Full transparency on all design prices
Savings on reorders!
Overall reduced pricing for simpler projects
Savings will apply to all clients, therefore no more need for “Kingdom” or non-profit discounts
Understanding My Rates
One of the beauties of freelancing means that I have very little overhead versus that of a firm. I am able to keep a graphic design rate that is more affordable for small to medium businesses. However, I still have to manage a business and self-employment costs, so my prices are still within the fair realm of freelancing and shouldn’t be compared to that of an employee. (Please see my article "Benefits of Working with a Freelancer.")