Graphic design rates vary based on a number of considerations, including job complexity, the designer’s experience level, location, demand, etc. Some designers price per project, some use “value-based” pricing, others price by the hour and still others use a combination of pricing models. A designer tends to stick to whatever works for them, which may take some time to determine (sometimes through trial and error).
I have found that an hourly rate works best for me, because I can accurately estimate the time to complete a project, and then I can track my time spent to keep things within budget. This way, you’re not paying more than you need to (such as a designer that charges by the day for something that only takes a couple hours). In all cases, though, I will provide an official estimate upfront, once I have all the details of your project. Your custom-tailored estimate will let you know what to expect and so that there will be no surprises.
I offer three main rates:
Curious as to what constitutes a rush charge? Read on:
How to Know if a Project is a Rush Job
To know if a project is a rush, first you need to take into consideration my required/minimum turnaround times for my standard graphic design rates:
Up to 8 pages per 24-hour period. Basically, it’s up to 8 pages per 8-hour day, or 1 page per hour. So, if you email me everything for your project at 9 AM Monday, I’ll have a first set of proofs over at 9 AM Tuesday, at the earliest. If your project is a 32-page document (annual report, product catalog, etc.), that’s 4x the number of pages, so that would be a 4-day turnaround.
But, my project is just a 1-page ad. Isn’t that just an hour? Can’t I get that the same day? Absolutely… as a rush job. The minimum turnaround is in place to accommodate my current workload. This way, I can effectively finish projects that are currently on my plate before jumping onto the next. This way, everyone gets their turn at my services in a timely fashion. If you require faster, same-day turnaround, your job will be opened as a rush project; it will advance to the front of the line and receive priority service.
Up to 5 pages per week. A website is more involved than a print project, because it’s not just a matter of moving things around on a page. It’s comping up a few versions of the home page and a secondary page, to get the overall design approved. It’s fleshing out the rest of the pages based on the selected look and feel. It’s making sure things look right on desktop/mobile, performing image and search engine optimization, and more. It requires both creative and technical expertise, which simply takes more time.
What if I just need minor revisions to my existing website? Those will be much quicker, since the design is already in place. Contact me for more info or assistance with your website revisions.
So, if your project doesn’t meet the above minimums, you may be charged a rush fee. Specific rush examples:
- Any print project needed same-day. No exceptions.
- Website (up to 5 pages) needed in fewer than 5 days. Must have all content to me up-front.
- Any print project needed in fewer than 1 day per 8 pages (i.e., a 32-page document in 2 or 3 days is a rush)
Not sure how long your project will take or what it will cost? My rate card includes sample hours and costs for a variety of projects. Download it here.
Note: all graphic design rates are during normal business hours (Monday–Friday, 9 AM–5 PM) only. Work outside of normal business hours will be billed as a rush ($200/hour).