Pricing Questions

Many people are wondering how to price for certain jobs. If you have a question on pricing, it is a great idea to post it here so you can get feedback from instructors, other students, graduates, and professionals to see what they are charging.

I’m about to work on a school magazine for a client. It’s around 20 - 25 pages… they’re giving me everything basically, pictures, articles, interviews… I also got the previous newsletters to use as a template… I have less then a week to complete. How much do you think I can charge?

Pricing is always really difficult, because it really depends on so many factors. One thing to consider here is the complexity of the pages…is it just a columnar layout, with titles, body text, and images inserted? If so, each page shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes since they provided everything. But if you are expected to come up with a creative layout for each page, with dramatic typography, sidebars, pull quotes, etc. then it could take longer per page. Based on what you said it sounds pretty basic, i.e creating text boxes for body texts and formatting, inserting images, and adding titles. Also sounds like once you set up one page and decide on fonts etc., the rest should be pretty simple. One way to come up with an idea for pricing is to try to figure out how long it will take you, or should take you, and multiply by how much you want to make per hour, and then tweak the result if it seems a little too high or too low for that client. If the pages are basic like I mentioned, and shouldn’t take more than 1/2 hour a page, then you are talking about approximately 10-12 hours of work (but even that seems a little high for a very basic layout, so that would depend on how creative you need to be with the layouts. If you are using Indesign you can set up master pages and/or style sheets to work pretty quickly) So if you want, for example, $25 an hour, $250 would be the approximate cost. Then you need to take additional considerations, like if it is worth your time for that amount. If not, then you have nothing to lose to charge higher, since you wouldn’t want to do it anyway if you don’t make x amount. On the other hand, it is worth it to charge less than optimal if you think the client might potentially give you more work or more clients, or if you want to do a favor, etc.
That said, I would say that between $200-$300 seems reasonable for this job. You should also not be afraid to ask clients what their budget is first, indicating that you will try to work within their budget but that the time you spend will depend on that budget. So if they say they only want to spend $200 dollars, you can tell them that you can do it but that it will be just a basic layout of text/image. If they seem to have a higher budget, then you know you can ask more and can give them something more impressive.
Hope that helps somewhat, hatzlacha!
And don’t forget that they way you price is something you will really have to figure out as you go along. You will start to see how long things take, and can adjust pricing for future projects. There are some projects where you will end up ahead because it took much less time than anticipated and charged for, and some the opposite. But as you progress you will find yourself able to charge more for less time because you will be much quicker, and you will have a better idea of how long things take.

A week for a 25-page newsletter is a rush job, to me, and I’d want to charge extra for it.
Also, you’ll want to factor in that they will almost definitely have grammar/text revisions, and that eats up time.

what would you say is the going rate for business cards.
once you have an idea of what you plan on doing, business cards dont take to long.
Also do you charge more for corrections and changes?

Are you doing it as part of a branding package?

im not sure, for now im doing just a business card, my client may also want an ad but shes not sure.
i guess what would you charge for a branding package and what would you charge for just business cards?

Are you also designing a logo? A lot of times when I do a logo for someone I will do the business card at no extra charge. For just a basic business card, assuming they have a logo already, I would say between $35-$50. If you are giving them a few versions, and fronts and back, you could probably charge a little more or more on the higher end, $60-$75.I don’t usually specifically charge more for corrections and revisions for any job, unless they become unreasonable. I just factor into the initial price the assumption that there will be some corrections, and usually indicate to the client that the price includes basic revisions within reason. IF they end up wanting something totally revamped, that would not count as a revision and I would let them know ahead of time that they would have to pay more. Then sometimes you end up “ahead” with very few corrections, and sometimes it turns out more than you bargained for; if you know that a client often asks for a lot of revisions and back and forth, you know to charge more in the future for that client. That’s why pricing is something that has to evolve over time…
It is hard to say what to price for a whole branding package, as that can include so many things, and it depends what is included in that package. For example, you could charge $300-$400 for a logo and then do a business suite for an additional $50, or you can come up with other package deals, such as logo, business card, and an ad for a fixed amount. If they are having you design more things, you can offer them better package prices.

I’m new to the freelancing field and I’m wondering whats the going rate for graphic design jobs in general?

It is difficult to answer this, because the rates are different in different locations, and depending on experience, etc. See my post above regarding calculating rates hourly, which might give you some idea. Other thing you might want to do is contact a few graphic designers in your area “posing” as a client (or have someone do it for you) and see how much they are charging for specific jobs, and then you can price yours competitively. A lot also has to do with how much time you have to work…in other words, if it is only worth your time to do jobs if you get paid a certain amount, than price that amount and if you lose a client because it is too expensive, it wasn’t worth your time anyway. But if right now you have time on your hands, and you want to build a portfolio, a client base, gain experience, etc., then you might be willing to work for lower rates. That is really very individual so hard to tell.
But just to give you some idea, I would say a reasonable starting rate for a logo is between $175 and $250, which would include a certain number of concepts and reasonable revisions. For a basic brochure, bifold or trifold, probably $300-$400. An ad or poster $50-$200, depending on size, complexity, etc. For catalogues and booklets I generally charge per page, but that would also depend on size, layout complexity, etc.
Hope that give you some idea!
I’m sure Breindy would appreciate hearing what other relatively new designers are charging as well, so please post!

I wanted to know how much is within the average range pricing for typesetting a book that is approximately 500-600 page? it is pure text (no pictures)
please let me know asap if anyone has suggestions!
thank you

I’m pretty new to the field, but it’s the type of thing I would charge per page… not sure how much though, so can’t be too helpful here;)

Maybe $5-$10 per page? Tough call, depends how complicated the typesetting is.

If you feel comfortable doing this, you might give them a set price for, say, 75 pages, and let them know you’ll re-evaluate the rest of the project at that point. (You want it to be enough that you can get a feel for how it goes once you’ve got your file set up properly!)

What about a photo album (wedding)- 2 albums, about 50 pages each. Consists of choosing the pictures from a file, creating layout and effects.
It took many hours since it’s a first-time project for me so I would not charge per hour. The client is paying for printing.

Does $250 per album sound reasonable? Normally it shouldn’t take so long to lay out photo pages, but you may need to consider if there will be a lot of back and forth.

Right, the second one will take a quarter of the amount of time it took for the first.
250 seems like a lot though…

Was figuring about $5 per page, I probably wouldn’t charge less than that because there will be edits etc. as well. But when you are starting out, it is harder to price because it is hard to know how long things should take etc…If the second will take much less time, then try figuring out how much time it took altogether, deduct some of the extra time that you think was extra because you were figuring things out, and try to figure out a price based on a reasonable hourly rate. Of course you can make adjustments from there. If the whole thing only took you four hours, then charging $150-$175 for the whole job will still translate into a decent hourly rate. You may also want to consider if this is someone you know and you want to give a better deal, or someone that might use you in the future or refer future clients to you…
Of course, the goal in the long run is to have it take less time and be charging more per hour…
Any other suggestions from anyone on how much they would charge?

Good idea, I think I’ll base the time on how long the second one takes.
In regard to figuring out an hourly rate, 25$ is a lot more than most people working in offices get (where I live). Is that the standard for graphic design?
Maybe that’s what’s keeping me back from charging more than I would, besides for having just started out

Not sure exactly where you are located, and rates are definitely different in different localities, but $25 an hour for a designer is definitely reasonable. Companies might pay less since they bill the client more and then have to pay their employees, so they need to make money too. But if you are working for yourself, it is reasonable. Of course if where you live it is completely off from what other private designers charge that could be an issue, but you call some designers posing as a client to see what they would charge for various jobs.