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Pricing design work should be easy. The number of designers today who charge per hour and not by value surprises me. Too many designers also price their work very low hoping more people will purchase their work. This never works out. No serious business or brand looking to grow wants to purchase cheap services. There is no value in that. People who purchase design work, often do so to solve a business problem. So designers who propose to solve those problems and provide more get the contract. Most designers like to charge by the hour. This is because of their mindset, and a quick fix to this is to develop creative confidence.

The Problem

Here lies the biggest problem with charging by the hour. John and Lynda are both graphic designers. John has a fixed hourly rate, and he charges all his clients at the same rate. Lynda however, charges her clients according to the value her work will provide her clients.  A business by the name of Zulu is looking to re-brand and approaches both John and Lynda. John’s proposal comprises his hourly rate and an approximate of the total time required. Lynda’s proposal includes the price set by her for each item required for the re-branding. She also includes a brief exploration of the value the work will provide Zulu. Her proposal claims she will finish the work in half the time John would take. The team at Zulu go ahead with Lynda’s offer since she provides much more value for their brand.


Do you see why John‘s approach doesn’t work? John knows that his work will not require so much time. He says it will take so much time, so he can milk more money out of the deal. Most potential clients won’t see the difference. However, they will often suspect designers with John’s approach.

The Solution

Do you price by the hour too? If so, then there is no shame in it, since most designers do the same. Here’s what you can do starting this moment. Set a fixed price range for each type of design work. Understand the client’s requirements thoroughly so you may address them in your proposal. Increase your price with each client. If you feel uncomfortable doing so, then it is necessary you increase your creative confidence. If you have the time and would like to learn more, then check out Value-Based Pricing