Nowadays, as a graphic designer, it is hard to deal with people who don’t see the quality in your work. Clients don’t always understand the time it takes to create a flyer, design a personalized business card, or to design a website. Everyone wants things quick, and not enough people see the value in the work of a graphic designer. I’ve read numerous articles about amateur designers watering down the industry by charging small prices for things that takes more than 2-3 hours to do. There are graphic designers out there with prices at $45-50/hr for design work and there are graphic designers charging $25 for a flyer that takes up to 3 hours to design.
For a moment I thought that maybe we were being too pricey, but when I thought about the time it takes to design quality work for our clients and what other graphic designers do as well, I realized that we are completely under-priced. Don’t worry, our prices will stay the same for now. It’s just a realization that what you take the time to do should be valued at a higher rate than what may be portrayed by those who don’t understand. A painter that took 4-5 days and maybe even 4-5 months to complete a painting, isn’t going to sell his work for $100. That same mindset is transferred over into any degree of art whether it be design, music, videography, etc.
I have a friend from back home that charges people $300 for a music video and people complain about his prices. After long hours of recording and then even longer hours of editing a quality video, we seem to still think that’s too much. That’s not enough.
I talk to people all the time about their businesses and how they plan to market themselves. Some people don’t have the start-up money and want to lessen their expenses as much as possible. Some people have the money, but don’t want to spend it. If you want to differentiate yourself from the competition you want to do things that are going to make you and/or your brand stand out. Yes, we can all go on vistaprint and use a stock business card and input our business information. How many other people do you think are walking around town and across the country, with that same business card design? What makes you different?
The price seems to always be too high, but from a design and marketing standpoint, realize how much value you’ve brought to the table. You have marketing materials that show how much you care about your business to get your own personal business card designed. You took the time to get a quality print and not just some text on white paper. When people have a business card with a dope design and/or professional design, they tend to remember you more. It’s all about the first impression and sometimes when we leave a bad one, we aren’t able to retrieve that.
I think this has a lot to do with why as designers, we take our prices down. We feel pressured by the idea that, “oh, I can find someone to do it cheaper,” rather than standing our ground and saying, these are the prices. Big time companies aren’t lowering their prices to complement those who don’t understand the value. Why should we? It’s not just about the money, it’s about the value, and unfortunately money has every bit to do with what some may see as “priceless.”
Open your eyes to the world around you. Feel discovered.
– Jineen Williams