How Do You Price Design Work?

How Do You Price Design Work?

Pricing artistic work is a new idea for most freelancers who start their company. Designers are accustomed to being paid for this time, either by an hourly fee or by an annual wage. It makes it possible to calculate how much value we believe we are bringing into work. The more hours we work, the more money we earn. But there are a few drawbacks in the hourly pricing model that will restrict the amount you will gain as a freelancer.

Hourly Pricing

Hourly pricing is one of the two simplest models. Discipline, reporting and coordination are the main items you need for effective hourly pricing. It needs further analysis of the procedure, which also does not inspire client trust. Hourly pricing works only when you have good results. You must keep a close watch on your time and expenditures and check in with your customer.

Pricing artistic work
Pricing artistic work

This strategy is suitable for freelancers who do not work directly for the customer – for example, a freelancer for an ad agency. It is also suitable for any job requiring advanced technologies, such as software creation, where things sometimes go wrong. However, it is not a long-term option for most innovative people because you want to stay free. Only by raising the prices can you become more successful.

Hourly rates can be beneficial in some situations, such as when you get the first email from new customers. You know that there will be a lot of revision rounds in the future and that you will be as much a therapist as a planner in the process of working together. Totalling those 500 hours, whatever the hourly wage is, will be a pretty decent payday.

Hourly pricing sounds much better than flat-rate pricing. Still, when you have to give consumers a full-cost ballpark price in advance (the estimated hours you expect to work x hourly rate), you will end up in a challenging situation if you do not have a good understanding of how long it takes you to do something. You are approaching the project’s halfway point and are well past the max hours you are contractually agreed to.

Project-based pricing

Project-based or flat-fee pricing is the most common form. Somebody asks you how much the website costs, you tell them £4,000, and you owe them £4,000 regardless of the time or expense involved. However, we sometimes underestimate the work needed with this approach and end up with unnecessary adjustments or unforeseen problems. This means a lack of sales or an embarrassing appeal for an improvement in the budget.

Project-based or flat-fee pricing is the most common form
Project-based or flat-fee pricing is the most common form

Project-based pricing can be efficient, and it is a step towards value-based pricing and higher benefit standards. If you do similar work with similar clients regularly (e.g. WordPress restaurant websites), you can decrease costs and raise revenues with this strategy. It can work well, too, if you are quick at time predictions, but most of us aren’t.

The most significant drawback of project-based pricing is that it is a set fee for a given mission. This way, clients will calculate this price and realise the actual cost after the project is finished. However, proposals typically shift as time progresses, and what began as a basic landing page can wind up becoming a 30-page dynamic corporate website.

In the case of fixed prices, as the project increases, your working hours will also rise, and as a result, the hourly wage will tend to decrease. That is why developers apply super-detailed scopes to the smallest information next to their contracts because if there are further demands or updates, they will start drafting a new scope and defining it again.

This is time-consuming because you will waste a couple of hours drafting scopes and deals instead of doing the job you are being paid for.

Pricing Business Value

Offer pricing of jobs at a proportion of the anticipated increased sales. By setting a price of 20% of the projected sales, you will be able to charge £20,000 for the website. If you did not set the background in terms of market worth, you certainly would not have had the client bid £20,000 on the project. By following a value-based pricing approach, the customer determines how much work they value about their company without considering the time or commitment it will take you to finish.

Offer pricing of jobs at a proportion of the anticipated increased sales.
Offer pricing of jobs at a proportion of the anticipated increased sales.

Handling sceptical customers

If the customer is risk-averse or still uncertain about the market effect that your job can have, then you need to direct the dialogue in a way that helps them buy into a value-based approach.

Ask the customer if they can spend £20,000 in their company to raise £100,000 in sales eventually. For most firms, the prospect of 5X their capital for a limited downside investment should be a no-brainer.

However, if the customer cannot give anything to reach the minimum degree of interest, you have to know when to move forward. Do not ever feel forced to take a cheaper offer because you feel like you have to. You may be able to change the deliverables to suit the customer at their price point. But as long as you have saved plenty of the runway, you should be able to say “No” to customers who do not pay you for what you should be paid for.


Many designers consider the time they spent on a project as they come up with a price, but experienced experts use it as part of the way they quote a project, not as the only deciding element. When you are secure with your hourly rate and estimate how long it will take you to do something, you need to consider a few more items that can raise your rates and turn your design hobby into a more sustainable profession.

You ultimately own rights over everything you make, which is why it is extremely necessary to read every contract with every work. Clients also demand more rights than what they can pay for – the primary red flag term is “work for hire.” This means that the customer gets all the rights to anything you make for them. They are ultimately, technically, the creator of your work.