Last week, we covered the designer’s side of the price talks, which you can read here. Now, we’re going to dive into the other side.
Although money is a weighty topic between designers and clients, it can also be a tool in finding the right designer for your project. And no, I’m not saying just go with the cheapest! In fact, I strongly urge you to never go with the cheapest. If you’re on the hunt for a designer, always bear this in mind:
You get what you pay for.
So many times, I encounter people who are dissatisfied with the results their designer delivered. And so often, they are paying meager dollars for them. It’s nice to think that no matter what you pay for a designer, they’ll always go above and beyond, delivering the most stellar designs they can imagine, blowing your expectations out of the water. But here in the real world, that rarely comes to pass. To avoid that scenario from unfolding, here are three things that prices can tell you about your designer.
1. How much they value themselves.
Believe it or not, most people don’t like making $4/hour, and designers shouldn’t be much different. Except there are many designers out there whose prices are so low that they’re lucky to bring that home in the end. When factoring in their time marketing, landing clients, maintaining their website, communicating with clients, honing their skills, keeping the books, networking, etc., you realize that the hours a designer actually spends designing needs to cover a lot of unpaid hours. A designer who charges low doesn’t value their time, and you shouldn’t expect them to value yours.
2. How much they value their clients.
It’s a simple equation: the more money you pay me, the more I value you. If you’re paying someone $50 to design a logo for the business you put your blood, sweat, and tears into, they value you and your business at $50. If that doesn’t sit well with you, that’s good. Design is an investment and you’ll get out what you put in. A good designer knows that and will price their services accordingly.
3. How much they value their work.
I’ve never been proud of a project that I only spent an hour on. And that’s not a testament to the speed at which I work, but rather the fact that great design takes time. I’ve encountered many people who think it’s ridiculous to charge anything more than $50 for a logo, because in their mind, a logo can be done in 45 minutes. You might get a logo, but it won’t be on par with a logo that someone invested 20 hours into. A good designer knows their process and won’t sacrifice the quality of their work just to land a job.
You can peruse Upwork or Freelancer and find bucket loads of designers that charge $5/hour, or promise a logo in a day for $35, or can build a website in two hours. Choosing designers in that pool is like playing the lottery. You might be the jackpot winner, but you’re nearly guaranteed to sink money into something that leaves you disappointed. Design is no different from the real world. You get what you pay for.