In some ways, design pricing is a bit like the value of building a house. Imagine using the cheapest materials possible and doing the architecture yourself. It would be exhausting and not very good, despite setting you back plenty of money. Instead, it’s better to think about value rather than cost

As a result you’d struggle to sell it. Your initial outlay would look like money down the drain rather than an investment. Of course, it makes far more sense to invest for a skilled architect. And to pay for good materials. That way you can be more sure of recouping the money you spent and make a good profit.

Graphic design is not much different. By the way, there’s a reason you see 100’s of articles about how you can get a £5 logo, but none about how businesses with £5 logos challenge the top brands. Because they don’t.

Of course you want to see your business succeed. And if you are thinking of working with a designer, you are already on the right track. A good designer can have a huge impact on communication projects you need to do. But like our house, it’s important to think about it as an investment rather than just a sunk cost.

Show me the money

Designers cost different amounts. What you pay depends on whether you work with a solo designer or a big studio. Each designer has a a different skill-set and level of experience. These things and more will contribute to what you’ll see on your estimate. Either way, most designers will work towards an estimate that gives you the most creative bang for your buck. It’s then up to you to decide who you want to work with.

Honest design pricing works both ways. You can try to get the designer to go low but that rarely ends well. It’s best that share your budget as soon as you know it. Nevertheless, I appreciate that you don’t have a bottomless pot of cash.

Cost, meet value

You can spend £5,000, or £50,000 and get different levels of design. The budget is really a guide for the designer. If you tell me you have £8,000 to spend, that is going to give me an idea of how much I can help you. The idea isn’t to extract the maximum budget from you. It tells you how much design you get for that money. When I have a better understanding of where you’re coming from, I will be able to give you a reasonable explanation of what I can do for you.

Don’t accept imitations or designers who claim to be able to knock stuff out for a few hundred quid. Or those £5 logos. As always, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The good news is, done right, design is an investment in your company and its future success. And you don’t just get pretty pictures and symbols for your money. Design is about creating value and impact through effective communication.

Investing in your future

A considered investment in a professional will repay you in spades. Don’t just take it from me that this works though. Studies have found that companies who invest in design make more money and perform better than their competitors. On that basis, it pays to invest in visually representing your business as well as possible.

Got a project you need looking at from all the angles? Then get in touch. I’ll give you an hour of my time and you’ll get a creative review along with some next steps.

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