Graphic design is vital to how a business portrays itself to the world and communicates with its customers. It goes far beyond simply throwing together images, colors, and text. Graphic design helps organizations build their brand identity and staying power. As such, most big companies have a graphic design team that is responsible for advertising, marketing products, and branding. On the other hand, many smaller businesses cannot afford or do not need to permanently employ in-house graphic designers. For this reason, they often outsource the service. If you are looking to add a bit of color to your brand, you may wonder, how much does it cost for graphic design?
Well, it depends on several factors, ranging from the scope of the work, the expertise of the designer, and the timeframes involved. For instance, you can pay as little as $100 for a small trifold brochure, or as much as $15,000,000 for the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) Logo. But how much is too little or too much to pay when it comes to graphic design? In this article, we’ll answer that question and more.
While graphic design products may look similar to laymen, the process behind their creation ultimately affects the quality and price. Generally, the results that can be produced by slapping together some free online templates and tools come at rock-bottom prices. Such designs, however, tend to lack originality and replicate what is already out there. They blend into the humdrum of overused logos and graphics that do not make a lasting impression in customers’ minds.
With cheaper logos, the designer usually works with the client’s input alone. The designer creates a few variations of the design, asks the client to pick a favorite, then refines the final product. Altogether, this process doesn’t take much time but it leaves out a pivotal stage in the graphic design process — research.
A lot more research goes into intermediate-priced designs. The designer researches the client against their competitors, formulates a design brief, and creates multiple design concepts. The creator then chooses the design that best resonates with the client’s brand, proposes it to the client, and perfects the design based on client feedback.
The final option is high-end designs, where a team of designers works on the project. This results in more design ideas and extensive research. Catchy taglines and names can also be part of this package. Naturally, this pushes the price up.
The cost of graphic design also differs, depending on the usage rights you are getting from the creators. In graphic design, there are different usage scenarios, as detailed below. For projects above $1,000, graphic designers may permit a business to use designs for magazine or newspaper ads, both locally and internationally, for a limited period. For $2,000+, the client has relatively more usage rights. In this scenario, you can use designs in all print media such as magazines, posters, point-of-purchase, newspapers, and billboards.
For a higher price, usage rights typically extend to the digital space. The creator allows you to use the artwork, designs, or content in print and online media, for a limited period. For $5,000 or more, the creator permits you to use content not only in all print and online media but broadcast media too, for an agreed period. Buyouts cost more, but you will be able to use graphics without any restrictions.
The cost of graphic design also depends on the type of client. Graphic design agencies typically categorize clients into three main tiers. The first tier is for the smaller entities, which usually operate locally. The second tier is for medium-sized entities that may operate regionally. Finally, the third tier is organizations that operate either nationally or globally. Needless to say, smaller entities usually have narrower and less complex projects.
As such, the pricing is relatively lower when compared to larger companies that operate regionally. The price tag goes up a notch with global organizations known for their large marketing and advertising budgets. For instance, Fortune-500 companies can potentially gain millions or even billions of additional revenue from their rebranding, so they tend to pay more for graphic designs.
Type of Design Project
As you can imagine, graphic design projects vary in terms of scope and the type of work required. Different projects cost different amounts of money. That is because each project requires varying skills, which ultimately impacts the time and effort that goes into completing the job. For example, the pricing for websites will never be standardized because they vary in scope. With website design projects, a client may want some touch-ups done on an existing website or they might require the creator to start the entire project from scratch. Even if a designer is hired to create the website from scratch, the price depends on whether it is a static, interactive, or e-commerce website.
The same applies to logo projects. As mentioned before, less research and effort goes into cheaper logo designs. If you pay five dollars for a logo, expect a copy-and-paste design that lacks authenticity. When a graphic design team has to evaluate your logo design extensively, provide customer-tested designs, and include guides to help you implement your brand effectively, be prepared to pay more.
Excellent graphic designs are fundamental for businesses of any level. A brand that has unique and visually stimulating graphics is more likely to attract and retain the attention of prospective customers. With DIY graphic design templates being more accessible, some companies are easily tempted to take matters into their own hands and create their designs.
However, such an approach can prove to be more costly in the long run. The result is usually a substandard job that compromises how the world perceives your business. It is usually a better idea to focus on what you do best and leave the graphic design to reputable professionals. The cost for graphic design will depend on the type of project, the size of your business, the graphic designer’s expertise, and several other factors. It will, however, be a worthwhile investment.