How to price design services

Worth a watch if you think you’re undervaluing yourself. It’s a 30-minute tutorial from Chris Do, founder of Blind in Santa Monica, where he explains his pricing structure for logos and other design services.

3:40 Why logos are worth more to some companies than others.
5:40 Price the client not the job.
7:45 What does Blind charge to design a logo?
8:25 How do you quantify/justify the hours to a client?
9:45 Paula Scher’s approach (also see the Picasso story).
11:40 Pricing role play.
13:20 Most entrepreneurs value time. Symmetry of logic.
21:20 Clients don’t choose the best option. They choose the least risky option.

Thanks for sharing, Chris. Always interesting to see how others handle this side of things.

Via Paul Wilsdon.

11 responses

  1. Building on this, I have a few rules of thumb:

    • A straightforward brand identity (eg, more than just a logo, with some strategy & simple applications) will take about 100 hours. More for big, complex projects.

    • The value of a company’s brand is approximately 1-3% of their annual revenue. For a successful local restaurant that earns $1 million per year, that can easy be worth $10,000 for an identity project. For Exxon, it’s going to be significantly more.

    • There are variables such as how frustrating or boring a project will be. Similarly, if you can’t display it in your portfolio, charge a premium. Think about if you were doing a secret pharmaceutical project that needed to be approved by 47 individuals. Add those zeroes, and strap yourself in.

    A handy online guide, albeit one that doesn’t give you the full “algorithm”, is available here: http://busycreator.com/howmuch

    • “The value of a company’s brand is approximately 1-3% of their annual revenue.”

      That’s a really interesting way to look at it and encourages us designers to think carefully who we take on as a client.

  2. Thanks for the addition, Prescott. I gave the guide a quick shot and it mentioned a figure to potentially negotiate down to. In my experience if you begin by negotiating your fee, any followup job with the same client will be a negotiation, so it saves everyone time if you give your best quote from the outset and stand by it.

    And you’re very welcome guys. Chris deserves the thanks.

  3. Thanks David, for yet another gem of information. This year I hope to bring in 10k in addition to my salary design job. I believe that the people at The Futur’s series would be most helpful in getting to that end goal.

  4. Thanks for this upload. Best video I saw in a very long time, and it came at the right time after only last night I was explaining to a client how paying me more would be cheaper for them. This really helped me figure some stuff out and make sense of things!

  5. Kia Orana Dave! What a life changing video, that was awesome! Builds my confidence, and helps me to help my clients see the value that they get when they hire a professional as opposed to an intern. :) Just what I needed.

  6. Thats a good video, very interesting. I think it always depends on your client. A local tradesman startup business isn’t going to want to spend the same as a global brand including guidelines. If you ask the correct questions, make them write a brief, you can usually work out the costs beforehand. Also a lot of value is being taken a way by online logo generators. But you can’t put a price on good design which I think real companies can see.

  7. Searching Google for “how to price a logo design” is like dealing with my soap-opera-addict-93-year-old grandma after I turn off her TV and take away the remote. It’s a don’t try this at home kind of experience.

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