Freelance Graphic Design: How Much Should You Charge?

If you’re a freelance graphic designer, your service is in high demand. But how much should you charge?

We’re going to break down the numbers and show you how to come up with a competitive rate for your work and get paid more.

How much to charge as a Freelance Graphic Designer
1. Determine your base hourly rate by considering factors like experience, skill level, and industry standards.
2. Account for overhead costs such as software, hardware, and business expenses when setting your rates.
3. Consider the complexity and scope of each project when deciding whether to charge per hour or per project.
4. Research the market and your competitors to ensure your rates are competitive and reflect your value.
5. Be transparent with clients about your pricing structure and explain how it aligns with the quality of your work.
6. Factor in taxes and savings when calculating your rates to ensure you’re covering all financial aspects.
7. Offer different pricing packages to cater to various client budgets and project requirements.
8. Regularly review and adjust your rates as you gain experience and expertise in the freelance graphic design industry.

How Much Will You Charge?

Once you have a solid understanding of how much time it will take to complete your design project, the next step is to set your hourly rate. We recommend starting with an hourly rate based on your experience and expertise, then adjusting from there as needed.

Building a successful career in graphic design requires overcoming common misconceptions. Discover the truth about working in the design industry by reading our guide on Top 15 Misconceptions About Working for a Design Agency.

Know Your Hourly Rate

Before setting any kind of freelance graphic design rate, it’s important to know what other designers are charging in your area. By looking at their websites or talking with them directly, you can get a sense of what they’re asking for their services. 

This will help determine how much (or how little) you should charge for work in that field—and whether you need to raise or lower your rates accordingly. What do other designers charge? Do they charge less than me because they’re newer/worse at what I do? 

Am I charging too much compared with my skillset? These are some questions that might come up when comparing yourself to others who offer similar services in the same field.* Have Your Value In Mind

It’s also crucial that all freelancers understand exactly why they’re charging a certain amount for their services: knowing this will help keep costs down while increasing client satisfaction over time and ultimately make sure clients feel like getting creative work done by someone like myself is worth every penny (or dollar). 

If a client asks about my hourly rate during a conversation before we’ve even agreed on terms, he may be expecting something lower than what I’m comfortable giving him so when explaining why my prices are higher than others.

I try emphasizing exactly why customers should see value in working with me instead of them: namely, because my designs have higher quality standards due to extensive education and experience; excellent customer service; fast turnaround times; flexible payment plans; etcetera.”

How Long Does It Take You To Complete A Project?

One of the biggest factors that determine how much you should charge is how long it will take you to complete a project. Before we get into why estimating time is important, let’s talk about what affects this time in the first place.

You: What kind of designer are you? Are you an experienced professional who can churn out a quality design in no time flat? 

Or are they just learning their craft and still have much to learn before they can confidently deliver a polished final product? How fast do they think they can work? Do they underestimate or overestimate their abilities?

The client: Have they given any indication as to how quickly or slowly they want this done? Do they need help every step of the way or would it be better for them if everything was ready to go once approved (which may involve some back-and-forth)? 

What kind of experience do these clients have working with freelancers are there any potential issues from past experiences that could affect this project’s timeline (for example: did one specific client always forget about deadlines so now all future ones will be late)?

Hiring a freelance designer doesn’t have to be overwhelming, even if you’re new to the process. Learn how to confidently hire the right designer for your project with insights from our article on How to Hire a Freelance Designer When You Have Zero Clue.

What Is Your Break-Even Point?

In order to determine what your break-even point is, you can use this formula:

Break-even = Total costs / Contribution margin

In other words, if the price per unit of your product (the price you charge) is $5 and your variable costs are $2 per item, then your contribution margin (the amount by which you make money) will be $3. 

To calculate this for yourself, simply subtract the variable costs from the selling price. In this case: 5 – 2 = 3.

In order to calculate your break-even point, you first need to know what your costs are. There are two types of costs: fixed and variable. Fixed costs don’t change over time, while variable ones do. 

For instance, if you rent a studio space for $1,000 a month (a fixed cost), there’s nothing you can do to reduce this expense without moving out of the building will always be $1,000 per month because it does.

To calculate your break-even point, you first need to know what your costs are. There are two types of costs: fixed and variable. Fixed costs don’t change over time, while variable ones do.

For instance, if you rent a studio space for $1,000 a month (a fixed cost), there’s nothing you can do to reduce this expense without moving out of the building it will always be $1,000 per month because it doesn’t fluctuate.

A variable cost, on the other hand, is one that changes depending on how many units you produce the more units you make and sell, the more your variable costs will increase. 

For instance, if you’re selling packaging for a jar of jam at $5 each, your variable cost is likely to be around $1 (or less) per jar because it takes only $1 worth of materials to produce one unit. If you sold 10 jars for the month, your total variable

costs would be $10. If you sell 100 jars, your total variable costs would be $100. To calculate your contribution margin, multiply the number of units (in this case, a jar) by the price and subtract that from the variable cost per unit (in this case, a jar). 

For example, if 10 units were sold at $5 each with a variable cost of $1 per unit: ($5 x 10 units = 50) – ($1 x 10 units = 10

= 40) = $40 contribution margin. Once you know your contribution margin (i.e., the amount that each unit sold contributes to your fixed costs), finding out how much to charge for each unit is simple. 

Let’s assume that the total fixed cost of running your business is $1,000 per month and that the variable cost for one jar of jam is $1.

If you wanted to breakeven, you would have to charge each unit (or jar) at least $2.50: 

$1000 / $2.50 per jar = 400 jars 

This means that in order for your business to remain profitable, it needs to sell at least 400 jars of jam per month. If you’re charging less than $2.50 for each jar, you’ll end up losing money.

Achieving success in freelance graphic design relies on building strong relationships with clients. Explore our comprehensive guide, The Ultimate Guide to Freelance Graphic Design Clients Success, to master the art of client satisfaction and long-term success.

What Do Others In Your Field Charge?

If you’re wondering what to charge for your work, look at other designers in your field. It can be helpful to see their designs and discover that they charge more per hour than you do. Similarly, if you see a designer charging less than the going rate for an industry-standard design project, it might be time to look at raising your rates.

It’s also important to factor in how much experience each of these designers has had with this kind of work (a newbie might charge less than someone who has been doing it longer). 

If you’re a new designer, start by asking friends and acquaintances in similar fields how much they charge for their services and what would make them feel valued as clients.

If all else fails, look at job boards. These give you a clearer idea of how much-experienced designers charge for their services. You should also research the cost for standard design projects in your area, such as logo design or web design. 

Once you’ve done all this research and know what similar designers are charging, you’ll be better equipped to set an appropriate rate.

It’s not as simple as just browsing through designer portfolios to see what they are charging. You have to consider their level of experience, the scope of their projects, and what is considered standard pricing within your industry.

to put yourself in the shoes of your clients. If you’re working on a logo design project, for example, ask yourself how much money this client is likely spending on other aspects of their business. 

If they have a modest budget for their project, consider charging them less than if they were paying top dollar. You should also consider your own experience level and how much time you’ll need to complete the work.

What Are Your Expenses?

Office space. You should consider whether you need to rent a dedicated office, or if you can work from home. Many freelancers go this route, but if your work requires meetings with clients in person more often than not, then it may be worthwhile to invest in a physical space of your own.

Rent. This one’s pretty obvious: If you’re renting an office space and/or apartment in addition to business insurance and other expenses like furniture and computers, then that needs to be factored into pricing considerations (and is probably going to take up the bulk of them). 

If all those things are paid for by someone else i.e., not you then they don’t factor into how much money goes toward paying yourself, as well as whatever other staff members, might need compensation for their services (and sometimes even subcontractors).

Utilities (and other household bills). Utilities aren’t just electricity and water bills; they also include things like phone plans and internet service costs which can vary wildly depending on where exactly your office is located too!

Setting the right pricing is crucial for freelance graphic designers to thrive in their careers. To learn strategies for increasing your earnings, take a look at our article on How to Charge More as a Freelance Graphic Designer.

What Is The Client’s Budget?

When it comes to freelance graphic design, it’s difficult to know what kind of budget your client has. Different projects will require different budgets and this can vary greatly from project to project.

There are some quick questions you can ask your clients when they reach out about the type of work they need to be done so that you can get a better idea of their budget:

How Long Do They Want Their Logo Design?

What other services are involved with this particular project?  For example, if they’re looking for a website but only have a small amount of money in mind, chances are they don’t have much room left over for custom branding or illustrations.  

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if someone wants an entire brand identity designed with complete branding assets (logo + business card + letterhead), then their budget will likely be higher.

Are You Working For Exposure Or Cash?

It’s important to consider how much exposure you want in relation to how much money you’re making. If your goal is to work as much as possible, exposure may not be as valuable to you. 

Working for free can mean losing out on revenue and taking on more work than you can handle, which could lead to poor quality and a burnt-out attitude.

Some things to consider when deciding whether or not you can afford to work for free are: Is this a one-off project? Would there be future opportunities if I do a good job with this one? How long will it take me to complete all of the tasks involved in this particular project? 

If I say yes now, could I potentially get another job that pays better later on down the road (even though they want me for a day or two)?

It’s important to consider

how much exposure you want in relation to how much money you’re making. If your goal is to work as much as possible, exposure may not be as valuable to you. Working for free can mean losing out on revenue and taking on more work than you can handle, which could lead to poor quality and a burnt-out attitude. 

Some things to consider when deciding whether or not you can afford to work for free are: Is this a one-off project? Would there be future opportunities?

Do You Want To Save For Taxes?

If you are a freelancer, it is important that you save for taxes. Tax season in the United States can be incredibly complicated. It is a good idea to hire a professional to help with your taxes, especially if you have multiple sources of income or are not familiar with tax laws.

Asking yourself the following questions will help determine how much money needs to be set aside:

What are my most common expenses? Do they include travel or equipment? Are they flexible based on the time of year, such as being able to deduct some costs during off-peak seasons? How much do I spend on business-related meals and entertainment versus nonbusiness-related meals and entertainment?

When do I usually get paid by my clients or customers? Is there typically one big payment every month or several smaller payments spread out over several months or even years (in certain industries)?

Any business, big or small, will be concerned about one thing and one thing only how much money they need to spend on the business.

Any business, big or small, will be concerned about one thing and one thing only how much money they need to spend on the business. They’re not concerned with how their employees feel or how they are doing at work. 

They just want to make sure their budgets are balanced and that they’re making enough profit after all of the bills have been paid.

So when it comes to freelance graphic design services, you have to think of your time as a commodity and price yourself accordingly.

Finding the best freelance graphic designers to collaborate with on your projects is essential for achieving outstanding results. Dive into our guide on How to Find the Best Freelance Graphic Designers for Your Project to discover effective ways of selecting the right designers for your needs.


Charge according to the value you deliver. If the client is happy with your work and thinks it’s worth their money, then charge what you want.

As a freelancer, it’s important to know how much your work is worth so that you can make an informed decision on what price to charge for it.

The best way to figure out how much graphic design work is worth is by identifying the value of your services and then setting a price based on that value.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further explore the topic of freelance graphic design rates and pricing:

Morgan Overholt’s Guide to Freelance Graphic Design Rates: Gain insights into setting competitive rates for your freelance graphic design services from industry expert Morgan Overholt.

Air Blog: Freelance Graphic Design Pricing Guide: Delve into a comprehensive pricing guide for freelance graphic designers on Air Inc.’s blog, offering valuable tips and strategies.

Wave Apps: Freelance Graphic Design Rates: Explore Wave Apps’ article on freelance graphic design rates to learn about market trends and strategies for determining your pricing.


How do I set competitive freelance graphic design rates?

Determining competitive rates involves considering factors such as experience, skill level, industry standards, and the complexity of the project.

Should I charge hourly or per project as a freelance graphic designer?

Both approaches have their merits. Charging hourly provides transparency, while per-project pricing offers clients a fixed cost for the entire project.

How do I negotiate pricing with clients?

Negotiation is an essential skill. Clearly communicate the value you bring to the project and be open to discussing how to align your rates with the client’s budget.

What should I do if a client insists on lower rates?

It’s important to hold firm to rates that reflect your expertise. If a client insists on lower rates, consider adjusting project scope to match the budget.

How can I increase my freelance graphic design rates over time?

Continuously improve your skills and portfolio to demonstrate added value. Regularly assess the market and gradually increase your rates as your experience grows.

What Are The Best Practices For Pricing?

It’s always a good idea to review your portfolio, research what other freelance graphic designers in your area charge and consider your own experience and skill level. Then, take into account how many hours you think it will take you to complete the project. 

If you have an hourly rate of $30 and estimate that the job will take 20 hours of work, then multiply that by $30: $600. Multiply that by two if you bill for both designs plus revisions: $1200. 

Some designers find that this method makes them feel like they’re undercharging at first but remember that if you’re providing quality work with every client interaction, eventually word will spread about how great a designer you are (and then clients will be begging for more). 

Remember also that there are additional expenses involved with running your business such as software subscriptions or web hosting fees; these costs should be factored into your hourly rate as well!

How Much Should I Charge As A Freelance Graphic Designer?

This question can seem overwhelming because each project is unique and has its own set of challenges but there are some general guidelines we suggest following when establishing prices: 

Schedule consultations with potential clients 15 minutes at a time so that everyone gets their questions answered without feeling rushed into committing; 

Keep track of all emails related to any given project so there’s documentation available in case anything goes awry downline from there on out; double-check everything before submitting final files just in case something slipped through unnoticed during earlier revisions.”

How Much Will You Charge?

You should charge enough to generate a profit from your freelance graphic design business. There are many factors that influence this, including how long it takes you to complete a project and how much you spend on supplies and equipment. You need to figure out what your break-even point is and the amount of money it takes for you to recoup all of your expenses and then charge accordingly.

What does the client need or want? Is there anything specific about their project that makes them different from other clients? What kind of work do they do? Are there any other specifics (such as deadlines) that may affect the cost of their project? 

These are all questions worth asking yourself when deciding how much time and effort each job deserves.

How Much Do I Charge?

Your hourly rate will vary depending on your location and experience. You can use a freelance calculator to calculate your freelance rate.

How Do I Charge?

The most common way is by project, where clients pay you at the end of the project based on what they need to be done. This is also called “fixed bid” or “fixed price” work. 

Another option is charging by the hour, which means that you have set rates per hour or day and then bill your client at the end of each week or month for how much time you spent working for them. 

This method has a lot more flexibility but requires more work on your part tracking hours spent on different projects throughout the month/year so that when it comes time to invoice them it’s easy to remember how many hours each project took up over time!

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