How To Charge More As A Freelance Graphic Designer

I’ve been working as a freelance graphic designer for over five years now, and I still have the same problem: how do you charge more without losing work? If you’re like me, you probably have a few “regulars” who send you a lot of their projects. 

But what if they get nervous when they see that your prices are getting higher? And even though you know it’s worth it to charge more for the work you do, what about that first project with someone new? How much should that cost? In this article, I’ll share my tips on how to increase your rate and make sure your clients are happy doing so.

How much to charge as a Freelance Graphic Designer
1. Understand the value you provide to clients.
2. Showcase your expertise and unique skills.
3. Clearly communicate the benefits of your services.
4. Research and compare industry pricing standards.
5. Consider packaging services for higher value.
6. Emphasize the quality and impact of your work.
7. Offer tiered pricing options for different needs.
8. Don’t undervalue your time and creative effort.
9. Demonstrate a track record of successful projects.
10. Confidently negotiate with clients for fair rates.

You Need To Get The Right Clients

The first thing you need to do is find your niche market and focus on that. If you don’t know what kind of clients you want, how can you expect to find any that will fit into your business model? That’s why it’s so important for freelance graphic designers to sit down and decide what their ideal client is.

Once you’ve determined this, the next step is researching potential prospects and I mean real prospects here, not just people who have bought from your website in the past or posted a comment on Facebook saying they like your work. “Prospects” are potential customers who are actively looking for graphic design services (or even just considering them). 

The best way to find them is through referrals or networking events; if someone knows someone who needs graphics designed and that person recommends them to you, then they’re much more likely than a stranger online who might be using Google Ads or something similar as their sole method of finding freelancers!

Gaining insight into customer preferences is crucial for setting the right prices. Explore our guide on getting the clearest picture of what customers want to enhance your freelance graphic design pricing strategy.

You Need A Great Website

One of the most important things you can do to increase your freelance graphic designer pricing is to have a great website.

Your site should look professional, use a template that fits your brand and be easy to use. To make sure it’s easy for clients to get in touch with you, make sure your contact information is prominently displayed on every page of your site, with links back at the top and bottom of each page.

Include testimonials from past clients on your website as well this shows potential new customers what other people think about working with you!

You’re Going To Have To Put Your Prices Up

In a competitive market, you’re going to have to put your prices up.

There are hundreds of freelance graphic designers competing for the same clients. If you want those clients, then it’s time to raise your rates. 

Clients don’t care if they’re paying a little more or if they can get the same quality work at a cheaper price. They just want great work, and they’ll pay whatever it takes to get it.

The only way you can compete with other freelancers is by charging higher prices and offering better services than these other professionals do and that’s not possible unless you’re willing to charge more in exchange for higher quality results from yourself and your staff!

Look At How You Can Increase Your Prices And Add Value

Now that you’ve got a few factors set up, it’s time to figure out how much you should charge for a project. The amount you charge depends on what the client wants from their project, what you need to do, and how much time it will take.

To start, ask yourself: How complex or detailed is this project? Do you need to create custom graphics or illustrations? Are multiple revisions involved? Is there more than one person working on the project with you (for example, an illustrator and a copywriter)? 

All these details add complexity and could mean more work for both parties involved. If so, be prepared to increase your fees accordingly.

Online marketing research can provide valuable insights into pricing strategies. Discover 10 creative things to know about online marketing research that can empower your freelance graphic design business to charge more effectively.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

It’s important to ask questions about the project before you begin a freelance gig. The client will appreciate that you’re being thorough and making sure that your time isn’t wasted on something that doesn’t pay enough money.

Asking questions can also help you understand what the client needs from you so that their expectations are realistic and they aren’t disappointed with the final product. 

For example, if someone asks for a logo design but doesn’t tell you who their target audience is or what kind of business they run (i.e., an app developer versus a yoga studio), then there’s no point in creating something original or unique you’ll just end up wasting time and producing something generic instead of using your creative abilities to provide real value to the client.

Be Confident And Set Boundaries

When you’ve been freelancing for a while, you’ll eventually get opportunities to take on more exciting or challenging projects. But with those opportunities come new challenges like how much you should charge for them.

If your work isn’t priced properly, clients will feel like they’re being taken advantage of and won’t appreciate what you do. But if you start charging too much, no one will want to hire you because it seems like too much money for what amounts to a simple design job.

The good news is that there is an easy way around this: charge what you are worth! As long as your work is at least competitively priced compared to the market average, then it’s likely that people will be willing to pay whatever price tag goes along with it (after all, who doesn’t love saving money?).

But how do we figure out our market value? Who knows exactly how much graphic designers charge in different parts of the country or world? We may not know every single answer ourselves either…but we can come close enough by asking questions like “How much does someone else charge?” 

And then look at their portfolio! Check out their rates per hour or project basis if possible; see what seems reasonable based on looking through their portfolio firsthand instead of just relying strictly on numbers alone (which could vary wildly depending on factors like location).

Be Honest About The Hours It Will Take You To Complete The Project 

The client might not realize that you are spending more time on their project than others because they are not paying as much as other clients. If you want to charge more for your time, then you need to be honest about how much time it takes to complete a project.

Ask For A Deposit Before Starting The Project

Before you begin your project, ask for a deposit. This will help both of you stay on track with time and budget. If you’re charging by the hour or day, ask for 50% upfront. Or if your client is more comfortable with that, ask for 25%. 

You can also choose to work on projects based on milestones (e.g., when I get to X stage in the process).

Boosting productivity plays a role in maximizing your earning potential. Learn actionable tips from how we can all be more productive to efficiently manage your time as a freelance graphic designer.

Use A Contract So You And Your Client Are On The Same Page From The Start

One of the most important things to do when you’re working with a client for the first time is to make sure that you and your client are on the same page. A contract can help this happen!

Contracts are legally binding documents that outline what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and when payment is due. 

They also give both parties protection if something goes wrong. If you end up doing more work than expected or your client doesn’t pay you on time, having a contract in place helps ensure that everyone knows what’s going on and takes steps towards resolving any issues as they arise (instead of fighting over them later).

You can find templates for contracts online or purchase one from an office supply store or lawyer’s office. You could even create your template by building off of the one mentioned above! 

Just make sure there’s enough space for all required information so neither side feels rushed at any point during their project together.

Charge For Revisions (Within Reason)

Once you’ve established your rate, charge for revisions. You’re a graphic designer and that’s part of the job. For example, if you work with an hourly rate and a client wants to add something that’s not in your contract or project brief, then you can charge them for it within reason.

In situations like this, it’s always best to have a written agreement in place so there are no misunderstandings between the two parties involved (you and the client).

Specialize In Something So That You Become An Expert 

This is a good way to increase your freelance graphic designer fees. Specializing in something will make you stand out, and not having to compete with other designers for clients will allow you to charge more as well.

This is especially true if there’s a demand for what you’re offering. For example, if it’s difficult or expensive to hire an experienced designer with the right skill set, then more money can be charged because of the rarity of this type of freelance graphic designer. 

In other words, if no one else does what you do well enough or cheaply enough, then that makes your services more valuable and thus worth paying for.

If there are already many people doing what you want to specialize in though (for instance: creating websites), then charging higher than normal rates may be harder since other companies will likely also offer similar services at lower rates than yours would cost per hour/project, etc…

Unsure about hiring a freelance designer? Gain insights from our guide on how to hire a freelance designer when you have zero clue to make informed decisions about collaborating with professionals.

Offer Extras Like Additional Services Or Revisions As Add-Ons 

If you want to keep your original prices low and still make more money, add-ons are a great way to increase your income. Add-ons can be anything from extra revisions to additional services such as copywriting.

When someone buys an add-on from you as a freelancer, it’s because they want that specific thing it was their choice and not part of the original price agreement. You can charge more for add-ons because they’re optional and not part of the original price agreement.

Add Some Of Your Own Stock Photography Into The Mix 

If you want your work to look professional, but you don’t have the budget for custom photography, consider using some of your stock photos. They add an element of personal branding that conveys “I know what I’m doing.” 

Plus, if you include them in projects for clients who do not need original work from you, it can help lower your overall price point because they will still look good on their own.

However, there are some important things to keep in mind when choosing and using stock photos:

Don’t overdo it! It’s tempting to use more than one image per slide or page especially if these are images you’ve created yourself but this can make a project feel repetitive and unprofessional. Stick with one photo per slide; otherwise, use two at most (and make sure they’re different).

Make sure they’re high quality! This means large file sizes with good resolution (i.e., 300 dpi or higher). 

Be wary of free photos from websites like Pixabay; while they may be free now and seem perfectly fine when downloaded directly onto a desktop computer screen in the full-color mode they may not hold up as well when printed out or viewed on a monitor at smaller resolutions or zoomed distances.  

Also, avoid using any photos that have been used by other designers (there’s nothing worse than realizing later down the road that someone else has already used something similar).

Offer Discounts If They Book You Again In The Future 

You can offer a discount for repeat clients or referrals, but don’t rely on this method too much as you should be charging enough in the first place!

If you do offer a discount to repeat clients, make sure it’s only because they’re repeat clients not because they’ve got the upper hand.

Designers Don’t Need Any Special Degrees But They Do Need Confidence!

Indeed, designers don’t need any special degrees to make a living, but they do need confidence! The best way to gain confidence is by gaining experience and learning from other people who are successful at what you want to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice when needed.

Collecting data for informed decisions is essential in pricing your freelance services. Dive into the process with insights from how I collected the data for my marketing research project to optimize your pricing strategy as a graphic designer.


Becoming a freelancer doesn’t mean you will charge more immediately, but it does mean that you can reach that level of work overtime. I think the best advice I can give is to do as much research as you can, especially online. There are so many resources out there for designers, and they all have something new to say!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further your understanding of freelance graphic design pricing:

Shillington Education: Freelance Graphic Design Rates Short Description: Explore a comprehensive guide on setting competitive freelance graphic design rates, including factors to consider and tips for success.

Air: Freelance Graphic Design Pricing Guide Short Description: Delve into a practical guide that outlines strategies for determining your worth as a freelance graphic designer and setting effective pricing.

Indeed Career Advice: Graphic Design Rates for Freelancers Short Description: Discover insights on graphic design rates in the freelance industry, including how to estimate prices and position yourself competitively.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Should A Freelance Graphic Designer Charge Per Hour?

It depends. You don’t want to look too cheap or unrealistic, but at the same time, you must be able to make a decent living. As a freelancer, you’re responsible for your taxes and expenses; when you work as an employee, those things are generally taken care of by someone else (your company). 

It’s important that you set reasonable rates that allow you to make a profit while also attracting new clients and keeping current ones happy.

Additionally, some design disciplines are more challenging than others and therefore more lucrative. For example, web designers can charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour depending on their experience level and expertise with coding languages such as HTML5 or CSS3

How Can I Become A Graphic Designer?

You have to be good at design. Beyond that, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the industry and how your work fits into it. You may also want to learn about how design is taught in school and what skills are necessary for you to develop before you start working full-time as a designer. How do I learn how to design?

What Are The Best Graphic Design Apps?

There is no limit on what you can create with these tools. They’re even better than traditional software because they let you use them on your phone or tablet! What’s the difference between a graphic designer and an artist?

Should Designers Charge Per Hour Or Per Project?

This is a common question among graphic designers, both new and experienced. The answer depends on the industry you’re in. If your client needs something large (a corporate identity system, for example), they may be more likely to pay by the project than by the hour. 

It’s not uncommon to make around $10-$50 per hour as an hourly worker with some experience under your belt if you’re charging out at top dollar $50/hour is pretty standard for freelance designers who can command that rate because they have extensive portfolios and experience working with clients in their industries. 

On the other hand, if someone needs only one logo designed within a week, it might not be worth charging them per project at all! In this case, you might decide that charging by the hour would be most beneficial. 

This way they will know exactly how much money they are going to spend before hiring you so there aren’t any surprises later down the road when it comes time for payment processing timeframes being delayed due to unforeseen circumstances like long vacations taken during regular business hours which could delay payments by weeks (or even months).

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