Why is graphic design so expensive?

Haunting the thoughts of thousands of small businesses and start-ups: Why is freelance graphic design so expensive? 

As a designer, most of the clients I have/had understand the value of my work. But in Pakistan, field of graphic design in growing bit by bit, freelance graphic designer and graphic design companies are also growing with them. Clients new to this area have very abstract idea of what graphic design work entail and feel of why to pay so much for it. As some my past experience I have seen client telling me that your charges are too high, some guy/company is giving me same service for half to half of your design rates, when I send them a design quotation

Some clients and people believe graphic design is just “Slapping text and image together” in order to make any print material or online graphics like flyer, poster, banner or even websites.  People think it’s just to set in front of screen, open adobe Photoshop and drag an image put some text and magic happen and work is done, so also believe that graphic design is not a real job!

As designer I will say that it’s not just sitting in front of screen but its blend of research, hard work and creativity with lots of time spend.

Time is money – Benjamin Franklin

This renowned quote is at the root of most freelancers’ price: How many hours will I dedicate to this project?

A freelance designer that obtained a 4 year design degree in university will usually charge at least $20-25/hour (Rs. 1500 -2000/hour) in Pakistan once they graduate.  It might sound like a lot but in reality, it’s not. Freelancer graphic designers are one man show, who look for new clients and act not only as a creative as own secretary, salesperson, research assistant, accountant and customer service representative. And that’s what I do, and it’s included my hourly rate. The price of each designer charge per hour also varies according to their skill level, education and professional experience.

A freelance graphic designer will therefore estimate how many hours your project will take them to complete, including usually a few revisions and consultations, and will multiply it by their hourly rate. In my experience, most graphic design projects take between 10 and 40 hours. The complexity of a project and the number of revisions needed is usually what will increase the number of hours needed to complete it. For example, designing a 8.5×11′ minimalist poster for a single event will generally require less time than creating the corporate identity and branding of a company (which usually includes logo, business cards, letterheads and envelopes at the very least).

Actually not that expensive…

In the end, when you analyze everything a freelance graphic designer has to do, you realize that the service they provide is actually not expensive.