Here’s a great article from Cameron Moll on the topic of pricing and hourly rates in the graphic and web design industry called More than a mechanic, less than a lawyer. “What is the average hourly rate?” “How much can I charge for X project?”
There is one tried and true axiom howerver that he forgets to point out, which is, if you are contantly booked and working more than 40 hours a week your hourly rate is probably too low! Enjoy, and thx for the linky love Cam.
There wonâ€™t ever be a standardized hourly rate that everyone charges. And there certainly wonâ€™t ever be the ideal client/agency situation we all hope for.
Whatâ€™s more, there are two sides to every coin. Step back for a minute then, and examine the second side of the coin: Pricing decisions faced by the client. Take a look at this example: University of Hawaii logo critique at HOW Forums. The short and the long of it? The university paid $82,000 for logo redesign, and the islanders despised the work the mainland agency produced (among other things). Frankly, after seeing the logos, I donâ€™t blame them.
Contrast that with CD design from Disc Makers. The exact opposite of the premium pricing charged by the unnamed agency above, one might argue that Disc Makersâ€™ â€œlow-ball pricingâ€ scars the industry. But is it really low-ball? After trolling through their portfolio you might be inclined to instead call it a darn good deal.
Letâ€™s face it, crew â€” the design industry isnâ€™t perfect. There is no flawless pricing model. And perhaps there shouldnâ€™t be. Examine the car repair industry, for instance. I pay $82/hour when I take my â€™95 Land Rover Discovery in for service. Yet when I take my â€™88 Jeep Cherokee in for service, I pay $40/hour. A 205% markup in pricing for essentially the â€œsameâ€ service? What gives? Why not pay just one labor rate for both? Perhaps I should take both to the same shop. Why donâ€™t I? Good question.
But wait, $70/hour for graphic design by Jill Y? And only $20/hour for the â€œsameâ€design by Joe X? What gives? Why not the same rate? And why go for $70/hour when I can get $20/hour?
Seems thereâ€™s an interesting dichotomy at hand. But honestly, I welcome the dichotomy. If a clientâ€™s top priority is price, I have no qualms about referring them to LogoWorks.com (Iâ€™ve done so before) or StockLayouts.com. If thatâ€™s all they think their budget can afford, I waste little time convincing them otherwise. However, if price is only one of several priorities on the list, Iâ€™m all ears.
So at the end of the day, you charge what you need to charge. Iâ€™ll charge what I need to charge. Let others charge what they need to charge. And allow the market to weed out those who fail to differentiate their services and justify their pricing.