Hello ladies!I was wondering…how much is the norm to charge for custom design services? Since I do most printing out of house (I’ll get a letterpress of my own someday) I do a lot of designing. I have no idea what to charge for this service. If it was just regular graphic design I would go with my normal hourly rate multiplied by how many hours I think I will spend.Is it different for invitation design? I don’t want to overcharge my customers, but I’d like to get what I need to keep business going.Does anyone have a suggestion?
Hey Emily,I saw something about this in How Magazine a while back–it seems like it’s pretty dependent on where you live (people charge more in San Francisco than in Des Moines, for example). There’s a survey of designers, what they charge, and how they break down their billing here, and some pointers for how to bill time here. Probably applicable to printers as well!
Hi Emily,I’ve been reading a really great book, “The Designer’s Guide To Marketing And Pricing: How To Win Clients And What To Charge Them”, it’s a recently published book (I think in ’08) and I’ve found it very helpful in determining how much to charge clients for custom design services.This book has a few worksheet-type pages where you breakdown the costs associated with running your own business, including overhead, your salary, making a profit, etc. I’m completely new to the custom design/letterpress business, so having this as a guide is helpful. The thing that’s stressed in this book is not to charge an hourly rate, rather figure out how much time the project will take you and name your price, but it does help you figure out your hourly rate so you have it to figure out how much to charge!It’s also got information about contracts, marketing and whatnot that could prove to be helpful…the one thing I like about it too is you can pick and choose what you want to read about and jump right to that chapter and not be completely lost!Good luck!Kristinahttp://www.amazon.com/Designers-Guide-Marketing-Pricing-Clients/dp/1600610080/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252691150&sr=8-1
Another way to look at pricing is to research others who are working in your style and with the level of clients you want to reach. You can see their published price lists. Some of this is on the web and some of it is in stationery stores with wedding books. Most markets have an accepted price range. You want to maintain the perceived quality level of what you’re producing. Experience will show you that the margins earned by experienced practitioners cover lots of unexpected disasters or slow seasons.