Learn 5 little known reasons about why design costs so much

Feb 10, 2021

lady shrugging on pink background

People often ask me why graphic design cost so much. So it’s time for me to nerd out on the beautiful world of design and tell you why.

You may think designers sip on coffee and daydream about beautiful things all day, and you’d be right. But here’s what we also do.

Aside from creating, the process involved in designing a stunning (perfect for you) logo or any other design piece is huge. There are many bits, pieces and reasons involved in how we designers price ourselves.

I’ve worked with lots of different people in my time, and many of them have something in common. They think graphic design is as easy as chucking together a picture with a few words on a computer. And with a few clicks of the mouse, voila.

Could you imagine? If this were the case, then why do graphic designers exist?

Design is a mix of research, creativity and hard work.

Furthermore, design is about collaboration because designers work with you to understand the needs and intentions of your project. So we can design the best work possible and present it to you.

What you then get, is a finished piece that makes your heart sing. Because it’s meaningful and perfect for you.

And that’s only the beginning.

Keen to understand why the heck design costs so much and what’s involved?

Awesome, let’s go.

Time is the first reason design costs so much.

Aaaah yes, time.

Believe it or not, it’s the most crucial part of a design project.

Because my friend, it might look quick and easy, but it takes lots of time to come up with great design.

So why is this?

Because brilliant design aligns with you, your values and who you are.

Graphic designers want your heart to sing with delight, remember?

Which means we spend time behind the scenes researching things to create the best for you.

All sorts of thing like,

  • Your industry
  • Your target audience
  • Your competition

And this happens all before we start on the creative stuff.

But why is this?

Because your business is you, right? Which means it’s unique. So to let your you-ness shine through, us designers need time to do the detective work.

And once Sherlock Holmes (otherwise known as designers) finish this part, we move onto creating. Creating involves trying out different ideas to see what works and what doesn’t.

And you guessed it, it’s all based on our research and your business.

But here’s the shocking thing, you may see 3 concepts for your logo, but we’ve created 10 others. So you see the bee’s knees of the concepts.

Sounds like madness, huh?

A bit, but designers see endless possibilities. Which means we create a bunch of them and present the best ones. You never see all the other options.

So aside from research, why else do we create heaps of concepts?

Because ideas don’t just happen. Yep, that’s right you read it here first.

Let’s talk about logo design as an example.

When creating a logo, I work through a little bit each day. So I can discover new ideas that come to me. Because fresh ideas, create the artistic evolution of a perfectly aligned logo.

Unfortunately for me, ideas often happen in the shower or when I’m trying to sleep. But hey, the creative mind wanders into oblivion and beyond because it’s always looking for never-ending possibilities.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way as you get the perfect logo for you.

 

Experience is the second reason design costs so much.

A designer will price themselves based on their experience. I mean, wouldn’t you?

Heck yeah, you would. And if you want expertise, then you’ll pay accordingly.

“If I do a job in 30 minutes, it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do it in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.”

Ever heard this saying? If not, it’s a freakin great one, huh? Now it may sound arrogant, but it’s accurate. And true for all industries.

Someone who’s spent years honing their skills in a profession is going to know their stuff. Which means they should charge and get paid accordingly.

Again, you do this yeah? Charge what you’re worth? Well, you guessed it, us graphic designers do it too.

Let’s talk about talent

 Experience then leads me to speak about talent.

Whether a designer has formal qualifications or years of on-the-job training, most of us also have a natural creative gift.

You know the kid who loves to draw and can’t put down the pencils? The one who makes a mess creating all the crafty things. Chances are your graphic designer used to be that kid.

Ok, here’s a confession, your graphic designer is still that kid, but wears big grown up pants now and runs a business.

As for me, my natural creative gift is drawing, it’s all I wanted to do as a child. And an adult.

So I made this into my career and chances are, all my graphic designer friends have as well.

Results cost money

Want results? Of course, you do.

Design is an investment.

Because what designer’s create improves your business.

Think about it this way. If you want to charge a premium price for your product or service, you need to look like a premium quality business. And this is where us designers help you.

When you invest in your branding, you’re laying foundations. And these become a valuable business asset for you in the future.

How?

Because with consistent and hardy brand visuals, people remember your business. And they begin to trust you.

And people buy from businesses they know and trust, so they’ll turn into paying customers.

 

Expenses are the final reason for design costing so much.

You run a business.

Well, guess what? So do designers, and like all businesses, we’ve got expenses.

And not the expensive box of 72 Derwent Artist pencils. Argh, they fulfilled my life as a child. What a dream to have all 72 colours.

But things like software.

Would you believe the design software we use costs over $900? Yearly?

So our expenses include things like,

  • Software
  • Design tools
  • Hardware
  • Accounting
  • Taxes
  • Marketing
  • Coffee

Plus the high water bills for all our thinking specific showers.

It’s a lot, right? Nah. All businesses have expenses, and as you know, they all add up.

We might just have higher coffee bills for all the thinking time keeping us up at night.

 

So, my friends, excellent graphic design is a combination of time, experience and talent to give you the best result for your business.

Seriously though, have I convinced you design is worth every dollar?

Free Design collateral checklist for businesses

It’s a crowded business world.

But with strong, consistent brand visuals, people will remember your business. And, you’ll be able to connect with your ideal customers.

So then, what about your business? What designs does it need right now to get your ideal clients to fall in love with you?

To sweep them off their feet and grow your business in 2021, now’s the perfect time to invest in your brand designs.

Curious to know what a professional graphic designer can do for your business?

Download my free design checklist here.

Or grab a copy of my price guide to see how Little Black Kat Creative can help you.

Kat xx

You may also like…

Six things I’ve learned from a year in business

Six things I’ve learned from a year in business

Most people indulge in a glass of wine or a long bubble bath after a hard day at work. Me? I wrote a resignation letter to make myself feel better.
I wasn’t even sure I was going to hand it in. I thought about it. Re-read it 100 times. Tweaked a word or two. Then decided, “F*ck it. If there’s a right time to start my own business, this is it: Smack bang in the middle of a pandemic.”

Follow

 

Sign up to my monthly newsletter

Branding checklist download

GRAB MY FREE BRANDING CHECKLIST!

 
 Branding isn't just a logo or the way your present your business visually. 
 
It’s everything you would like your customers to think, feel, know and experience with your business.  
 
Download my free branding checklist and let's tick off all the important things your brand needs to succeed!

Thanks for signing up! A link with your download will be emailed to your shortly.

Pin It on Pinterest