Most graphic designers have trained themselves to design many forms of media, but few graphic designer have taught themselves how to run their own graphic design business. Learning the business side of graphic design is beneficial. You will be consciously aware of billing, time management, marketing, and so on. Here is crucial information to help you succeed.
1) Put a price on what you do: learn to establish your design fees
One of the most difficult tasks as a new graphic designer is learning how to set your rates or design fee. How much will you charge? This question is difficult to answer. You should determine your design rates by a number of factors, including your talent, the type of graphic design work, your ability to negotiate, and more. Generally, you can expect higher payment if you do design work in the advertising industry. Advertising is more demanding than say, publishing. This may seem strange, as some publishing jobs are very similar to advertising jobs. In some cases, you may choose to work for free. Some graphic designers donate their talent and skills to charity or nonprofit organizations in hopes of advance their careers. Here are some tips for learning to set your own design fee. Go to our Graphic Design website for more info.
First, never take a job until you have agreed on a fee with the client. If you don’t know how much to charge, don’t be afraid to ask the client to offer a bid. If the client is unable to provide an estimate, then do the math yourself. Estimate how many hours you expect the project will take until completion. Then multiplied this number by an hourly rate. Of course, don not forget to add certain expenses, such as paper, type and printing. Always make sure the client receives a written estimate that specifies exactly what the price does and does not cover. What if the client does not agree to your design fee? Unfortunately, estimating a job by the hour will not always work. Sometimes you will have to educate your clients about the work that is involved to create a finished project. A good design will often look effortless, leading the client to believe that it was easy to produce. In graphic design, an effortless-looking design is often the hardest to produce.
2) Learn to put together a contract
If you are new to graphic design, then you will discover that creating a contract is difficult. A contract does not have to be complicated or drawn up by lawyers. A contract can be a simple letter of agreement that you and the client sign. Every time you take on a new job with a new client, you should create a contract. This is for your protection in case you ever run into legal troubles. If a client refuses to sign an agreement, you should at least write down the terms of the project and send the client a copy via registered mail.
3) Learn to work as a freelance graphic designer
There is a strong business side to freelance graphic design. Once you have learned to establish your design fees, it’s time to learn about how to deal with your clients. One of the most common problems that new freelance graphic designers face is they tend to overextend themselves. If you are just starting as a freelance graphic designer, you may find that your clients and suppliers may ask you to pay them before they do a job. But if your client does not pay until sixty or ninety days after delivery of the project, what can you do? Always make sure you are solvent enough to cover your cash expenses. Starting your own graphic design business, like any other kind of business, requires a substantial cash investment on your part.