Designer Tips: Is It Okay to Increase Your Rates?



You have upgraded your iMac, purchased new tools for your business increasing your monthly bills, and you even decided to rent an office space to work more efficiently. Now, your costs are higher than ever. What do you do?

You are not going to have any other choice but to increase your rates as a freelancer. Designers tend to stress out about this because they do not know by how much they should increase and they also fear that this may cause a conflict with any existing clients who have grown to your hourly rate.

You have to first understand that this is a normal process for any freelancer. If people are okay with Netflix continuing to hike up prices because of their extensions of original series and perks, why should they be upset with you doing the same? People should be paid based on their value in the market, and you needing to upgrade your programs, tools, and office is indeed making you a much faster and productive designer, thus making you more valuable.

Assuming that you are aware of your finances in terms of your freelance business, you should carefully adjust your hourly rates accordingly. Whether you are increasing it by just $10 or $50, make sure you are doing it to cover your new set of costs and nothing more unless you are absolutely confident in yourself to add those extra dollars.

As for your repeating clients, the most important thing to do is let them know. Educate them, and tell them that you are increasing your rates to better serve them and others. You also do not want to surprise them with large numbers on that invoice. Importantly, make sure you tell them way in advance or even give them a discount to allow them to slowly transition into your new system.


Designer Tips: Pretty Pictures Does Not Mean Sh*t

Earlier this week, I had a thought in my head regarding graphic designers who love placing the following text in the header of their portfolio site: “Hello, my name is John and I make pretty things.” Scroll down and you see images that are heartwarming yet empty. Images that have no process, thought, or purpose.

Designers are supposed to create a product that is aesthetically pleasing, but it does not mean you are limited to just that. I know dozens upon dozens of designers who hop on to Photoshop shortly after receiving the brief, which is fine as long as you are not already creating the final product.

 As a designer, you must find a process and stick to it. It does not matter what your process is as long say you have research, plan, and sketching as steps within your process. You would be better off spending 95% of the project time researching than spending that same amount of time making a pretty picture that does not mean anything to your client in the end.

Also, clients may end up wanting to make revisions to your ideas because it does not look appealing. Unless, the client has any other reason for changing up your concept, educate them as to why your idea works.

A problem that designers face today, is that people who aren’t designers look at our jobs as nothing but artists and should therefore not get paid at all.

Pretty icing on a cake will never solve problems. If the cake is bland, so is the experience.