It's true. But to be fair, I don't like discussing money either. It's my least favorite part of the process.
Candidly, no one ever gets into design for the money. It can be a comfortable existence, don’t get me wrong, but designers are designers for passion first. This may seem a contradictory statement if you’ve ever grumbled over the writing of a check for design work.
How can a drawing cost so much? The following is a personal example that will hopefully illustrate why.
A former client, during our initial meeting, stated: I don’t understand why typesetting my name in Times New Roman costs $2000. His confusion is understandable. It does not, in fact, cost $2000 to typeset anyone’s name in Times New Roman.
The typesetting is about 20% of your cost, in this case $400. That seems more reasonable, right? Typesetting involves understanding the geometric structure of the typeface, kerning (the space between the letters) and leading (the space between the lines), and the computer skills to manipulate the font and its variables, and export it in the correct formats.
The other 80%, or $1,600 as I explained to him, is the Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? such as:
Who are you as a brand?
Who is your target audience?
What is your key message to your audience?
What are your goals?
What are the goals of your audience?
What is the problem you are solving?
What makes your product or service different?
What does the use of Times New Roman say to your audience?
What was the catalyst for starting your business?
When did this catalyst occur?
Where do you see your business in five years? In ten?
Where are you located?
Where is your product or service manufactured?
Where is your audience?
Why is your business relevant?
Why is your solution the best in the market?
Why should anyone hire your services?
Why is Times New Roman the best choice for your visual identity?
How old is your audience?
How do they feel?
How do they shop?
How do they commute?
How do they vote?
The majority of the design fee is paying an outsider with expert-level thinking to come in and work with you on the best possible solution for your given situation. Why? Sometimes it’s nice to have someone who isn’t too close, who can ask the questions that you may have missed.
When you outsource anything, you’re paying for one or both of two reasons: (1) For something you cannot do or (2) For something you do not want to do. Not everyone is a trained designer. Obviously. Our different skillsets make the world go ‘round. You may feel unable to effectively communicate what it is you’re trying to say. Conversely, you may possess similar skillsets but realize you’re at a point in your business where your time is better spent in other areas and you need to outsource your creative needs. Either way, it’s only fair to pay for expert-level help. Let’s not grumble. Let's create.

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