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Why most designers do not put up exact prices of their work?

why prices are not clear in design

Prices are changing as the needs change

As with most services, customers expect designers work with set prices and previously built pricelists what they can pick from. And they totally right to do so. When you go to a shop and order a coffee, it says at front, that the coffee is x amount and they know next time when they come in that the coffee here is x amount. Why designers reluctant to do the same? It is much easier for a customer just pick what they want and get on with it. No surprises!

The problem regarding prices come when you ask the question: when you buy a coffee, you know exactly what you will get. Next time you go in you get almost exactly the same. But is this happening with design as well? It is not. Every logo, every ad, every website is different. Different aims, different needs, different personalities. Every project we do, we need to measure the specific circumstances we do it in. Is it a simple logo or a full company identity? It is a small one page static website or an e-commerce one with thousands of products? Is it a one off advert or a full blown campaign? Even the client itself changes the price. How much this client willing to spend, how important for them to be known, focusing on loyal customers or gathering new ones? Start-up or an established business?

And funny as it is it depends on the designer as well: how busy I am? How much do I need this contract? Does it worth it for me? What is my relationship with my client (you would be surprised how much it matters what the client attitude is in the price given)?
So designers have to factor a lot in, and they all alter the price, sometimes in a significant degree.

One more thing to add here: when you buy the coffee, the product is finished and you have no way to change or improve it. The customer, even if they change their mind has to drink the coffee (or not drink it, which is a waste of money) as it is. With design the mid-changes are standard practice. A customer can change their mind halfway through and still can finish the product as they like it. It only adds to the cost. Their investment is not a waste.

Although I cannot give you a precise price at first – this is why the first thing we do is sit down for an hour or two and work out the plan – it doesn’t mean I hide it or I am unsure what to give, this is not a way to rip off or a way to trick you into buying, this is the way a creative service works.

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