How Much Do Graphic Designers Charge: An Easy Guide

It’s no question the value that good design can add to your business. But value always comes at a cost, and graphic design is no exception. The real question is how much do graphic designers charge and what does that tradeoff look like? 

There’s no simple way to answer this question. Currently, there are many different types of design agencies and freelancers that take different approaches to pricing. 

You could get design services for as little as $10 an hour. But that might have you sacrificing value. You could ensure quality and value by working with agencies, but that might come at the cost of expensive fees and loss of flexibility. 

To get a better understanding of graphic designer pricing, this blog will explore the factors, types of design services, and rates for different projects so you can make informed decisions based on your budget.  

The Factors That Influence Graphic Design Costs 

Graphic design is an intricate world that requires many different variables. These variables all come into play when pricing is decided upon. Included in this cost landscape are the following factors: 

  1. The Scope of Your Project: One of the main factors affecting graphic design costs is the amount of work required. If you are looking for graphic designers to create a website, logo, and ad creatives, you will pay a higher price than someone who just needs a logo. 
  2. Proven Track Record of Designer: Experience and proven accolades in any field are always associated with higher pricing. The same can be said for designers. If you want the utmost value-added, then you will pay a premium to seasoned designers. 
  3. Urgency of Your Project: If you need fast turnaround times for your project this would require designers to work extended overtime hours and allocate resources to prioritize your projects. This type of work would command premium pricing. 
  4. Complexity of Your Project: Some projects may require more intricate designs. These more complex projects would need advanced techniques and technologies, which would force prices to rise.
  5. Location of Designers: In an interconnected and online world, you can hire people from across the globe. Hiring someone from India, for example, could be cheaper than hiring a designer based in the States. 

Graphic Designer Pricing: The Types of Services 

Understanding the different variables is an important factor to consider when budgeting for your graphic design services. Now that you know these variables, it’s time to learn about the different types of design service models and their associated pricing structures: 

Freelancers ($10 to $150+ per hour) 

A freelance graphic designer works alone without being attached to any design agencies. Generally, freelancers follow two main pricing structures, and these graphic design price rates can differ vastly. 

The first pricing structure is hourly rates, which according to Upwork, range from $10 to $150 or more. That’s a big range. These rates are based on the current going price, experience, location, and complexity of your project. You can find yourself anywhere along that range depending on any of those factors.

The second pricing structure is a flat project rate. For example, if you are looking for a logo design you would pay a flat fee regardless of how long the freelancer takes to complete it. These rates can range from $10 for a logo design to thousands of dollars for branding campaigns. 

To get a better understanding of freelancer graphic designer pricing, you can research the following platforms: 

fiverr homepage

Resident Full-Time Designer ($44,000 - $113,000 per year)

If you have a large company that requires design in everyday business operations, it can be beneficial to hire an in-house graphic designer. Opting for this route means you will have a dedicated designer who is focused solely on your company's design needs. 

According to ZipRecruiter, hiring a full-time designer can cost you anywhere between $44,000 to $113,000+ per year depending on their experience, track record, your company size and the amount of design needs required. The limited range of expertise and the need for ongoing training are some things to consider when opting for an in-house design solution.

Design Agency ($50 - $200 per hour)

Unlike freelancers, agencies work in a team. These teams consist of many designers who are experts in specific design fields and project managers. With many overheads come many costs. However, these higher costs are usually associated with more value-added and more streamlined experiences. 

There are two design pricing models, which are hourly rates, retainers, and project-based fees:

  1. Hourly Rates: Prices at agencies can range from $50-$200 or more.
  2. Project-Based Fees: These prices all depend on the project you need completed. The more complex, the more expensive. These prices can range from hundreds to hundreds of thousands.

Here are some examples of design agencies that use some of these pricing models: 

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Subscription-Based Design Services ($500-$15,000 per Month)

Design services can be costly. But there's a new model on the block that has taken over. Subscription-based design services have gained traction in recent years because they are flexible and cost-effective. 

A subscription-based model generally gives clients a specific number of concurrent design requests per pricing package, which is perfect for companies that need ongoing design projects. 

You can expect to pay rates from $500 to $15,000 per month. These costs depend on the design service’s experience, where and how the service is hiring, and the number of design requests you can have active at the same time.

Here are some of the top subscription-based design services for you to research: 

Understanding the Value Graphic Designers Add 

The word value has been mentioned multiple times throughout this blog, and for good reason. The costs of design services may seem substantial, but the value they bring to your brand or business is priceless. 

Here is what investing in professional graphic design services can do for your business: 

1.   Increase Engagement: Graphic designers have the ability to encourage interaction with your brand. They are able to do this by evoking emotion through captivating visuals.

2.   Increase your Brand Perception: Graphic designers can increase your brand's credibility and professionalism by creating consistent, branded visual elements for your business.

3.   Boost Sales and Conversions: Compelling visuals can create a sense of urgency and relatability, and graphic design services can effectively communicate your value proposition, which will ultimately increase your sales and conversions.

4.   Ensure Consistency: Your visual branding elements need to be consistent throughout all your business touch points. This helps reinforce brand recognition and creates a unified brand experience for your customers.

5.   Save Time: Running a business takes enough time already. Adding branded graphics to the mix can be overwhelming. Graphic designers can reduce the amount of time you spend on graphics and allow you to focus on core business operations.

Graphic Design Costs: How Much Should You Pay? 

Finding out how much graphic designers charge is one thing. Deciding how much you should pay is another. There are many different variables and types of design services that could affect graphic design price rates and the costs that you need to pay.

However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to how much your budget allows for and what your needs currently are.

You should consider your own budget, the scope of the project you want completed and what the potential return on investment could be. It’s important to find a balance between what you can afford and the quality you want to receive.

If your business already earns money, you should allocate a specific percentage of your operational expenses to get a general idea of how much you can spend. If you’re in the process of building your business, you need to assess how much capital you have for your venture and allocate a percentage to design needs. 

This figure will help you narrow your search and find the perfect balance between quality and price.

Ultimately, because the range of pricing for design services is so large, it comes down to two things:

  1. What your budget is
  2. What your needs are

Figure out those two factors, and you’re set.

Why Subscription-Based Services Are Worth It

Subscription-based services have become so popular because it’s difficult to understand how much design you might need or how much your budget will change in the future.

Subscription-based design services have the most predictable cost-pricing method. With the fixed fee, you can budget monthly and avoid the uncertainty of project-based prices. 

Plus, with the ability to downgrade, upgrade, pause or cancel anytime, you can stay as flexible as your budget and needs require.

Another advantage is that once you form a relationship with a graphic design subscription service, your input and effort involved in the design process will decrease. A good design subscription will become part of your team, acting as your in-house creative department. This will free up more time to focus on your core business operations.

teamtown website screenshot


After comparing the graphic design prices and rates of freelancers, design agencies, and subscription-based services, it might be evident that subscription-based services are an ideal choice for those looking to streamline their design processes and elevate their brand image for an affordable and predictable price.

The high-quality and consistent designs, access to a team of professionals, and multiple design requests you can ask for make this an excellent choice, especially without the financial uncertainty that comes with freelancers or design agencies. This shift towards a creative as a service model offers a reliable and cost-effective approach to meeting design needs.