A glimpse into design pricing: how much does it actually cost?

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Money is a touchy subject, but it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to design consulting engagements, I believe in pricing transparency. This approach is convenient, saves time, and lets my clients know what they’re getting into even before reaching out.

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
Warren Buffett

I hope this straightforward pricing overview can help you avoid the time-consuming process of requesting quotes, waiting for estimates, and going through lengthy email exchanges. So, here is the breakdown of what I charge per hour, along with the typical rates for projects like branding, website design, and development.

What’s your hourly rate?

I currently charge $150 per hour.

Do you have an engagement minimum?

Yes. The initial engagement requires a minimum budget of $10,000. Once the working relationship is established, we can transition to an hourly rate or a retainer.

What exactly am I getting for my $10k?

Let’s break down an example website design project that includes a vibrant homepage and various supporting pages. The scope covers both the UX stage (wireframing) and the visual design stage. More time is allocated to designing the homepage, as it’s used to set the project’s visual direction and language. Budgets are calculated similarly for websites, as well as for mobile and web applications.

Wireframing Visual Design
Pages Hours $ Hours $
Homepage 8 $1,200 8 $1,200
Products 4 $600 4 $600
Reviews 4 $600 4 $600
Services 4 $600 4 $600
Clients 4 $600 4 $600
About 4 $600 4 $600
Careers 4 $600 4 $600
Contact 2 $300 2 $300
Total 34 $5,100 34 $5,100
Grand total $10,200

By adding another $10k, this website will be fully ready to go live—built in Framer with no code, and available for instant edits through their intuitive CMS.

What if I want to build something more advanced?

Bespoke illustrations, CGI graphics, or complex development involve more team members and incur extra costs. A website or application with interactive features and custom functionality often demands a dedicated creative and engineering team, months of work, elaborate planning and documentation, as well as expenses in the six-figure range.

What about branding projects?

$10k will get you three distinct branding concepts, a polished iteration of your chosen direction, and a stunning-looking PDF style guide. Investing an additional $10k will unlock an extensive online style guide, akin to brand.argyle.com.

What’s your retainer fee?

My retainer fee is $5,100, which covers 34 working hours per month or a little under a week of work. A no-brainer for companies in need of consistent design oversight but lacking the workload for a full-time design resource.

What’s is your team’s hourly rate?

Designer, illustrators, CGI artists, or developers brought onto projects have their rates calculated based on their expertise and experience. For quick calculations, you can still use $150/h as a ballpark estimate.

Are iterations included?

Absolutely. I provide up to 4 rounds of iterations, allowing us to explore various directions and achieve the desired outcome seamlessly. The final design is always a product of collaboration, where client’s input and business insights play a critical role.

This sounds like a match, how can we get started?

Drop me a line to [email protected], and we’ll take it from there.