A picture is worth a thousand words.\nBut how much should it cost to make?\nYou’ve made peace with the fact that you’re not an artist, that’s step one. Now, it’s about finding a talented graphic designer to enhance your business and impress your customers by conveying the image and essence of your brand.\nBut, like all businesses, you also have a budget to manage. And when it comes to graphic design projects, it can be hard to understand exactly what you’re paying for, which price structure to go with, and who you need exactly.\nIn this article, we will cover the best ways to come up with and manage a graphic design budget:\n\nHow much does it cost to hire a graphic designer?\nSet a budget for graphic design\nConsider setting a budget based on ROI\nFollow these guidelines when hiring a designer for your business\nUnderstand project-based vs. hourly rates vs. flat rates\nConsider how many revisions you will need\n\nIt’s got to be an artist you’re able to afford so you’re not wasting your time and theirs. Which means you need to know:\nHow much does it cost to hire a graphic designer?\nThe easy answer is to look at average freelance design rates:\n\n\n\n\nExperience\n\n\nRates\n\n\n\nMid-level designer\n$25-$35 per hour\n\n\nExpert-level designer\n$35-$75 and above per hour\n\n\n\nVia Conor Gillivan (Freelance Graphic Design Rates 2018)\nYou can anticipate the hours you’ll need help, and use these rates to set an initial budget.\nAre you looking to bring someone on for 10 hours each week?\nOr, do you need a designer just for a few hours to create a social media graphic?\nIf you’re not sure how many hours are needed, you can ask your designer for a project-based estimate. This way, you’ll know what the project costs are and can determine if your business is ready to hire out or if you need to find a budget from elsewhere in the business.\n\nThis will put you in the ballpark for creating a graphic design budget for your company. But this is just the beginning of figuring out how to find, hire, and plan a budget for a freelance graphic designer.\nIn the next few sections, this article will cover considerations you should make prior to hiring a design, including hourly vs. project fees.\nSetting a reasonable budget for graphic design\nIf you’re not sure how many hours are needed or what level of designer you’ll need, it might be better to look at what your business can afford and go from there.\nFreelance graphic design is like any other service you have outsourced, such as accounting or bookkeeping, social media management, or customer support.\nYou should look at it like an ongoing business expense (or a one-time investment depending on what you need), and plan accordingly.\nIf you want emails designed every month, dedicate a percentage of revenue that you know comes from email. (We’ll discuss how to do this in the next section.)\nIf you’re looking for a brand refresh or new campaign, you might need more budget upfront and less on an ongoing basis.\nTo give you a baseline of what a project may cost, here’s a graphic design pricing list overview:\n\n\n\n\nProject\n\n\nHourly rate*\n\n\nProject rate*\n\n\n\nLogo\n$50-$150\n$300-$5,000\n\n\nBrand guide\n$50-$150\n$200-$3,000\n\n\nWebsite (template)\n$50-$200\n$700-$2,000\n\n\nWebsite (full)\n$50-$200\n$800-$5,000\n\n\nDigital ad\n$30-$75\n$180-$500\n\n\nBusiness card\n$30-$75\n$150-$500\n\n\n\nVia 99designs.com: Please note that these are only rate estimates. Freelance designers are able to charge whatever they’d like for their work so you may find rates outside of these ranges.\nSetting a budget based on ROI\nAnother way to look at graphic design budgets: How much business will your new design and branding bring in?\nIf you’re a salon, you can include an offer with a tracking code in an email and see how the new design compares against the previous version.\nWhen a single email brings in $700 worth of business, you can assume that’s a reasonable amount to pay for the initial design, as you can likely reuse the template and switch up the messaging month after month.\nSome tactics may be difficult to measure, but think about what your investment in graphic design will do for your business.\n\nYou can even (and should) set financial goals for new tactics to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. Other business growth metrics such as social media referrals, lifetime value, and return on marketing investment are also worth paying attention to.\nThese can all be used to back up your graphic design budget and adjust as needed.\nFinding a designer for your business: Things to consider\nYou could go through a larger agency. But they are typically more expensive, as you’re getting multiple professionals wrapped into one company.\nWe’re talking thousands of dollars.\nThat being said, included with that cost are things only a large agency can provide. Such as in-depth research of the market you’re in as well as holding focus groups to help hone your brand’s message.\nFor a small to medium business, you may be better suited for a freelance designer — especially when your company is first starting out.\nThe relationship can be more personal and can give you a level of involvement you might otherwise not get with a large agency. And of course, it can be easier to manage your budget.\nThis isn’t true for all freelancers or agencies, as some freelancers can treat clients poorly and some agencies are incredibly ingrained in your business. There are exceptions, especially if you have an existing relationship with an agency or have received bad reviews of freelance projects from friends.\nHowever, choosing the freelancer route can still give you a range of options, both in terms of quality of work as well as price.\nThe goal is to find someone you’re comfortable and confident with as they take on your work.\nSo how do you go about hiring a freelance graphic designer?\nStart with a talent search\n\nBrowse portfolios\nThere are many Talent sites that can help you find professionals that convey the tone and style you’re looking for.\nYou’ll immediately be able to recognize quality and price points of various artists to fit your company’s needs.\nSettle on the type of project and commitment\nIs it a one-time job? Building a logo or creating an image?\nOr do you need weekly social posts and email headers?\nEach designer can be a little different with their pay structure, so you want to be clear with yourself and them about exactly what the time commitment and deadline is.\nProject-based vs. hourly or flat fee\nYou can look for a project-based pay if you know the parameters and frequency of your projects.\n\nAn hourly rate is also a common barometer across varying types of projects, and if your request is for ongoing work, this approach might make the most sense.\nProject-based is good for a flat fee in return for a single expected piece. Whereas hourly seems to appeal more to a longer commitment.\nWhen you go with hourly rates, you can choose to set maximums or minimums for the week or month so that both you and the freelancer know what is expected.\nFreelancer payments made simpleAccurate time tracking and payroll software\nA conversation with a potential freelance artist will help make sure you’re both on the same page about the work expected and the pay offered.\nHere, it’s also important to ask questions about the working relationship. Some obvious ones:\nHow long does a freelance design project take? How much will it cost? Do I get a revision or two?\nWhile you’re within your rights to request tweaks and adjustments, most freelancers will charge for these revisions at some point.\nWhich is reasonable, as they want the project to meet expectations and solve the initial challenge. The more rounds of revisions you request, the further from the original intent the project gets.\nThis makes it all the more important to have that initial kick-off meeting or conversation with the designer. This way, you’re not going back and forth, round after round, trying to get what you imagined and building tension.\nAfter all, no one wants to be the client from hell.\nMake sure there’s little room for error or misunderstandings. Being clear and over-descriptive from the start can help in this case.\nThe right fit\nThe higher the cost doesn’t necessarily mean the better the fit (or sometimes even the quality of work).\nIn fact, there’s no need to immediately hire the person who charges the most.\nSince graphic design has such a creative and artistic effect on your brand, it’s more important to find the person who can help deliver on your vision than to just use price as a determining factor.\nThere could be someone with fewer years of experience who possesses a style that’s just perfect for what you have in mind.\nWhile experience also comes with a more refined style and expertise (generally speaking), don’t limit yourself to the top tier price-wise when your ideal designer might only have a couple of years of experience.\nYou want to find the creator that speaks to your brand’s vision.\nPrice isn’t the only factor when budgeting for freelancer designers\nA good budget also takes the timeline into account.\nRush jobs will have higher price tags. The sooner you can kick off a project, the better chance you’ll have at keeping costs within expectations as the deadline approaches.\nOutside of cost and style, a working relationship is equally as important.\nAsk yourself:\n\nIs this freelancer someone who’s prioritizing your work?\nCan they deliver on time week after week?\nOr conversely, can they be someone who brings you great work even though you request it infrequently?\n\nA final thing to keep in mind is if they are going to help your brand grow, and potentially grow with you as your brand widens its reach.\nTrack freelancer hours and paymentsIt’s easy with Hubstaff. Get it free for 14 days.\nIt’s still an investment (As it should be)\nYou don’t want to find cheap labor just to save a few bucks, either. This is about the look and feel of your brand. You want a graphic designer who takes it as seriously as you do.\n“If you set your budget for your logo design project at $5 (like I’ve seen a lot of businesses do on Upwork), you are saying that you expect a respectable designer to spend a total of 12 and ½ minutes on something that will be representing your entire company for the duration of the logo’s use.”\n–Michael Davies\nAlso impacting the price of a project is whether or not you’re asking a designer to create your company name and logo from scratch.\nAre they working off an idea you already have mapped out? Or is it carte blanche?\n\nObviously, be prepared to pay more for someone to create an original look from scratch.\nFreelancer trends for 2018 and beyond\nAs you’ve noticed, freelancing has grown in popularity, which is great news for your business. The talent pool is wider than ever, especially as more people determine flexibility to be a key requirement.\nBut who exactly are these freelancers, and who should you expect to work with?\nCheck out this freelancer infographic to dig into the data.\n\nSubscribe to our blog to get more posts like this delivered to your inbox.\n\n\n\nStart your graphic designer search\nHubstaff Talent is a free talent platform that can help connect you with professional graphic designers from around the world.\nNow that you know what questions to ask, how to budget, and what to look for, it’s time to begin your search.\nFortunately, you have access to over 50,000 talent profiles all in one place. You can start your search right now.\nBut what happens once you’ve brought in a freelance designer, and need to track their time and pay them?\n\nUsing Hubstaff’s time tracking and payment features, you’ll be able to manage your freelance designers with ease.\nThe app is great for making sure they’re on track to hit deadlines, have the tools to complete a project, and can record accurate work hours without any hassle.\nYou can also easily pay designers and export reports, keeping your company’s books and budget all in one place — saving you time, effort and money.\nNot only can Hubstaff provide you with the pool of talented designers and other freelance specialists to help hone your brand’s image, but they can also mitigate other fears that come with hiring.\nTime cards, productivity tracking, automated payments, and weekly limits are just a few of the features that will help you maintain the perfect budget and help your business grow.\nInterested in knowing more about average rates? Read our guide on best paying remote jobs.