You can learn a lot of the business end of design and illustration by trial and error and reading articles and books, but one thing that is seemingly impossible to get a grasp on is pricing.
Ordinary people usually don’t like to talk about money, but Jessica Hische is extraordinary. In addition to her beautiful lettering and illustration work, Jessica writes open, honest, and often entertaining entries for her blog. One of our favorites is her article titled “The Dark Art of Pricing.”
Creatives and their circumstances are different so a definitive pricing guide doesn’t exist, but Hische openly shares a lot of wisdom. She points out how pricing hourly can often punish efficiency, something we’ve had internal discussions about. This is especially true when you’re learning new technical skills for web design and development.
The article ends with a call for young designers to price responsibly for the benefit of the entire industry. She writes, “When you are starting your career as a freelancer, it will be INCREDIBLY tempting to take on any work that comes along, no matter how unfairly companies are trying to compensate you. Remember that you are talented and that your talent has value and that ultimately it is up to you to determine how much people value your talent. By helping to keep pricing standards high, you not only help yourself by avoiding the title of ‘The Poor Man’s Marian Bantjes’ (essentially the creative equivalent of a knock-off handbag), you also help every other young designer struggling to get paid out there, and help every designer that came before you to continue making a living doing what they love.”
Be sure to read the full article.