The market for freelance graphic designers has grown over the past few years as online platforms have created a more efficient bridge between designers and companies. If you are an employer seeking to hire a freelance graphic designer, or if you are a graphic designer interested in doing freelance work, certain questions should cross your mind as you enter the market. As an employer, you might ask questions such as, “How much do graphic designers charge?” or, “Am I willing to pay more for an experienced graphic designer?” As a graphic designer, you might be wondering, “How much should I charge my clients?”

Below, you’ll find a list of average freelance graphic design rates (depending on the job) and other factors that an employer and designer should consider for certain projects. Keep in mind that the final price for your specific job will depend on the scope of the project, the experience of the freelancer, and the needs of the client.

In This Article:

  • Graphic Design Rates: An Overview

    • Hourly vs. Fixed Rate
    • Questions to Ask Before Agreeing Upon a Rate
    • Tips for Clients
    • Tips for Freelancers
  • Graphic Design Hourly Rate and Details Based on the Specific Project

    • Online: Banner Ad Design, Flash Design, Infographic, Logo Design, Website Design (Corporate), Website Design (E-Commerce), Website Design (Database Driven), Website Design (Small Business)
    • Print: Annual Reports Design, Book Cover Design & Layout, Brochure Design (Layout), Business Card Design, Custom Flyer Design, Illustration, Magazine Design, Poster Design, Presentation Design, Product Packaging, T-Shirt Design

Graphic Design Rates: An Overview

Freelance graphic design rates vary widely and are dependent upon factors such as location and the freelancer’s experience. For example, a freelancer in a small U.S. city may not pay as much as a freelancer in New York City. However, to provide some guidance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the mean hourly wage for a graphic designer in May 2015 was around $25. In large metropolitan areas, this rate can be significantly higher. For example, the mean hourly rate in New York is $30, $28 in California, and $36 in the District of Columbia.

Hourly vs. Fixed Rate

Hourly rates are generally more straightforward than per-project rates. However, the nature of some graphic design projects makes it very difficult to estimate how many hours it will take to complete a project. In this case, it will be hard for the graphic designer to give the employer an estimate of the overall budget, and a project rate might be more attractive.

The rates are even more varied when you consider the experience of the graphic designer. Someone with less experience might charge less than an experienced graphic designer, yet may take longer to complete the project. Therefore, experienced graphic designers sometimes charge fixed rates so they’re not penalized for completing the project quickly.

Questions to Ask Before Agreeing Upon a Rate

An impressive portfolio may be the difference between earning $10 per hour and earning over $100 an hour, so experience is just part of the picture when determining rate. A client and freelancer should take the following into consideration when negotiating a contract:

  • Number of revisions expected for the project
  • Estimated time the project should take
  • Type of work to be performed
  • Whether the client and freelancer have credible references
  • Whether the freelancer or the client will retain the rights to the final product
  • If it is a large project, will the fees be paid throughout when certain milestones are met? (Setting milestones is important for ensuring that the freelancer is making progress and the client is happy with the work.)

This freelance pricing calculator can also help determine rates. The calculator is designed for freelancers, but it can also be a useful tool for clients to get an idea of how freelancers set their rates.

Tips for Clients

If you’re a client interested in hiring a graphic designer, make sure the designer is proficient with design software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, and Adobe Illustrator) and multimedia design software (e.g., Acrobat). Also make sure the graphic designer has an understanding of color theory, knowledge of HTML/CSS, and layout optimization.

When negotiating prices, make sure the freelancer has a full understanding of the project and of your expectations. While it may be tempting for look for the cheapest freelancer available, keep in mind that some services, especially those that promote brand identity, are worth paying more for

Tips for Freelancers

If you’re a graphic designer and want to justify charging higher rates than your competition, build up your portfolio and keep it updated so customers can get a clear picture of the quality of your work. Excellent communication is also key, so build a reputation for being quick to respond to client needs. While you don’t want to charge outrageous prices, don’t undercharge yourself. Your time and talent are valuable and the cost of the project should reflect this. If the client desires a fixed rate, take into careful consideration how many hours you believe the project will take.

Graphic Design Hourly Rate and Details Based on the Specific Project

This article is divided into two sections of common graphic design projects: online advertising and print advertising.

We found average rates, time to complete, and additional notes about the jobs by viewing published research on freelance pricing and by browsing freelancer websites, such as Upwork, Guru, Hubstaff Talent, and Freelancer. You can browse these sites to get an idea about a specific job that didn’t make it onto our list.

Online Advertising

Banner Ad Design

  • The job: A form of online advertising embedded into a web page, with the most common banner size used being 468 x 60 pixels (full banner)
  • Average rate: $10-$60 per banner or approximately $10 per hour
  • Average time to complete: Depends on the experience of the designer; most projects average 1 to 4 hours
  • Skills needed: (1) Copywriting, (2) understanding of advertising networks (ex. Google AdWords), (3) proficiency with Adobe Photoshop, (4) flash banner will require proficiency with Adobe Flash
  • Additional info: Final price depends on banner size and experience of the designer, as well as whether it is a static banner or flash banner

Flash Design

  • The job: Flash design/animation for website (normally for a home page)
  • Average rate: Flash designers with at least a few years of experience and a solid portfolio charge around $30 per project, but rates vary widely. According to Paysa.com, full-time freelance flash designers make an average annual salary of $69,000.
  • Average time to complete: Time depends on the experience of the freelancer and the complexity of the multimedia design: a basic banner will be much quicker to design than an interactive flash design that occupies most of a web page.
  • Skills needed: (1) Proficiency with Adobe Flash, (2) a thorough portfolio demonstrating experience
  • Additional info: Duration of the flash animation and complexity of the project can create significantly different prices than our estimate.

Infographic

  • The job: Graphic visual design of information, data, or knowledge
  • Average rate: A simple infographic cost around $60 per project, but very complex infographics may cost around $3,000 per project. Hourly rates start around $10 per hour.
  • Average time to complete: Depends on how complex the data or content is. Some can take as little as a few hours if the employer knows exactly what they want. Others can take a month to create.
  • Skills needed: Proficiency in (1) Adobe Photoshop, (2) Illustrator, (3) InDesign, and (4) the ability to break down technical or complicated information
  • Additional info: Prices will vary widely depending on the complexity of the infographic. Factors affecting complexity include (1) size, (2) animation, (3) subject matter of the data, (4) complexity of the data displayed, (5) necessary background research, etc.

Logo Design

  • The job: Design a logo for a startup company
  • Average rate: $200-$1500 per project, or approximately $15 per hour
  • Average time to complete: A logo takes around 5-6 hours on average, but depends on the project’s complexity. Factors may also affect time include: (1) whether the employer wants to see different design concepts, (2) how many times an employer would like to be able to revise the project, and (3) amount of necessary background research into competitors’ logos, the industry.
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe Illustrator, (2) Photoshop, (3) CorelDRAW, and/or (4) FreeHand; and (5) the ability to research, think conceptually, and communicate effectively with the client
  • Additional info: A logo is an investment in brand identity. If you’re an employer looking to hire a graphic designer for this type of project, make sure you are getting high-resolution files and the rights to use your new logo.

Website Design (Corporate)

  • The job: Corporate website (25-75 pages)
  • Average rate: $10,000-$25,000 (per project)
  • Average time to complete: 60-90 days
  • Skills needed: (1) Advanced proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Firework, (2) basic to advanced understanding of HTML/CSS, and (3) a thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience
  • Additional info: Use the FX Project Quote Calculator to estimate cost for your specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus it’s cost. Factors include (1) number of pages, (2) copywriting, (3) search engine optimization, (4) design responsiveness

Website Design (E-Commerce)

  • The job: E-commerce website (100-1,000 products)
  • Average rate: $5,000-$15,000 (per project)
  • Average time to complete: 60-120 days
  • Skills needed: (1) Advanced proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks, (2) a basic to advanced understanding of HTML/CSS,  and (3) a thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience
  • Additional info: Use the FX Project Quote Calculator to estimate cost for your specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus it’s cost. Factors include (1) number of pages, (2) copywriting, (3) search engine optimization, (4) design responsiveness

Website Design (Database Driven)

  • The job: Database driven website or web application (20-2,000 pages)
  • Average rate: $6,000-$35,000 (per project)
  • Average time to complete: 90-180 days
  • Skills needed: (1) Advanced proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks, (2) basic to advanced understanding of HTML/CSS, (3) a thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience, and (4) depending on the project, proficiency with SQL
  • Additional info: Use the FX Project Quote Calculator to estimate cost for your specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus it’s cost. Factors include (1) number of pages, (2) copywriting, (3) search engine optimization, (4) design responsiveness

Website Design (Small Business)

  • The job: Small business website (8-16 pages)
  • Average rate: $2,000-$6,000 (per project)
  • Average time to complete: 30-75 days
  • Skills needed: (1) Proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks, (2) basic understanding of HTML/CSS, and (3) a thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience
  • Additional info: Try the FX Project Quote Calculator to estimate cost for a specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus it’s cost. Factors include (1) number of pages, (2) copywriting, (3) search engine optimization, (4) design responsiveness

Print Advertising

Annual Reports Design

  • The job: Design of an annual report for a small company (i.e. financial information, photographs, and text: 30-40 pages)
  • Average rate: $25-$50 per hour
  • Average time to complete: Depends on how much original content the freelancer has to create.
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe InDesign and (2) Adobe Photoshop or similar program
  • Additional info: If it takes one hour per page; a minimum of a $750 investment is typical.

Book Cover Design & Layout

  • The job: Book cover design for print and e-distribution and layout design/typesetting
  • Average rate: $27-$160 per hour
  • Average time to complete: A first draft can take 2-3 days to complete, time for the final product will depend on the number of revisions the employer requests.
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe InDesign, (2) Adobe Illustrator, and/or (3) Adobe Photoshop
  • Additional info: Designers tend to charge by the hour because it is difficult to predict how long projects will take and the number of revisions the client will want.

Brochure Design (Layout)

  • The job: Flyer, bi-fold, corporate presentation folder, or bound booklet
  • Average rate: $10-$75 or a minimum of $30 for small projects and $100 or more for complex projects
  • Average time to complete: 1-3 hours for small projects, 1-5 days for more complex projects
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe InDesign and (2) Adobe Photoshop or similar program
  • Additional info: Price depends on the size of the brochure. Brochures come in: (1) single sided flyer, (2) bi-fold, (3) tri-fold, (4) presentation folder with inside pockets, and (5) double-sided A4 insert.

Business Card Design

  • The job: Business card (one or two sided)
  • Average rate: $30-$55 per hour
  • Average time to complete: Depends on the complexity – does the customer want a simple, one-sided card or a double-sided, creatively designed card?
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with Adobe InDesign
  • Additional info: Business card design is often offered as a package deal with logo design during the branding stages. Freelancers tend to charge per hour as employers often have several revisions when it comes to creating their brand, and it is difficult for freelancers to predict a flat rate.

Custom Flyer Design

  • The job: Custom flyer with multiple colors, pictures, and graphics
  • Average rate: As little as $25 per project for simple flyers, and between $20 and $50 per hour for more complex flyers
  • Average time to complete: A simple flyer design with only text and two graphics could take as little as one hour to design, while more complex flyers could take around a week.
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe Photoshop, (2) Adobe Illustrator, and/or (3) CorelDRAW
  • Additional info: Rates depend on the complexity of the project. For more complex projects, an hourly rate is usually appropriate.

Illustration

  • The job: This type of work depends on what the illustration will be used for (i.e. a cover illustration for a newspaper or an image for an ad agency that will be used for a large company)
  • Average rate: $50-$500 (per project – small illustration,1/2 page or less), $500-$10,000 (per project – advertising)
  • Average time to complete: Varies significantly depending on what the illustration will be used for
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe Photoshop, (2) Illustrator, and/or (3) CorelDRAW
  • Additional info: As employers don’t know how long it will take a designer to create an illustration, and vice versa, it is usually best for freelancers and employers to decide upon a fixed price instead of an hourly rate. Business of Illustration is a good resource for deciding how to price your illustrations based on multiple factors.

Magazine Design

  • The job: Designing a magazine layout (40-50 pages)
  • Average rate: $27-$65 per hour
  • Average time to complete: Depends on how much original content you are having to create such as ads, illustrations, etc.
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe InDesign and (2) Adobe Photoshop or similar program
  • Additional info: Hourly rates are more common for magazine designs because of the complexity of magazine layouts and because it is difficult to estimate what to charge per project.

Poster Design

  • The job: A poster for an event advertising date, time, and place
  • Average rate: $25 per hour or a minimum of $40 per poster, many projects average between $500 and $1000
  • Average time to complete: 1 hour to several days (depends on the project)
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe Photoshop, (2) Illustrator, and (3) InDesign
  • Additional info: Factors that affect final price include (1) whether the employer provides images, or the freelancer has to buy photography, (2) amount of photo manipulation and typography necessary, etc.

Presentation Design

  • The job: Presentation with 20-25 slides (i.e. pitch deck for medium sized company)
  • Average rate: $25-$75 or an average of $1,000 per project
  • Average time to complete: A few hours to several weeks depending on how much original content the freelancer needs to create
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Microsoft PowerPoint, (2) Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator, etc.
  • Additional info: Final rate and time depend on the amount of content the freelancer will need to create the presentation and the amount graphics or animations the employer would like.

Product Packaging

  • The job: Packaging design for product box
  • Average rate: $30-$100 per hour
  • Average time to complete: A simple design can be created in less than a week.
  • Skills needed: (1) Proficiency with Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop
  • Additional info: Designers tend to charge per hour for packaging design because it’s hard to estimate an appropriate per project price. Product packaging design can be complex and may need to consider elements like packaging material and product shelf life. Packaging gives the customer their first impression of a project, so it’s usually worth it for employers to invest in their product packaging design.

T-Shirt Design

  • The job: Creating an illustration/graphic for a t-shirt
  • Average rate: $10-$300 (per project), or about $30 per hour
  • Average time to complete: 1 hour to 1 week
  • Skills needed: Proficiency with (1) Adobe Photoshop, (2) CorelDraw, and/or (3) Illustrator
  • Additional info: Freelancers tend to charge per project for T-shirt design instead of per hour, as it is generally easier to estimate total project costs for T-shirt design than for other types of graphic design projects.

In Summary

Freelance graphic design rates will vary widely depending on the size of the project, the project’s complexity, and average freelancer rates according to geographic location. Both client and freelancer should take into consideration a number of factors when negotiating a contract, including type of work performed, the estimated time to complete, and the number of expected revisions.