Freelance Graphic Design Rates by Project (Ads, Logos, Book Covers…)

The market for freelance graphic designers has grown as online platforms have created a more efficient bridge between designers and companies. If you are a client 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 client, 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 (listed by project type) and other factors that clients and designers should consider when planning a project. Keep in mind that the final price for a specific job will depend on the scope of the project, the experience of the freelancer, and the needs of the client.

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 charge as much as a freelancer in a major city like Los Angeles.

However, to provide some guidance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the mean hourly wage for a graphic designer in May 2019 was around $27. In large, metropolitan areas, this rate can be significantly higher. For example, the mean hourly rate is $33 in New York, $31 in California, and $38 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 can be hard for the graphic designer to give the client an estimate of the overall budget, so 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, but they may take longer to complete the project. Experienced graphic designers sometimes charge fixed rates to avoid a penalty for completing the project quickly.

Questions to Ask Before Agreeing Upon a Rate

An impressive portfolio and client list may be the difference between earning $10 per hour and earning over $100 an hour. 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.)

A freelance pricing calculator can also help determine rates. These calculators are designed for freelancers, but can also be useful for clients to get an idea of how freelancers set their rates.

Tips for Clients

As 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 experience with layout optimization.

When negotiating prices, make sure the freelancer has a full understanding of the project and your expectations. While it may be tempting to 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; 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

We divide our list into two sections of common graphic design projects: digital projects and print projects.

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.

Digital Projects

Banner Ad Design

  • The job: A form of online advertising embedded into a web page, with the most common banner size being 468 x 60 pixels (full banner)
  • Average rate: $10 to $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:
    • Copywriting
    • Understanding of advertising networks (ex. Google AdWords)
    • Proficiency with Adobe Photoshop
    • 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

Custom Digital Flyer Design

  • The job: Custom digital flyer with multiple colors, pictures, and graphics (normally for social media or a website)
  • Average rate: As little as $20 per project for a simple flyer, or around $20 to $30 per hour for more complex flyers
  • Average time to complete: Anywhere from one hour for very simple designs to around a week for more complex designs
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Adobe InDesign
    • CorelDRAW
  • Additional info: Rates depend on the complexity of the project; an hourly rate is usually appropriate.

Electronic Business Cards

  • The job: Design a digital business card that your client can use to promote their business/services
  • Average rate: $10 to $50 per hour depending on your experience and whether the design will include a custom logo
  • Average time to complete: Depends on the complexity of the design and whether the client wants one design for themselves or multiple designs for employees; may take an hour or less for one design, depending on the complexity
  • Skills needed:
    • Proficiency with Adobe InDesign or a similar program you can use to design the card(s)
    • Knowledge of what makes a good business card design
  • Additional info: There are free and low-cost apps for creating digital business cards, so clients may not be willing to pay much for this service. Your rate will be lower than creating a printed business card.

Flash Design

  • The job: Flash design/animation for a 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.
  • 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:
    • Proficiency with Adobe Flash
    • A thorough portfolio demonstrating experience
  • Additional info: The 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 client knows exactly what they want. Others can take a month to create.
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Illustrator
    • InDesign
    • 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 to $1500 per project, or approximately $15 per hour
  • Average time to complete: A logo takes around 5 to 6 hours on average, but depends on the project’s complexity. Factors that may also affect time include:
    • Whether the client wants to see different design concepts
    • How many times a client would like to be able to revise the project
    • Amount of necessary background research into competitors’ logos and the industry
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • CorelDRAW
    • FreeHand
    • 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 client 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.

Obituaries/Memorials

  • The job: Design an obituary, memorial video, or poster that the client can print or display online; may include a photo collage
  • Average rate: Varies based on the complexity of the design and how the client intends to use it; simple, one-page obituaries start around $20 per project, while photo collages, video montages, and large poster collages can vary from around $50 to $200
  • Average time to complete: Varies based on the complexity of the design and the client’s desired design elements
  • Skills needed: Varies based on the client’s desired memorial format; may include:
    • Adobe InDesign
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Video editing software
    • Obituary writing
  • Additional info: See our section on custom flyer design below for information about how to price printed memorials. Note that many funeral homes offer design services to families using their services; you may want to research their rates in order to price your projects competitively if seeking local clients.

Photo Restoration

  • The job: Edit and retouch photos that contain grain, scratches, or other visual flaws
  • Average rate: $20 to $70 per hour; prices per project can vary from under $100 to over $1,000
  • Average time to complete: Varies depending on the condition of the photo; usually four hours or more per photo
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Lightroom
    • Adobe Illustrator
  • Additional info: Rates will vary depending on your expertise and the complexity of the project. To complete photo restoration, you will need a quality scanner/printer in addition to the editing software.

Website Design (Corporate)

  • The job: Corporate website (25 to 75 pages)
  • Average rate: $10,000 to $25,000 per project
  • Average time to complete: 60 to 90 days
  • Skills needed:
    • Advanced proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Firework
    • Basic to advanced understanding of HTML/CSS
    • Thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience
  • Additional info: Use the WebFX Project Quote Calculator to estimate the cost for your specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus its 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 to 1,000 products)
  • Average rate: $5,000 to $15,000 per project
  • Average time to complete: 60 to 120 days
  • Skills needed:
    • Advanced proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks
    • Basic to advanced understanding of HTML/CSS
    • Thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience
  • Additional info: Use the WebFX Project Quote Calculator to estimate the cost for your specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus its 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 to 2,000 pages)
  • Average rate: $6,000 to $35,000 per project
  • Average time to complete: 90 to 180 days
  • Skills needed:
    • Advanced proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks
    • Basic to advanced understanding of HTML/CSS
    • Thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience
    • Depending on the project, proficiency with SQL
  • Additional info: Use the WebFX Project Quote Calculator to estimate the cost for your specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus its 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 to 16 pages)
  • Average rate: $2,000 to $6,000 per project
  • Average time to complete: 30 to 75 days
  • Skills needed:
    • Proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Fireworks
    • Basic understanding of HTML/CSS
    • Thorough portfolio to demonstrate experience
  • Additional info: Try the WebFX Project Quote Calculator to estimate the cost for a specific project. Various features increase the website’s complexity and thus its cost. Factors include (1) number of pages, (2) copywriting, (3) search engine optimization, (4) design responsiveness

Print Projects

Address Labels

  • The job: Create personalized mailing stickers featuring the client’s name and address
  • Average rate: $5 to $50 per project
  • Average time to complete: One hour or less
  • Skills needed:
    • An understanding of fonts and readability
    • Proficiency in label-making or design software, such as Avery Design & Print, Adobe InDesign, or Adobe Photoshop
  • Additional info: Address label prices are typically negotiated on a project basis rather than hourly since labels are fairly simple to create; the price increases with the quantity.

Annual Reports Design

  • The job: Design of an annual report for a small company (e.g., financial information, photographs, and text: 30 to 40 pages)
  • Average rate: $25 to $50 per hour
  • Average time to complete: Depends on how much original content the freelancer has to create.
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe InDesign
    • 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 to $160 per hour
  • Average time to complete: A first draft can take 2 to 3 days to complete, time for the final product will depend on the number of revisions the client requests.
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe InDesign
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • 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: A minimum of $30 for small projects and $100 or more for complex projects; hourly rates range from about $15 to $50
  • Average time to complete: 1 to 3 hours for small projects, 1 to 5 days for more complex projects
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe InDesign
    • 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 to $55 per hour
  • Average time to complete: Depends on the complexity; does the client want a simple, one-sided card or a double-sided, creatively designed card?
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe InDesign
    • Adobe Photoshop
  • 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 clients 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:
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Adobe InDesign
    • CorelDRAW
  • Additional info: Rates depend on the complexity of the project. For more complex projects, an hourly rate is usually appropriate.

Event Invitations

  • The job: Invitation cards featuring printed text or calligraphy with decorative flourishes
  • Average rate: As little as $15 for a small number of printed invitations, and up to $400 per project for invitations with special features like laser-cut designs or gold foil; hourly rates generally range from $10 to $25
  • Average time to complete: As little as one hour; printing time will vary depending on the designer’s printing capabilities
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe InDesign
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • CorelDRAW
  • Additional info: Rates depend on the size and style of the project and are usually per-item rather than hourly.

Illustration

  • The job: This type of work depends on what the illustration will be used for (e.g., a cover illustration for a newspaper, an illustrated portrait for a private client, or an image for an ad agency that will be used for a large company)
  • Average rate: $50 to $500 for a project of one page or less; $500 to $10,000 per advertising project
  • Average time to complete: Varies significantly depending on what the illustration will be used for
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Illustrator
    • CorelDRAW
  • Additional info: As clients don’t know how long it will take a designer to create an illustration, and vice versa, it is usually best for freelancers and clients 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 to 50 pages)
  • Average rate: $27 to $65 per hour
  • Average time to complete: Depends on how much original content you have to create, such as ads, illustrations, etc.
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe InDesign
    • 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:
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Adobe InDesign
  • Additional info: Factors that affect the final price include (1) whether the client 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 to 25 slides (e.g., pitch deck for the medium-sized company)
  • Average rate: $25 to $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:
    • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator
  • Additional info: Final rate and time depend on the amount of content the freelancer will need to create the presentation and the amount of graphics or animations the client would like.

Product Packaging

  • The job: Packaging design for product box
  • Average rate: $30 to $100 per hour
  • Average time to complete: A simple design can be created in less than a week.
  • Skills needed:
    • 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 clients to invest in their product packaging design.

T-Shirt Design

  • The job: Creating an illustration/graphic for a t-shirt
  • Average rate: $10 to $300 per project, or about $30 per hour
  • Average time to complete: 1 hour to 1 week
  • Skills needed:
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • CorelDraw
    • Adobe 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.

6 comments

  • Hiran Alles says:

    I know there are flyers on the article, but what I don’t see are e-flyers. Electronic flyers. How much I should charge for electronic flyers? I would like to see e-flyers on the article. If I was doing an obituary, how much would I charge (hourly/per-project)? If I was doing a price list/restaurant menu, how much would I charge (hourly/per-project)?

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Hiran! The average rates for electronic flyers are similar to printed flyers but will be slightly lower since the client won’t receive any printed materials. Most designers charge around $20 per hour for digital flyers. Pricing for obituaries or funeral cards would be similar to event invitations; this does not seem to be a common client request, but the rates we did find were around $20 per hour. Menus would fall under brochure design pricing, ranging anywhere from $30 to $100+ per project and $15 to $50 per hour, depending on the complexity of the design and your skill/experience level. Hope this helps! Best of luck with your projects!

  • Hiran Alles says:

    A few questions:

    1. If I was doing invitations (for example: baby shower, birthday parties, weddings, etc.), how much would I charge if I was doing it hourly or per-project?
    2. If I was doing some photo editing/restorations, how much would I charge? If I charge hourly or per-picture/project?
    3. If I was doing some cartoons (like from a real picture of a person into a cartoon), how much would I charge? If I do hourly or per-project/per-picture?
    4. If I was doing address labels, how much for hourly/per-project?

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Hiran! Great questions! We found the following average rates:

      Invitations: $10 to $25 per hour and $15 to $400 per project depending on the quantity and style
      Photo editing/restoration: $20 to $70 per hour and anywhere from under $100 to over $1,000 per project, depending on the complexity
      Illustrated portraits: $50 to $200 per project, depending on the size
      Address labels: $5 to $50 per project, depending on the label quantity

      Designers do not typically charge per-hour for portraits or address labels. Additionally, keep in mind that you should price your projects appropriately for your skill level and experience; designers with a history of positive reviews from clients can charge higher rates. Hope this helps! We have updated our article to include this information.

      • Hiran Alles says:

        For business cards and address labels, you can actually use Adobe Photoshop also. For the flyers, you can also use Adobe InDesign.

        • Lindsey Desmet says:
          First Quarter Finance logostaff

          Thanks for the tips, Hiran! We have updated our article to reflect this.