How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Graphic Designer?

by | Mar 19, 2024 | good business

A breakdown of a small business’s most common graphic design needs with price ranges

When it comes to creative services, a lot of businesses have no idea what they should expect to spend. That’s largely because they’ve never hired a graphic designer, web developer, professional photographer, or copywriter before. And unlike a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread which costs about the same at most stores, the pricing for creative services varies drastically

The confusion is understandable. If you’re buying a new car, you can guess the range you’ll be paying. Buying creative output is different – there are many tiers of quality, experience, and service. You can use AI to get something completely free. You can get dirt-cheap services from Fiverr or 99 Designs. You can hire a one-man show (me!) at more mid-range pricing. You can hire a large, full-service agency for top dollar.

The good news is that no matter your budget, you have options. But you get what you pay for. If you need high-quality creative work, you need a high-quality creative individual (or team) to make it for you.

“What will this cost?” is one of the top questions people ask me. And while the short answer is often, “It depends,” I can offer ballpark pricing to consider when budgeting for graphic design services (with the caveat that these numbers are geared toward smaller businesses). So, let’s dig into the price of some of the most common design services. 

What is the cost of a logo? 

A logo is the primary visual representation of a business, so it’s natural to start there. A lot of companies have hired me to design “just the logo”. I’m happy to do that, but I encourage clients to build a logo system or brand identity. A brand identity is a visual language that utilizes a library of assets (like colors, fonts, and patterns) to build out an ecosystem of marketing touchpoints (like business cards, content templates, custom icons, e-signatures, presentations, etc). Together with the logo, the brand identity conveys a cohesive visual professionalism for a business or organization.

Designing a logo costs $2,500. Designing a full visual brand identity (including the logo) from scratch starts at around $5,000. 

What is the cost of a printed marketing piece? 

This is definitely an area where pricing varies because the pieces themselves are so different. Printed marketing pieces could include a postcard, an oversized mailer, a 4-panel brochure, a small booklet, a huge annual report, or a poster. Here are some numbers to give you an idea.

Simple printed pieces, including print ads, postcards, and one-page flyers would be anywhere from $350 to $1,500, depending on the size and complexity. 

More complex projects, like multi-page brochures or annual reports, can be anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the job requirements. In general, the two big factors impacting the price here are the physical size and the number of pages.

How much does it cost to get a map designed? 

One of my favorite projects is hand-drawn maps. A lot of organizations want illustrative maps to bring excitement (and wayfinding) to their visitor experiences. Maps are great for summer camps, festivals, tourist attractions, and school campuses. 

The price varies depending on the style of illustration, complexity, colors, and size. I charge a premium for these types of projects because they take a great deal of time. They also usually require more review and revisions than my other projects. The cost of designing a map starts at $1,500 and goes up from there. 

What if I need social media graphics designed? 

My preferred method for this type of project is to funnel clients to my content marketing side hustle: Fullsteam Content Marketing. This service includes written content and customized graphics to support a blog post, two emails, and eight social media posts. Those bundles are $1,995 per month. 

What other graphic design projects do businesses need? 

While those are some of the more common project requests that land on my desk, organizations contact me for all kinds of visual needs. Check out my illustrated year-end annual report to see the different kinds of projects I worked on last year. Variety is the spice of life and as an independent graphic designer, I get plenty of it.

I hope that this has been informative. There are a lot of different factors that go into my pricing but this is a good snapshot of where I’m at today. If you have a creative project in mind, reach out and I’ll give you a customized quote.

So long and happy hunting,