Differences Between Hourly and Flat-Fee Design Pricing Structures

differences-between-hourly-and-flat-feeChoosing a designer for a logo or other critical project can be overwhelming and understanding the fees and schedules for before you get started with a graphic design company is important.

As a business owner, you want to connect with talented designers who can capture your vision, but you don’t want to break the bank. Some designers and agencies charge by the hour, while others charge a flat-fee schedule. What are the major differences between these two graphic design fee schedules and how do you know which is right for you?

Hourly Fee Schedules

Some clients shy away from flat-fee billing because they believe that they may end up paying too much for design services. However, it is often hourly fee schedules that actually lead to excessive charges.  Let’s say a designer estimates eight hours of work on a project before revisions. If it ends up taking that designer six hours to complete the work, he may feel compelled to drag his feet and milk the full eight hours in order to receive the full fee. Not all designers engage in this type of practice, but hourly billing sets designers up for this temptation.

Revisions can also add to your bottom line when working with a designer who charges by the hour. The odds that a designer will turn in a project that 100 percent captures your vision on the first try is very slim. Hourly fee schedules allow designers to charge you throughout the revision process, driving up the cost of your project.

Flat-Fee Schedules

On the other hand, with flat-fee service, you know precisely what your final bill will be. Most agencies that charge flat fees include revisions in their total price. That means that you won’t be nickeled and dimed as you and your designers work your way through to the final product.  Always be sure to read the fine print, however, as some agencies will limit the number of revisions you are entitled to. To get the most for your money, choose a firm with a fee structure that does not limit revisions.

Design is a creative process that cannot be forced or hurried along. If you’re unwilling to pay extra for the hours required to tap into that creative process, look for design firms that offer a flat-fee schedule so that you can work with your designers to receive a finished product that matches your needs, your vision, and your budget.

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