2014 has been super busy, so busy that we haven’t even had time to keep the site up to date. We’ve just given it a little “refresh”, but still, we haven’t been able to spend on it as much time as we would have liked to.
One of our new year’s resolutions is to spend some time blogging. Not only about the awesome projects that we are working on but also about SEO, Content Marketing, why you shouldn’t use drag and drop website builders, etc.
Our first post this year is about pricing. Pricing digital work is very difficult, as there is no “physical” evidence of the work done, people don’t really get how much effort has gone into it.
So, should designers charge for the project or by the hour? or… should they ask the client first for their budget?
We always believe that a mixture of both is the best thing to do. The first, will set the bar for a high quality project. The second will be the client’s decision to compromise a bit of quality vs the cost.
Good designers/developers should be able to adapt to small budgets while keeping the quality above average. Although is very unlikely to have a very high quality website, very quickly, for little money. (the “Quality Triangle” problem – This is very well known in Project Management). It’s not impossible, but due to the high unlikeliness… If you do, then be very wary. Something that “looks” Ok/Good, may not have been coded “properly” or you may have just been given a template bought online, which means that your website just looks like many other out there. It could even look “too much” like a competitor’s website if the designer was not careful about it…
Pricing a project too low can also be problematic. Here is a great article we read some time ago about doing freebies: “Your free design work will end up in the trash”
We’ve also been
trying to read reading a book called “Logo design love 2”, which its amazing and you should totally buy.
There is a section that talks about charging money, the following story is used:
Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.
– “It’s you— Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”
So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait.
He handed the women his work of art.
– “It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”
– “Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.
– “But, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”
To which Picasso responded,
-“Madame, it took me my entire life.”
Sometimes, designers need to be flexible and the price needs to be competitive, otherwise potential clients will go somewhere else. But other times is totally acceptable to charge accordingly to the designer’s awesomeness, just like Pablo Picasso.
Someone will always be able to do it cheaper if they really want the job and they don’t care about their own costs. But clients should always remember: “You get what you pay for”, and it’s totally against my morals to rush and do a shit job so that I can lower my price to match someone else’s quality and price.