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Best ways graphic designers can charge for brand guidelines

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Best ways graphic designers can charge for brand guidelines

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Best ways graphic designers can charge for brand guidelines


If you’re just starting out as a graphic designer, and want to know, can a graphic designer charge for brand guidelines? 

Actually, it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned graphic designer or a newbie, the answer to this question is a straightforward yes, you can charge for brand guidelines for a business.

All businesses, regardless of their size or type, require brand guidelines. A brand’s guidelines are important for a number of reasons. Still, some of the most important ones are that they maintain consistency by setting guidelines for how to use brand elements like logos, icons, colors, and graphics. 

This promotes brand equity and makes it easier for new employees to succeed in the company, which ultimately increases revenue. Now, if you see brand guidelines from this angle, you will realize how crucial they are and why a graphic designer should charge for brand guidelines.

What is the brand guideline?

Let’s first understand what is the brand guideline. So, basically, it is like a guardian figure in our life. They provide a safety net, set the rules for the younger ones to follow to get them in order, and lay the groundwork for their future development.

Its the same thing but for the business, it sets the rules for business, defines the framework for its visuals elements such as color, typography, logo, graphics, and verbal communicational elements such as business’s slogan, moto, inspiration, goal, and more in order to organize, maintain the consistency, and make a foundation for a strong brand to grow.

How much a beginner should charge for brand guidelines?

How much a beginner should charge for brand guidelines?

First of all, consider your skill level, work quality, your credibility, and How much value you are able to provide to the client before pricing as a novice and improving on it as you gain experience. There is no price range for particular items because each designer has their own defined standards for how they charge for brand guidelines. You can determine your costs based on various types of pricing models.

 A brand guideline can be as complex and detailed as over 100 pages, or it can be as basic as 10 pages therefore you can charge based on the difficulty level. 

You might bill by the hour by estimating how much time you need to design a brand guideline. Additionally, take into account the location’s market pricing when setting prices. 

For Example, The lowest price for brand designing in India is approximately ₹52,000, however the lowest price in a country like the USA is approximately $1500, or ₹1,23,297, so you can see the difference. 

I take the designing agency as an example therefore they may include operating cost, services cost, tax, and so on, but, if you are a sole proprietor and a freelancer who works from home, you may consider excluding the operating cost from your pricing.

Consider does it need to be in print. If so, you should probably create a separate output file in addition to the design. Or does it need a PowerPoint version that can be edited? You might need to design the brand guidelines in a different format if your client needs therefore you can charge based on the number of sources you’re providing.

You can fix your changes based on the value you prove to your client. There are many ways you can calculate the changes as per your situation demand.

As a fellow graphic designer, I should advise you never to price your services according to the marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr because on these sites the brand guidelines designer changes as low as $24 which I don’t have to tell you that is an undervalued price. We should never undervalue our services, instead, we should be compensative for the value we bring to our clients.

How to increase your charges for a brand guideline?

If you now come to understand how much a beginner should charge for brand guidelines let me explain to you how to increase your charges for brand guidelines. 

1. Determine a baseline price

Always Consider the market that you are catering to, and understand that some businesses are willing to pay more for brand guidelines than others. For example, jewelry or accessories businesses are willing to pay more for a brand guideline than an E-commerce business.

As you pitch to more companies and gain expertise, you will learn how to do this. In the meantime, always bear in mind the size of the market for your services and how much various business types value them.

You can establish a baseline price for a project based on your financial objectives and essential needs for both your personal and professional lives.

And remember that as you develop your skills and expertise, you can steadily raise your fees.

2. Understanding your client budget can help you price your services

Although it may feel awkward to ask directly about their budget, however, it is crucial for you. So, that you can price their project accordingly to ensure the price is fair for them and profitable for you.

You can start by asking them what type of vibe they are looking for. Is it for web, print, or both? Ask about different file formats they need and finally ask the big question, what budget did they set for this project?

These questions help you to understand your client and how much they are willing to invest if they need to or are they are fixed to a budget.

3. Categories your services

An easy and simple way to increase your charges is by planning your services beforehand. Categories your services or you can bundle them at a set price.

It helps you reduce the time you waste on pointless price negotiations with clients. The client will also benefit from knowing in advance what to expect before choosing one of your services.

If clients want additional services that are not included in the plan they choose, you can charge more for the extra work, or they can upgrade their service to a service that includes their needs.

4. Fix your fee

In this, you can charge based on the output. You price a  project according to the scope and the complexity of the work after which you estimate the hours that need to complete it and multiply this by your hourly rate. This rate is reasonable, especially when you are just starting out.

5. Use Retainer- based pricing

You are charging a recurring fee for continuous work or support in this pricing model. Through this, you will have a steady income and develop strong relationships with your clients.

For this pricing model to work three things you must keep in mind

  • Set clear expectations with the client: when doing this, you should consider things that are included, and excluded, how soon you can complete the work after receiving a request from the client, how is your availability, etc.
  • Sign a contract with your clients: Outline all of the terms of the contract that you have agreed to.
  • Build trust: Make it evident to the client that the retainer is worthwhile by acting professionally, being available, and keeping account of all the work you have done.