How do you price yourself to clients as a freelance designer and/or illustrator? I'd love to hear your responses.

Not a lot of designers and illustrators talk super openly about this at the insitituations I went to (maybe it's taboo??) but I'd love to open up this healthy conversation about money and take inspiration off anyone who is more experienced than me with this.
I notice that especially younger designers and illustrators aren't taught about how to value their work, when they are being underpaid or how to negotiate price.
How do you explain pricing if the client doesn't have a budget set? Do you think it's wrong for young designers and illustrators to ever work for free or cheaply if it could open doors? How do you price yourself?
Let me know your stances on these and any other advice please :-)

Also if anyone wants to connect on Instagram I post more work I do here:

Thank you!


  • Thanks for the mention @Sarah Boris.

    Jada, definitely look at all the other resources shared.

    Some of the things covered in our new course are introduced in this feature:

    I think that one of the most important things to underline is that when it comes to pricing is that it work for you. If you're going to build a sustainable practice, you need to be able to cover your costs.

    I still don't understand why universities don't facilitate more conversations like this. I've been running workshops for unis on this and other career-focused topics, but frankly this should be embedded into all BA curriculums.


  • Hello Jada

    I hope you are well.

    @Alec Dudson just launched a course on pricing:

    He also runs which has great industry advice.

    I wrote an article on the topic of pitching which you can read here:

    If you have any questions on it please feel free to get in touch.

    For illustration there are great resources available via

    Some of the above resources have a cost but they are great investments as they provide invaluble resources

    In case you want to connect on instagram you can find me here:

    I hope this helps

    Good luck


  • I always stick to one price;

    £25 p/hour

    Or if they want full price for whole project, then just work your price out based on effort.
  • @Nygilia K. McClain Super useful response thank you so much !
  • Jessica Hische has a great article on her site which may prove useful:
  • Hey Jada,

    I shared a lot of these thoughts about pricing creative talent.

    I found this video really helpful:

    Chris Do makes great videos like this and really helps to put things like pricing strategies into perspective, he does a ton of great videos in general too. I think you should check it out, I’m very certain you’ll benefit from watching it, I definitely did!
  • Hey there! I still sometimes struggle with pricing, but I find these methods and tips I learned overtime helpful. When I freelance, I usually come with my price based on these two questions I ask the client:

    -What is the project or what needs to be done? (more assignments = higher charge)

    -When do you need this done by? (quick time = higher charge)

    After that, I create a contract for them to sign, including a small percentage downpayment at the start of the project. This creates a trust between you and the client. In the contract, I create three stages.

    -Sketch stage
    -Mockup stage
    -Finalized product

    I allow 3 total edits. After that, I charge a small fee per extra edit. This means your client will be extra clear on what they want (hopefully) or else they pay extra. Your time matters too.

    When I first started freelancing, I was charging $15-20 for print and $25 for digital. Now, being at early junior level, I normally charge $25 an hour for print and $30-35 for digital. So, depending on your experience, skill level, and how long it'll honestly take you to complete something, you base the price off that. Don't try to swindle or over charge. Go based on logic of how long something will take you personally + how quick they want it by.

    If the price is high, always be open for negotiation and see what the client suggests. If too low, be honest and upfront. Evaluate the pros and cons of the low pay and go from there. I have accepted a low pay before because it was going to be used on a social platform and for a good cause. I would have my name and details credited as well.

    It just depends on what you personally want out of the deal. There's no harm in walking away if need be.

    At the end, I request the rest of the payment before submitting the final designs to them. That's how I do some small job freelancing. Freelancing for big cooperations or large industries, I suggest you research online and even youtube helps too.

    :) Hope this helps.

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