How much does design cost? Part 1:Context

Posted on Apr 7, 2013 in Blog, Business

This is a very tricky question I happen to hear very often.  So if you are curious and have some spare minutes please allow me to illustrate what asking “how much does design cost?” implies.

Before we start, please do not feel bad if you ever asked this question to a designer or even to me, I can understand that companies, specially startups, are under a budget, and managing costs is key.  It is a fair question and I am writing this post in attention to you.

How much does design cost? A question with many possible answers.

In the next weeks I will try to include all the possible considerations that might get involve in to answering this question.  This excessive is meant to give clients and potential clients better tools to understand design estimates, choose providers and have a grounded conversation with your design professional of choice about what they are looking for and expect to get from them.  Lets start by understanding the context in which this question will be asked.

Context is important

If you ask me, “how much design services does cost?”  It is not the same question as “how much professional design services in Calgary does cost?”.  If you also ask “how much professional web design in Calgary for a small blog with five pages and customized illustrations, hand-coded, with SEO optimized content and to be done in two weeks does costs?”  Well, now things are getting real, and it is possible to get a down to earth approach.

Just trying to figure out how much design costs without pointing out specifics can make the results trivial, and of course you will get extremely big variations in an estimate, from $500 to $50,000.  I know that when it comes about money, there is an important gut reaction; you can compare two estimates and possibly find this range in prices. What is going on?  The expensive company tried to rip you off? The cheap one does not know what they are doing? Possibly, but most of the times, that is not the case.

It is pretty much like looking for a place to stay at night, you can choose between a one star hostel in Tijuana and five stars all-inclusive resort in Cancun. At the end of the day, both places will have a bed, but somewhere in between that range you will see that the results and the expected experience is not the same.  Let’s say, there both will give you memories you will not forget, but only one will come with bed bug bites.

Now I made you think about the context of your proposal, please do not hesitate to contact Berumen Design.  I will do my best to clarify any question or follow up any comments that might lead you to a better understatement of this subject.

Follow up next week to know about the internal and external factors involved in your proposal.



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