Graphic design rates for 2021

Here's what you can expect to pay a designer for tasks like logo creation to website design - whether it's an employee, an agency or a freelancer.
Jun 18, 2021 • 8 minute read
Ruchi Bhargava @RuchiBhargava1
Technical Co-pilot
Cover photo for Graphic design rates for 2021

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Excellent graphic design can capture customer attention by enhancing the visual appeal of websites, logos, brochures, advertisements, and other media. Luckily for us, in 2021, the number and variety of graphic designers we can choose from is endless.

So, how do you source a good, low-cost graphic design if you're on a budget? Or if you need design assets turned around quickly?

Fortunately, freelance graphic designers can help. If you already know you need help from a freelance graphic designer, great! You can post your project and get started now. If you're still on the fence about the best way to get the graphic design you need, read on.

 

How much does it cost to hire a graphic designer?

Graphic design costs will primarily depend on three factors:

  • The type and complexity of the service required. A simple logo design, a series of Instagram designs, and a full website design are three very different jobs requiring different skills and commanding different prices. 

  • The solution you choose to get the work done. Will you do it yourself using free or inexpensive online tools? Hire someone in the house? Go with an agency? Engage a freelancer?          

  • Where your designer is located. This mainly applies to agencies and freelancers, both of which can be anywhere in the world. Many agencies and freelancers in developing countries can charge much less than their counterparts in developed countries where the cost of living is higher.  

 

Graphic design cost for various services

The first factor that determines how much you’ll pay is the type of service you need, and this is directly related to the complexity of the job. Here is a graphic design services price list to help you get an idea of what to expect. 

The low-end represents a DIY approach using basic online tools (you’ll get what you pay for), while the higher end represents what you could expect to pay a professional agency or an in-house designer. 

In the middle is what you might expect to pay a freelancer, ranging from novice freelancers in developing countries to professionals in developed countries. 

 

Graphic design price list

Type of Service
Typical Price Range
Price range on Freelancer.com
Logo design $100 - $5000 $25 - $250
Brochure design $300 - $900 $170 - $500
Website design <$1000 to $15,000 depending on size and style requirements $200 - $650
eCommerce site design < $1000 for small websites,
> $10,000 for large websites
$100 - $300
Digital or print advertisement design $250 - $750 $1 - $20 per hour
User interface (UI) design for games and apps $150 - $200 per hour in the US $25 - $40 per hour or fixed price range of $40-$180
Publication designers for books (cover and layout design) $2000 - $5500 ($200 - $300 for cover design only) $20 - $200 for book cover design
Packaging design $500 - $1000 $30 - $280 USD
YouTube thumbnail design $7 - $15 per month (DIY services) $25 - $175 per month
Instagram or social media post design $5-$10 per post $4 - $20 per post

 

Rates of pay for different graphic designers

The graphic design costs listed above will vary depending on the type of service provider you choose.

You could choose to hire an in-house graphic designer, pay an agency, try to do the work yourself using a Software as a Solution (SaaS) service, or hire a freelance graphic designer.

We have compiled below a list of graphic design rates for different kinds of service providers you can hire.

 

Graphic designers' rates

Solution
Cost
In-house graphic designer $45,677 per year
Design agency Depends on the service, but US-based agencies generally charge around $85 – $100 per hour.

Agencies from other countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, etc. can offer these services at much lower rates ranging from $15 - $25 per hour.
Software as a Solution (SaaS) Canva's Pro plan is $10 per month
Freelance graphic designer The average project on Freelancer is completed for $140

 

Hiring in-house

The decision whether or not to hire a full-time graphic designer will depend on your long-term graphic design needs. If you're likely to need constant design assets, it may make sense to hire in-house.

However, if you just need a few assets such as a logo, website design, and brand identity materials, a full-time graphic designer may not be necessary or practical. 

Cost: According to Glassdoor data from March 2021, the average salary paid to a full-time graphic designer in the United States is $45,677 per year.

 

Using an agency

cartoon drawing of professionals in office

A design agency will employ a number of designers and will work with you to determine your needs and the best way to visually communicate your message.

The downside of an agency is that you'll be one of a number of clients. Agencies can also be a costly solution. 

Cost: The cost will depend on the sort of design work you need to be done, but expect to pay $85–$100 per hour.

 

Software as a Solution (SaaS)

While technology hasn't quite developed to the point that software can spit out a finished design to your exact specifications, there are tools that make the graphic design process much easier. 

From online logo generators to full graphic design platforms like Canva, there's plenty of software to help novice graphic designers.

However, you should be aware that these platforms often have limited functionality and little room for customization. 

Cost: The cost varies depending on the platform. Some basic tools are free. Canva's Pro plan is $10 per month.

 

Freelance graphic designers

cartoon drawing of woman in office

Freelance graphic designers can communicate with you to determine your exact needs, budget, and timeframe. They generally cost lower than an agency and don't require the long-term commitment of hiring in-house. 

Cost: Graphic design cost per hour on Freelancer can vary from $8 - $100 for US-based freelancers, averaging to $30 per hour.

For freelance graphic designers based outside of the US, graphic design cost per hour on Freelancer can significantly vary country-wise.

For example, India-based freelance graphic designers could charge anywhere between $5-$50 per hour (average $20 per hour).

Similarly, the hourly rate could be $3 - $50 for the Philippines (average $13.50) and $2 - $50 for Sri Lanka (average $14).  

 

Why should I hire a freelance graphic designer for my project?

A freelance graphic designer can be a great solution if you need design work done on a budget, but saving money is only one of the benefits of a freelance graphic designer.

 

Save time

Freelance graphic designers can deliver to tight deadlines. Since not all freelancers work the regular 9–5 hours of an agency, you can find one who can devote more time to your project outside regular working hours.

And since freelancers work all over the world, you can find a graphic designer in a time zone that means work can be completed outside your normal business hours.

Hiring a freelancer also means you don't have to go through a long interview process to find an in-house candidate. The hiring process can take 4–6 weeks or longer for an in-house graphic designer, whereas you can find a freelance graphic designer to start your project the same day.

 

Know exactly who is handling your design project

A design agency may have excellent reviews, but you don't know who your work will actually be handed to. If you're not a large client, you may find your project assigned to a junior designer without the skills or experience to deliver what you need.

A freelancer, on the other hand, works as an individual. All the ratings and reviews a freelancer receives reflect their actual work. Moreover, you can view a portfolio of their work to see what they've delivered on previous projects.

This allows you to know exactly who is handling your design project. As a result, you get to develop a one-on-one work relationship with your freelancer without any third-party interference.

 

Freelancers can fulfil your niche design requirements

While hiring in-house or using an agency can give you access to skilled generalists, hiring a freelancer gives you the ability to find someone who specialises in exactly the kind of projects you need.

Need a brand logo? There are freelance graphic designers who solely focus on brand logos. Want a motion graphics ad? Find a freelancer whose domain is motion graphics.

Hiring a specialist freelancer gives you the benefit of extensive niche experience and knowledge in a specialised field.

 

Easy communication

Going through an agency means your communication will usually go through a project manager, who will communicate your needs to a designer.

Going through a freelance graphic designer means you'll be communicating directly with the person doing the work. You can give immediate feedback and be certain your needs are understood.

 

How should I hire a freelance graphic designer for my project?

Use the following process to find, vet and hire the perfect freelance designer for your project.

 

Set up your project

Think about your graphic design requirements. Based on these requirements, would you rather contact a fitting freelancer yourself, or have relevant freelancers bid on your project?

Whatever be the answer to that question, you can pursue your search on Freelancer.com. You can either post the project directly onto the portal or find the perfect freelancer by browsing through a list. 

 

Write a brief

Start by describing exactly what you need from a freelance graphic designer. Be as specific as possible so that the freelancers know if your project is the right one to bid on.

Include the kind of graphic design service you are seeking, your project timeline, and your budget. If you have a sample design that might help the freelancers to better understand your requirements, add this too. 

These steps will be beneficial for you because they will save you the time required to weed out inadequate applicants.

Also, remember to choose the best keywords or tags that describe your graphic design requirements. This makes it easier for freelancers to find your project. 

 

Review bids

A complete, clear, and concise project brief is likely to attract a number of freelancer bids. As you keep receiving bids from graphic designers, you should start reviewing them and shortlisting your candidates.

On Freelancer.com, you can carefully review the freelancer’s bid description, work experience, reviews, ratings, timeliness, budget, timeline, and work samples. Reject the bids that do not match your criteria. 

Freelancer.com offers a freelancer pool from a host of countries. Perhaps you want to hire someone from your own country. Or maybe you are looking for graphic designers from a specific country or set of countries. There is also a chance that you are country-neutral. In all of these cases, your preference of country should be a part of your bid review criteria. 

If you hire someone from your own country (say the US), you may have the advantage of easier communication. However, you may also have to pay more.

On the other hand, if you hire a freelance graphic designer from another country (say a developing country), you may be able to get a quality job done at a cheaper price.

At the same time, you might want to review the possibility of communication barriers such as linguistic or time-zone differences. Keep these pros and cons in mind while reviewing the freelancers who bid on your project.

 

Bottom Line     

There are many options to choose from when it comes to fulfilling a graphic design project. You need to make an informed decision based on your own requirements as well as the quality of available options.

Hire a graphic designer permanently or choose a design agency if you have the budget and the requirement. Opt for a DIY SaaS platform if you have the patience to do graphic design all by yourself.

If you are looking for a unique combination of quality, cost-effectiveness, time-saving, and a one-on-one work relationship with a graphic designer from an international pool of talent, choose a freelancer.

Post your graphic design project on Freelancer.com now and hire from among the best of the best freelance graphic designers. 

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