For the design clients out there, let me ask you a question. Have you ever been frustrated when a graphic designer doesn’t tell you a project cost up-front? Perhaps you think they’re stalling, trying to figure out how much you can afford, but when you think about it, what good would that do?
The designer is by no means guaranteed your business, so it makes a lot more sense to present a design quote as soon as possible. The issue lies here: No project is the same, and every client differs. A designer can’t provide an accurate quote until s/he knows exactly what the client needs. Because of which, those designers who offer a pre-defined “price list” can do so because of one or more of these factors: They’ll neglect vital research into your business, they’ll scrimp on the brainstorming/sketching stage and offer the first ideas they arrive at, they’re setting a fixed time limit on how much work they do, when the reality is that it’s impossible to tell just how many hours/days/weeks/months a design project will take to complete.
A client should always expect a designer to ask a wide variety of questions about specific design needs before an accurate quote can be given.