Pay rate for graphic designer?

by theLastChild4. Posted on Sep 12, 2020    2    9

To make it short.. had a friend create a logo for a small business. She did a great job. The process consisted of:

  • one hour-long phone call
  • “this or that” feedback (she sent over 2-3 brand boards a few different times to ask which aesthetic we liked the best)
  • a logo sheet of various options/ color ways of a similar logo
  • final product of a brand board, includes the logo in full-color, one-color, transparent background, a banner type format, a social media badge.

We probably went back and forth via email 6-8 times over a few weeks just narrowing things down and brainstorming etc.

The thing is, this is my best friend, for all of my life. She didn’t want me to pay her- which I refused. I’m a co-founder so it’s not just me she’s helping; this is how I convinced her. But... she definitely won’t tell me a dollar amount or even the “correct” range. She has a graphic design degree and does things like this on occasion but is not currently employed in the field. By advice on payment would be really helpful!



I'm an artist but don't claim to be a graphic designer (aside from the occasional logo between friends). I have several friends that are both professional and hobbiest graphic designers. Some charge industry prices and some charge a low flat rate. I'd say the most common amount I see for a logo between friends when payment isn't really expected would be like $150. Logos can be very very expensive and the cost takes in to account a lot of factors other than just an hourly fee. But usually when I see people hand off a "free" logo between friends it's nice to throw at least $150 their way as a thank you.

SubstantialUnion6 1

This would cost about 2 - 3K. Give your friend a cool gift card to a spa or a food delivery place your friend likes to use. Your friend feels appreciated and you have a biz deduction.

getpasspoint 1

Don't pay her, instead take her out to a nice steak (or another high end dinner) with a nice bottle of wine, sides, dessert, etc. It'll likely cost you a few hundred bucks, but it'll be a good couple hours you can hang out, and who doesn't like good food and wine.

cybersaint2k 6

That's about 2-3k minimum if it's good quality work.

I paid 3500 last time I had this done. And I was happy with the results for that 3500.

I'm about to pay $25,000 for the same kind of work but on a whole other level with loads of other deliverables plus video shot on site, drones, web site, the whole shebang.

at1cad 3

Don’t pay her. That’s just going to make it awkward. I would get her a nice gift/gift card that she may really enjoy (do the legwork to find out what).

chrisldavis 6

Either don't pay her, or pay her $2k-$3k. If you just give her a $100 bill, that's an insult.

So either accept the gift graciously, or pay her truly what it would cost.

Zazenp 18

I’m in this industry but this is personal advice. Don’t pay her. She did it as a personal favor so forcing it over to a business arrangement will not go well. Either you’ll pay her too little which will make her feel like her favor was devalued, or else you’ll pay her too much which will make her feel like she now owes you something.

Do a favor for her in return. Tell her she eats for free for the next year whenever you hang out. Something kind and friendship affirming. Or tell her in lieu of payment you made a donation to her favorite charity.

Keep it as a personal exchange and not professional. I’ve gifted my services to friends before. It was a present. It was a token of my appreciation of them. You wouldn’t pay someone the price of a present they got you as a thanks, would you?

madsci 3

>Do a favor for her in return

I really think this is the best answer. If it was offered as a gift, it ruins the joy of the giver to have someone insist on paying for it. It turns it into a routine transaction.

robotsdilemma 5

I think this is the best answer. I do design work for friends/family sometimes and when I say "dont pay me, this is a favor", I mean it. I have had a couple of friends pay me anyway and it was much less than I would get paid by a client and it makes me feel kinda..... dirty. haha. I feel like the value of genuinely doing my friend a favor has been destroyed with just a small amount of cash. I would rather them exchange another friendly favor instead or take me out to a nice dinner etc. :)