freelance rate

Hi, I would like to ask you about freelance rate nowadays…

currently, in LA.
job involves from sketching to photoshop rendering… ( 3d modeling is not involved.)

How much is the hourly rate for this kind of work?

Thank you.

I have been in business for about 10 years. I charged $85 an hour back then. I charge $85 an hour now. There has been a lot of downward price pressure since then and I feel lucky if I can hold the line at $85.

I usually give a firm quote, though, and usually do not mention an hourly rate. Come hell or high water, i charge what I have quoted. I feel that to charge more for not getting it right the first time is penalizing my clients for my ineptitude.

For some reason, $1750 is a mysteriously amazing you-got-the-job number. Maybe its a figure PM’s don’t have to get approval for, i don’t know, but boy does it seem to work.

Tailor your deliverables to suit what is the right amount of work in your mind for $1750. Break the job into two or more $1750 ‘Phases’ if you have to.

Above all, don’t start the job until they have signed a contract.

Hope this helps.


I was thinking the same thing… I am never comfortable with this idea of
hourly rate for the freelance work… I mean you don’t tell yourself, " ok, for the next 2hrs, I’m gonna come up with some ideas and stop thinking about the project."

so, if you were to give the client a certain amount of fixed rate from research, sketching , and to 2d photoshop rendering phases ( present at least 3 different styling variations and concepts) ,

how much would you guys charge?
( as you can tell, I haven’t talked to the client yet. I have a meeting next week and have to tell them my rates… and I am a little lostm here )
Thanks for the help.!

Hi, I just had a meeting with the client and am in need of some advice.
Here is the situation.

The client is developing a hign-end concept technology product with an engineer. ( the company they’ve established is well-known and has the contract with a big name corp. to produce concepts)

What they want me to do is to come up with sketches and some 2D visualizations. All the 3d models, they do it.

Now, what I am a liittle confused here is that they are so vague with how they want todo this.
I was ready to discuss the deliverables, rates and schedules.
Instead, the developer asked me kindly if I can come up with something.( he showed me an initial model to start. He asked me if I can spend about 2 or 3 hours to do simple sketches based upon the model… )
But , I did not even sign the contract… and we did not even discuss the fees…
So I just told him that I charge about 50 to 75 an hour ( I have about 3yrs experience… I am not even sure if this amount is appropriate ) and that I prefer retainer-- fixed rate kind of deal based upon deliverables.

Even after I told him, he was still vague about it and told me that we are going to have an another meeting next week with an engineer…

Has anybody experienced this kind of " vague situation " ?
Frankly I felt like the developer only wanted to get some " free designs" …
I would appreciate if you guys can advise me on this matter…
Thank you.

it does sound fishy, but some corporate projects wont get funding untill there’s proof of concept work completed. kinda catch 22.

If you are tight on funds right now - keep in mind that big companies will not pay untill forced to, sometimes 6 months or even stiff you a percentage - just SOP.

Thank you for the insight.

If that is the case, should I provide the designs that they have asked me?
even if I have not signed anything yet?
I would naturally prefer to be under some kind of contract before doing anything…My concern is that this project eventually becomes nothing and I never hear from them again. I am actually thinking to decline this project .

At this point, how do I communicate with them that I would like this project to be developed in a completely PROFESSIONAL manner in which deliverables are clearly defined and schedule and my fees are appropriately outlined.

If anybody on Core 77 has experiences in this kind of projects, would you share some valuable insights and advices?

Thank you so much.

Get a contract signed before you start. That’s my advice. It is amazing how “sure things” and “done deals” go all squishy without a signed contract. Honestly, if they aren’t willing to sign a contract, they are doing you a favor by demonstrating their lack of committment to the project up front.

Try this. I did this recently. Plug into the contract a sentence allowing them to bail out if they don’t like your first concepts. That gives them a safety net if your stuff doesn’t work, but forces them to be honest and say that if the time comes. If they like it, (they will :slight_smile: ) then you have a contract in place.

You need a contract for indemnity purposes. That’s the fig leaf i use, which also happens to be true.

I’m currently on the verge of approaching 2 companies that expressed some interest in hiring a freelancer. I’m 2 years out of college (with 2 years experience in a company), and it’s quite fair to say that I’ve never undertaken something like this before. In either case, it would be more towards the side of being a contract worker. Is $35 - $50 an hour selling myself short? I’ve been doing some work for one at $25 an hour, and I guess at that time I was just reluctant to charge a high rate. Now that I’m looking for more work, I want to raise my rates to what should be acceptable for me.

think of it this way,

basically an average design consultancy will bill out hours at twice the salary.

so if you would get $40,000/yr it would mean you normally get on average about $80/hr. then a studio would bill you out at $160/hr.

I think that 35-$50 is way short. normally i would suggest about 120-$150/hr given a normal designer salary of 50-60K.

of course if does depend on your experience, skills, project, etc.

also to consider is if you are just doing this as a side gig or something more premanent and your tax status…

hope this helps.