How many hours would you charge?

Say you had 4 sheets like these to make of an existing product (similar level of complexity and style). No design involved just pure illustration. I am not asking your rate or anythign just how many billable hours in your opinion would you charge?

Source- google

Come on guys get typing. I need to send the offer. Some of us work alone and need contract brain storming. By the power of Industrial design I compel you :smiley:

I am thinking 8 billable hours. What do you think? Reasonable?

I would say 8 sounds reasonable if you are only illustrating. Did someone hand you a pile of rough napkin sketches and say, “here, pretty these up?” Do you think you could do it and do it well in 8 hours?

Come on guys get typing. I need to send the offer.

6 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 … … whatever. You’re not going to make rent on an hour or two either way. It comes down to getting the work done, so get cracking. Just do it. Next time you’ll have a better idea.

Depends on the quality of the sketches. If the client just wants 4 pages of sketch concepts I would say half a day. If they are looking for full on illustrations of 4 different designs drawn up and thought over I would go 12 hr. My 2 cents.

good luck

I’d go with 16 - 20 hours if they had to be tighter.

I agree. I would say 16 to give you a couple of days to do it, especially if they are supposed to be tight.

how are we supposed to know how quick/slow you are? surely you must have done something like this before and can estimate the time/cost you’d put to it…

put it another way- if you have nothing else going on, it doesn’t really matter what your estimate is, it’s all about making some coin. If you are full busy, it’s a different story.

Nobody knows your own value better than you do. I may be able to do it it 4 hours or 30, but how does that affect you?

Bottom line, (and I can’t even count how many times I’ve said this), is that you can charge what you can afford and what a client is willing to pay. period.

Plus, keep in mind rate and hours are not mutually exclusive. I could charge $200/hr and say I’d do it in 2 hours, or you could propose $10 an hour and say you’d do it in 20 hours. Same net. It all depends on your business model, client, etc.


My question was not based on how long it will actually take me or you to do it. It was about the perception of how long it would take for an average designer from the pov of a typical client.
For example in reality it would take me less than 4-5 hours but I would never charge 4-5 hours only . I would be short changing myself for being faster than an average designer.
Yes hourly rates vary but that is adifferent point all together. I was just trying to get a feel.


What’s a typical client? Are they designers? Are they used to working with designers? The answer is that it doesn’t matter. If they are designers, then they’ll expect an honest answer, and be in a better position to call BS if you highball them on hours. If they’re not, they’ll still expect an honest answer.

My advice:

  • Charge the hours you really think it will take based on your experience

  • Charge the rate you think you’re worth. Look at if from their perspective–what’s it worth to them? Include your overhead. Don’t lowball, it’s bad for everyone.

  • Quote for revisions. Two good ways to do this: flat rate (risky) or charge against a Time & Materials maximum amount you agree to upfront, and keep them informed of your burn-rate. This requires trust on their part, but protects you and is a lot easier when it comes to revisions, which are unknown.

  • Give them a deliverable date that’s RELATED to your billable hours, but not equal to. Factor in padding to allow you to eat/sleep/work on other projects. Example: You may quote 12 billable hours, but promise them “the end of the week.” If they want it fast, charge your standard “rush rate” which can be 2X cost.

  • And lastly, include in your quote something that they didn’t ask for, but should have. I gave this advice to my wife (a graphic designer) the other day. She had a first-time client come to her with a tiny production project, telling her they already knew what they wanted. It was grunt work and paid very little, but we both knew she could offer more value… So I challenged her to add “research and strategic brand positioning” to her quote and send a sample. Even though it cost more than 4X what they initially asked, they went for it! Everyone will be happier in the end, and by really showing her value, it’s more likely to land her more big work in the future. The lesson is to always educate your clients on what you could be doing for them.

No, actually it’s not a different point. As mentioned, time and rate are related. Most clients could care less about how long you would take to do it (though the deadline is important), but more about how much it will cost them. You could say it will take you 100 hours (which is crazy), but only charge $5/hr and they’ll be happy.

Good advice cg. All very true, esp. the point about including something that they didn’t expect. I normally do this as well and is a good way to show that you know what you are doing and have a feeling for the bigger picture, and are not just a robot to do what the client wants. In addition to including something extra in a proposal, I also normally include a section that has “Additional Services Available” with a list of related things they may not even know they need. I don’t quote on this, but it’s there for discussion.


So, is it done yet… … ?

I second CG’s advice, all sound. Especially the obvious but often overlooked part about revisions.

And it’s a great idea to add a little more than what they asked for. What’s the worst they do, say “we didn’t ask for this, could you trim it out?”

Thanks for the replies. I charged a round $2500k in the end.

How did you go from 8 billable hours to … I’m guessing more, as that would be $333 an hour!? Even if you charged $100 an hour, that would be 25 hours…? What did you add on to the original 4 concept sketches? Just curious.

I just got greedy and thought the things I could buy with the extra money. I am not sure if I read it here or somewhere else that you should charge $1 less than client’s maximum budget. I though purely about what the work might be worth to the client rather than the time it would actually take me to do it :laughing: I dangled my greedy carrot and he bit it, some other client could have told me to GTFO. I threw in some extra colour comps in there and nothing major. In the end he thought it was worth it.

I threw in some extra colour comps in there and nothing major. In the end he thought it was worth it.

Actually, it is something major … … for you.

You learned what going the extra mile nets you and, more than likely, have a repeat client.

a good lesson for the rest of us, that’s awesome for you

I was thinking it might be a case of bidding high on work you are less
excited about doing.

For me, some of these practices seem a little sketchy.

I’m a fan of charging what it’s worth to me, and to the client, for that particular process.

I wouldn’t charge $10,000 per hour even if I felt I could “get away with it” even if my client was richer than God.

If the concept isn’t worth $10,000, I wouldn’t want the $10,000.

I’m with you. it’s good that you could charge a lot, and I was the one who said to charge what the client will pay, but if you overcharge it will come back to bit you in the a$$…

All the client needs to do is get a quote for something similar from another designer, realize your way outta the ballpark and kiss any future relationship away…

it’s not unreasonable to charge a bit more than the time it would take if a)it’s not that fun of a job b)the client is a pain c)you expect to get lowballed…

…to me, though it seems like you charged double what would make sense, if not more…

to each their own.