I currently work as a graphic designer, but also do a lot of freelance work for friends for free, a couple of my designs were used by a friend at 1 off his shows and a couple of people have expressed a desire for me to do work for there business, as i said earlier i do freelance for free and have know idea on what to charge for the work i do, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
It really depends on the specific job that is being done. But please, whatever you do, don't undercut your prices to get more business. Charge for what the design and your skills are worth.
I agree with Cassandra, don't undercut your prices...
I don't even agree with free work. To me, if you work for free you should only do it to help local non-profit associations, local fire department, animal shelter, etc, etc...
Well said, Edgar. Skilled designers often have a hard time finding work because potential clients end up going to the designers that charge extremely low prices with lower quality designs. But Wayne, a general piece of advise that might help would be for you to carefully look at the expenses required of any of your projects, such as with obtaining rights to photographs, buying materials, and printing costs. Figure that up and then determine how much you should get paid for the actual work you are doing. If you are thinking in terms of hourly, I would also not give the client an hourly cost. If you can do a high quality design in a short period of time, charging hourly rates would cost you more than it would help you. But, for example, if you think it is easier, you can determine how many hours it would take you on the project. If you think it will take you 10 full hours and you don't want to make less than $20 an hour, then charge that sum on top of the expenses. If the client needs you to itemize the services that you are doing for them, you could show the printing and material costs as they are and the design cost as your full rate on the invoice. But, you should also think about the level of difficulty that is placed upon you for the project. The higher the difficulty, the higher the cost. Also, think about how the rights of your design is being transferred. For example, a logo may actually cost the client more than a simple print design simply because they would be using that logo in their branding and it would exist (hopefully) for the life of the company. If the designers of the Coca Cola or Apple logos undercut their prices when the companies were in their beginning stages, I bet the designers would regret it today. But for show posters that only gave the information of one particular gig, the client would only be using it once. Therefore, the cost to the client would be lower than any type of branding materials. So, there is a lot to think about in pricing your own work. But, after thinking about all of this, I think you could figure it out. Good luck.
Check on what professional designers or artists in your area are charging for the services you are being asked for. Then look at your work and compare the level of skill to the professionals and base your charges accordingly is my suggestion. The region in which you reside can make a lot of difference on price due to cost of living which is hard for many people, especially net clients to understand. I can do somethings cheaper than say I could if I lived in Hollywood, CA. because where I live, cost of living is much lower for example.
I also agree with Edgar on the free work. I do work for friends and family too but they pay me... a reduced rate really but they have no problem paying me because they know it is what I do for a living and they would have a hard time getting cheaper prices for the quality of work I provide. I would have no issue with free work for charities and non-profits I support etc.
It's called pro bono work, you can check Wikipedia or Google for more information on this. This kind of work should be done for only Non profit organization and for really needy people. Normally, you should charge what you think it should be because if you're working individually then everyone has own skill level and caliber but never work for free just to get new business. I am running an online design studio so i am telling you this by experience. :)
First, what I do is make a contract and then I would determine what the charge is. Usually I do 10 to 15 dollars, but mostly its depends on the job.