Find out why design costs so much

Here’s a question I know all my clients have no matter what my prices:

“Why is design so expensive?”

Even if it’s not said out loud, it’s incredibly easy to see in people’s facial expression. Here’s a quick run-down of why it feels like the investment is more than it should be.

1. You’re paying for experience. The years that the designer has been creating work means you’re getting someone who can sift through the details and see the small intricacies in your project. Every knowledgeable designer understands that a beautiful site is of no use unless it converts.

2. Time is money. How much time would it take you to create your website and branding? A mediocre designer will be able to handle your projects in less time but give you mediocre designs. A solid designer will be able to exceed your expectations and meet your deadlines.

Also consider: the less you pay, the more work the designer needs to take on (in addition to yours) in order to make ends meet. That means less focus on creating the ultimate website or brand you were dreaming about.

3. A decent site will require at least 3 different code languages. HTML, CSS, and Javascript. WordPress will require knowledge of PHP or plugins that will help your theme do what it needs. Even when created with Squarespace, knowledge of how to create a cohesive layout is crucial.

4. The unseen work that goes into design is time-consuming. When a project is first received, it requires research (from target market to inspiring brands to competition). This is rarely taken into account! Designers need to understand who the client is and what their goals are before jumping into pretty colors or logos.

After researching, designers will start sketching concepts for your business. You’ll probably never see these because they’re rough, hand-drawn, and literally brainstorming to get to the golden nugget.

Finally, you’ll start to see what designs have been worked on once they’re a bit more refined. Other things you might not see are site testing, optimizing of images, and even moving things just 2 pixels over so that everything will look amazing when you see it.

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