Why Your Graphic Designer Needs You to Share Your Budget

By Amy Weiher

At some point during the initial call for any new graphic design project, a graphic designer will ask about the client’s budget. A graphic designer usually gets one of three answers:

1. “My budget is $X,”

2. “I don’t know,”

3. or “I don’t want to say.”

For the people who do not want to say, they are generally either embarrassed at what they assume is a low budget, or they are afraid the graphic designer will charge them exactly what they tell them they have with no possibility of spending less (which does happen on occasion, and not on purpose).

Regardless of the initial answer, the graphic designer will dig a little deeper to get an actual number, even if it is a loose figure. Here is why.

1. Knowing what a client has to spend on any given project can help figure out what can be done within that and/or make recommendations. A brochure can be a single sheet of folded paper or a larger book and can be printed at different price points. For example there are more expensive custom websites, and websites built more inexpensively with templates. A logo can be an intricately designed icon or be a simple, type-based mark. So if the desired budget is known, the project scope and make recommendations can be optimized to help stay within that limit.

2. It can be an easy way to see immediately if we are a good fit. If a potential client calls and does not have a realistic budget for a given project, it is known they are not the right fit for a particular graphic designer and recommendations to other graphic designers. When it makes sense, connecting people in a network— is a win-win for everybody. This can only be done with an idea of what the budget is.

3. It can help a graphics designer see if additional questions need to be asked. If a client has a certain amount available for a project and it is quite a bit lower or higher than would have been expected, the graphic designer knows there is a need to ask some more questions (maybe the graphic designer is missing something) or the graphic designer might need to help them understand why that amount is too low (or high). Non-professional graphics designers have no idea of what goes into a professional commercial print project in terms of time and effort, so a bit of discussion might help get back on the same page.

4. It saves EVERYONE time (see items 1-3 above). If a graphics designer knows what you are expecting/wanting to spend, it saves guesswork and needless back-and-forth with estimates or relationships that will not work.

Next time your graphic designer asks what you are planning to spend on an upcoming project, do not be afraid to tell them the answer (assuming you know it). A trusted strategic graphics design partner wants to work with you in a way that makes sense for you and your budget.

If you are not sure you need a graphic designer, be sure to check out our next article ‘Nine Reasons To Hire a Graphic Designer.’