The hardest part of being a graphic designer is being able to price yourself, when I first started out freelancing about 5 years ago I really struggled with grasping the concept of giving myself worth and not selling myself short. But how do I prove to clients that i’m “worth” what i’m asking for, but also making sure I win the job because I needed the cash? There are so many designers out there that can offer the same expertise that I can, so what makes me special enough to charge X amount for a job that someone can charge half the price for?
I think - without naming any names (but rhymes with diver) - there are places “out there” that can charge as little as £5 for a logo design, and places like that have given people an unrealistic approach to the cost of an experienced graphic designer and their potential…
In my early freelancing years I would reduce my costs down dramatically to make sure I won a job, I would do favours for friends and give people “mates rates” even if we weren’t actually mates. But I learnt quickly that although my portfolio was growing, my bank balance wasn’t. All the time and effort I would put into creating something unique, I wasn’t being rewarded for. Now, don’t get me wrong it’s not all about the money, and it’s certainly not the main reason I live for doing what I do; I love being able to take a brief and turn it into a finished piece that’s adored by a client. The amazing feedback I get is gratitude enough. But essentially; a reason I’m charging for said work is because it pays my bills.
Over the last three years I have learnt so much about knowing my worth when it comes to design; I have logged my time on jobs to understand what my rates should be - this took months of studying my books deciding to and fro whether to charge at an hourly rate or to have set prices for certain jobs; but in the end each job was different, each client was different. Some designs I would nail straight away, others would take days, weeks of back and forth emails; tweaking pixel by pixel until a client was happy - and that’s ok. Ultimately my job is to make them happy but I struggled to find a happy medium when It came to pricing myself for the work.
Then even when I think I’ve got my pricing plan worked out, I still think in the back of mind - should I have charged more for that? In hindsight; probably yes.
For the first time last year I experienced a gratitude that I have never felt before; a few of my lovely clients (new and old) offered me more than I have quoted them for! Not because I was “too cheap”, but because they appreciated my time and effort for the work I undertook. It was at this point I finally understood that some people - although appreciate the generous offer of a discount - are willing to pay the correct amount for the right service.
This year I took a vow to myself that I won’t waver my worth to ensure I get a job; If I were to offer X amount for a logo design and I’m told I’m too expensive, then to cut that amount down to secure the job. What’s stopping said client to ask why If I was willing to design the logo for cheaper, didn’t I offer that in the first place?
Whether you’re a graphic designer, photographer or you’re a crafter who hand makes intricate pieces of jewellery. Whatever trade you’re in, if you’re going it alone just promise me you’ll think about your worth? There will always be people who won’t buy from you because you’re “too expensive”, but there will also be more people who do buy from you because they appreciate your effort. So that logo you designed becomes a recognised brand by millions, or that photograph hangs on a wall for years, or that piece of jewellery is passed down generation to generation. If you love what you do, make it worth it.
So you’ve done it, you’ve lived a whole 365 days married to the love of your life and you haven’t killed them yet. Hurray! You’ve finally paid of the wedding (unless you are super organised and already sorted that shit), but now you have to buy another gift for your partner… Honestly, with Christmas, Birthday, Valentine’s Day and now Anniversary gifts to dish out (and Father’s or Mother’s Day if you’re a parent too…!!), you might as well take out another loan. Groan.
So now you need another gift, as your first year Wedding Anniversary is getting closer. Did you know that the first Wedding Anniversary gift is paper? Well look no further for a unique gift for your partner, I have the perfect solution that tick’s all the boxes; personalised portraits - include the whole family and even your pets! - make it as personal as you wish by adding little nods towards your big day. When finished and signed off by yourself they are printed on beautiful textured card (in various sizes so please ask for the size guide) and presented in a photo mount; a personalised portrait of you and your better half is that quirky gift you’re looking for.
Here is a portrait I did for Carrie-Anne and Dom; this lovely pair got married at The Electric Cinema in Birmingham last year, so we added a traditional popcorn box as a little wink towards the cinematic theme, and because they are expecting their first child too - who is due on the day of their first year Wedding Anniversary (Woah!), Carrie-Anne will literally be ready to pop!
Maybe you’d prefer not to have your face drawn, that’s ok! I mentioned pets earlier; if you’ve got your own Fur Baby(s) and would rather have their big fluffy heads blown up on your living room wall I can do that too, check out two i’ve done recently of Cash the Jug and Pippin the Shitzu.
Don’t have a pet? That’s ok too; I’ve got you covered! How about having the speeches typed up and printed out for all to see; if you’re husband is anything like mine, the words he said on our Wedding Day were some of the nicest I think I have ever heard him say in the 5 years we’ve been together. Then on one of those days when you want to put a pillow over their head while they sleep (definitely never thought about doing this…) you can read those lovely words again and again to remind you why you got married in the first place. Use the same colours and typefaces as you did in your own wedding stationery and decor to make it really special!
Get in touch if you have you’re own ideas or if you'd like your own personalised print.
Hello! I want to welcome you all to my brand spanking new website! I've worked super hard over the last month or so to give I Do Invites a well needed refresh, and even though I Do is only nearly three years old, and I love every single invite suite I design for my brides and grooms, I just wasn't in love with my own brand.
A bit of background; the name I Do Invites came to me in one of those epiphany type moments whilst doing a 3am feed of my baby girl. I was a Mombie (Mom-Zombie); I had been awake for far too many hours to count and even though she was less than a month old, I was already dreading going back to work full-time and these guilty thoughts were in the back of mind... (due to zero maternity pay we didn't have a choice other than me to go back to work after five months). Here's my lovely family - a photo for no reason.
I needed a plan; something that was going to mean that I could support my family, but in my own time so I didn't miss out on my child's life. So it was 3am; arms aching from holding a clingy baby all day and I was thinking about what my POA (plan of action) was going to be. A few friends, and friends of friends, who knew I was a designer had asked me for help with their wedding stationery, between them in a short space of time I had created a small handful of bespoke wedding suites and matching On The Day stationery. I realised there was nice balance as a wedding stationer between the digital design stage and the papercraft/handmaking stage; both of which I loved to do! The next day I threw some ideas at a few creative friends who all came back and agreed with me that that's what I should be doing.
The name I Do Invites was a total accident; I was at a mummy/baby group and a fellow Mombie asked me what I do. "I do... wedding invites" I said. She laughed and told me that was a good business name, it didn't click at first then I got it. The double meaning of I Do; it's what I do, but also they are the two most spoken words at a wedding. I spent the rest of the baby group registering the url (sorry Cora), after a quick search to see if anyone had thought of it first.
They hadn't! So I Do Invites was born!
The logo didn't come as easy, I had spent years designing logos for everyone else but not myself and I was a tough client to please. I knew I wanted to incorporate a pen icon (for those Adobe fans you'll recognise it as the Pen Tool), and at the time I had an obsession with the colour teal, after a lot of concepts I finally came up with a logo I was happy with. I built my website and started showcasing my designs all over social media.
Fast forward two and a half years; and I have designed over 50 beautiful bespoke wedding invite suites for brides and grooms alongside freelancing as a graphic designer. I'm a fan of keeping brands looking fresh and I knew it was time for I Do to get a face lift. The thing with a good brand is that it's recognisable by your audience; not just a logo design but everything that your customers are going to see and feel when using your business. Because people know my little pen icon as me, I knew it was something I was going to take forward. Here are some of the ideas I came up with in my design session.
In the end I did a mix of two of my favourite logos to come up with my chosen design and I am so happy with the end result; It has the look I was after for a more professional feel and so I built the website to match. An excuse to retake some photos of my stationery, and design ten brand new House Collections for those on a smaller budget. A better gallery of my graphic design too and we're ready to launch!
Hurray! Take a look around the new site and let me know what you think!