Flat Rate vs. Hourly: Fast work = lower pay?

I’m new to designing graphics for clients, I normally did things just for myself or for friends when they needed something done and I had a free minute. I’ve also worked at a retail store that does “desktop publishing” and offered a 24 hr turnaround guarantee.

Because of this, I’ve become accustomed to working really fast. I still plan ideas and do research, but I usually go with my gut feelings on design direction (usually the second or so idea I have is the strongest in my opinion) and the clients I’ve worked for always love the work I do for them.

But my problem is, because I work so fast and can almost pump out the designs they need, how do I should I charge?

Charging by the hour would be a huge loss for me. But I don’t know what to charge for a flat rate since I don’t know what the “average” time for a design should take (if there is such a thing).

When doing research, everyone always just says “It depends on the designer.” But I feel I could be making a lot more money for my skills, I just don’t want to lie about my time.


I have to ask several questions to this:

  1. Is this your only job?
  2. How are you measuring your designs as really fast?
  3. Do you know the normal calculations for design areas?
  4. Do you time your designs to measure them?
  1. No, I still work at that retail store I mentioned and I’m also a full time student.
  2. When I talk to other designers in person, they mention their average times and mine are significantly less time (about 20-40% less time) to completion.
  3. I don’t know what the normal rates are for my area. But when reading up on it I found that an average estimate (and when I calculated my hourly rate for myself based on a formula given to me) as $40/hr
  4. Yes I do, I always take notice of my work time. It’s a habit from working at my retail job.


Charge a higher hourly rate to compensate. If you work 25% faster than what most designers do, then charge 25% more.

Working fast with quick turnaround at a premium quality is something you can use to justify the higher hourly rates.

Source : Link , Question Author : OghmaOsiris , Answer Author : John

Leave a Comment