Many times, I receive an email (generated from my website) or a phone call from a potential client inquiring about prices for graphic design, web design, etc. If you, or your business is in need of gathering an estimate or two for graphic design or web design services, please allow me to give a few pointers to make it a better experience for you.
In order to provide an accurate estimate for your project, designers usually need to get all the project details from you first. If you fill out an online contact form and type in the comments section, “How much is it for a website?” be prepared to receive an email or a phone call from the designer asking lots of questions.
See, web site design isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Your needs for a web site will be (and should be) different from another company’s needs, which is why it’s a good idea to think through your project and provide as many specifics as possible to the designer.
Some specifics you might want to include when requesting a web design estimate might be:
- How much content/copy do you have? How should that content be organized on the site? Will you be providing the copy? Or do you need someone to provide copywriting for you?
- Will you be providing photos/graphics/logos? Or do you need the designer to provide the images?
- Have you reserved a domain name (www.domainname.com)? Have you purchased a hosting package? Or would you like the designer to take care of these things for you?
- Will this be a simple static website, acting as an online brochure for your company?
- Is this an ecommerce site, where you’ll sell your products?
- Will your site be dynamic? Is there a need for your customers/clients to login, post messages, search a database, etc.
- Is this site something you’d like to be able to manage and make changes yourself (Content Management System)?
- Do you want to have a blog? Or social media integration?
Keep in mind that the more bells and whistles (i.e. flash movies, databases, interactivity) you want on your site, the more expensive it will be. Many clients sometimes get sticker shock when shopping for a website because they have an idea of what they want and request all the bells and whistles, yet with a limited budget they realize they need to scale it back. It’s important to understand what functionality you absolutely need versus what flashy and new things you’d like to have. I’m not saying the flashy and new is bad, it certainly has its place in web design; I’m just saying that if your budget is limited, maybe you could skip on that flash animation.
Just as you need to provide details when requesting an estimate for web design, it goes without saying that it’s the same with any print graphic design project. Want to quote a brochure or a newsletter? Ask yourself these questions:
- Will you be providing the copy? Or do you need someone to provide copywriting for you? Will you be providing photos/graphics?
- Do you have a finished size in mind? Is it a trifold? Or something larger? Does it need to fit any other collateral pieces, such as a pocket folder or envelope?
- Are you going to mail it? Or is it just a handout? If mailing, will is go into an envelope or is it a self-mailer? If you are unsure of any of this, just say that you’re open to suggestions. A good graphic designer will be able to suggest a size and mailing options that best fit your needs and budget.
- Do you know what quantity you’d like to print? Having this info ahead of time can help the designer decide the best way to have it printed, whether it is printed on an offset press or whether it should be printed digitally.
Understanding the scope of the design project is crucial for any designer to begin estimating your job. Next time you go to a designer’s web site and fill in a request for quote, think about all the details that you might be able to provide to help the designer fully understand your project and accurately estimate it.