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Spoiltchild Design

Justify the value of your service

One of the issues that came to the fore at the conference was one of Pricing. I mentioned in my talk how much trouble it caused Spoiltchild charging too little for too long and how charging then is still affecting us now. It seemed to resonate with a lot of people who came up to me afterwards. I wrote an article on pricing back when I was involved in the Designers Guild of Ireland on how to work out the price for your service, particularly if you are in design. I will dig it out and post it straight after this.
But once you have decided on your rates how do you justify your price to a client who knows nothing about your service? I refer to graphic design here but it applies to almost any service.

In one of the last companies I worked in as a wage slave the main guy liked to compare the design process to a car engine. It was a good idea. Its breaking down the process, industry terminology and expectations to something that nearly every Joe soap can relate to. Cars. So that’s what I am doing here simply and hopefully it will help the next time you are told your prices are crazy and I know a kid who can do it for €xx!!

So if design was like a car and there are two types on offer.
Both, have 4 wheels, engine and will get you from A to B. Functionally they are and do much the same thing. Question, which do you want to drive or have sitting outside your office?

Option one may be exactly what the client is looking for but at least now they understand the difference in price and hopefully the type of value you offer.

  1. I understand the concept, and it isn’t a far reach, but I think its too obvious…making it almost cliche and certainly uninspired. Too many times people refer to something as the “Ferrari” of item type etc. Overused, and overvalued IMHO.


    E.T.Cook    May 21, 01:59 PM    #
  2. You say that like cliche and overused is a bad thing. The fastest a client understands the fastest you can move on the the meat of the conversation and signing that deal. Inspiring a client is a noble goal but save it for the design.


    Alan    May 21, 02:08 PM    #
  3. I usually fall back on housing analogies — particularly when building a site and someone higher up the corporate ladder, or a client, wants to see something early into a project.

    I explain that building a website is like building a house and that you build the foundation for the whole site, then rough out the structure for the whole site, add copy text, etc. One doesn’t build build out a single page down to perfect copy and images, then move on to the next page… just as one doesn’t build the living room down to the carpet and paintings on the wall before moving on to the kitchen.


    Benjamin Lipsman    May 21, 03:15 PM    #
  4. Only problem I have with this analogy is you can Option 1 and 2 do the same thing but option looks prettier…design is all about funtion and communication…if option 1 and 2 both function the same theyve both succeeded in a design sense. Design is not about making things pretty it’s about communicating an idea…


    David R    May 21, 06:55 PM    #
  5. This “analogy” is retarded.


    Kula bácsi    May 22, 10:47 AM    #
  6. Kula, dont hold back. Say what you really mean :)


    Alan    May 22, 12:49 PM    #
  7. There is a major flaw here – the cars pictured do not have the same functionality at all – speed, suspension, handling, horse power, comfort, CD, Air con, etc.


    Joey Jjojo Junior    May 23, 12:36 PM    #
  8. Exactly, it all comes down to the details.


    Alan    May 23, 12:59 PM    #