How much does a brochure design cost?

Brochure design costs can vary depending on a number of factors: number of pages needed, selected brochure designer and printing needed. But the main factor affecting the cost of a brochure design is precisely the designer you use.

There are thousands of brochure designers available for such a job, ranging from students recently graduated to large design agencies. Which one you choose will surely be reflected in the given price, although a higher price doesn’t automatically mean a better brochure. You should get an idea regarding the quality of a designer’s work by looking at his portfolio.

Brochure design prices may vary from $100 to several thousand dollars, depending on number of pages, complexity, etc. Once you know what type of brochure you’d like and, of course, how many pages should the brochure have, the only cost affecting factor remaining will be the designer or agency you choose to do the job. Be sure to explain in your own words what type of brochure do you need, as brochure descriptions may be confusing even for professional designers.

There are other qualified designers that will charge $75-$100/hour. The downside is the impossibility to guess how much your brochure design will cost. A typical postcard design, for example, should take an hour or two, if content is supplied, but you should also take into account revisions. An elaborate illustration for a flyer will take between 20 hours and two days. What a graphic designer charges depends on how skilled he is and how many customers he has.

It is recommended to avoid using a designer with primary experience in Web design because there are very different technical requirements between web and print design. You should just choose one that has a strong marketing background.

As a client, you should look for the following qualifications:

  • Make sure you are hiring a professional graphic design agency or designer. Be careful with “fine arts” degrees as many of them do not include “applied arts” coursework such as graphic design.
  • Several years experience working in brochure design. The best designers may no longer seek recognition after establishing a career and prove their talent.
  • Experience and portfolio

The Flat-Rate billing is another well known concept in the advertising world. It seems to be the most clear and simple one for both designer and customer, as it lets you know what exactly you are going to pay upfront. Let’s consider, for example, a logo design. Most people think the price for such a small piece should be rather low. Some logo projects, however, take a really long time to design. Large companies want more concepts, more revisions and discussions about their logo because their brand is, obviously, very important. Cost will clearly not be an impediment for these larger companies. But for the average customer, such a price will surely knock him off his feet.

And this is where the flaws in this billing system begin to come to light. It’s therefore better to agree from the start whether to pay for a product scale like an “average logo design”, “complex logo design” or simply make the payment according to an hourly billing.

Paying a deposit is also a great idea to ensure that both you and your graphic designer reach a satisfactory result. You will be guaranteed to receive your design because the designer will surely want the rest of the money too, and the designer will be sure to get at least compensation for the time spent on the project if, after some time, you decide to cancel it. This one simple step will eliminate up to 95% of possible scams.

A 50% deposit is usually asked before beginning work, with the final payment to be made when the brochure is done. If you have a really big project, the deposit can be reduced to 33% or even 25%. There is, though, one exception to this rule: working with a big corporation.

If you are such a corporation, then you should consider having a contract as well. A contract is good if what it says can be enforced. It is usually applicable for bigger companies and bigger projects. There are a lot more risks when dealing with such projects that need sometimes months of work, additional staff hired and equipment bought. So it is perfectly normal for the design agency to want a contract written up as a precaution.

Another concept that the advertising business is pretty familiar with is the Kill-fee: the client will sometimes pay a fee to a designer or a design agency to create a concept for him, which he may not use in the end. If the client decides to use the concept, then he will pay more money. This usually happens when companies need to pitch that work to their customer.

Pitching is the term used for creating a design for free, showing that design to the client and hoping they will pay for it. It is probably too risky with small clients, but it works well with large companies as it often results in winning contracts of millions of dollars. Investing time and money it is obviously worth it for them to pitch.

Pitching is actually a matter of preference. It’s a great way for designers and/or design agencies to introduce themselves to a big client or to break into a new industry. They, of course, take the chance to not get paid for their efforts, but it’s all about weighing those risks against the opportunity to catch a savory project.

For several reasons, some designers don’t like discussing their rates in public. They are concerned their rates will be seen by their competitors and they will then undercut them or that the customer will be scared off by an hourly bill almost twice as high as a competitor’s. Every project is different, therefore pricing should be given only according to the client’ needs.

To publicly advertise a designer’s rates should not be a problem though, as long as they are transparent with regards to the concept of these numbers.