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14 Mar 2016

That $1 you paid for freelance design

That $1 you paid for freelance design

“I know there are some places overseas that can fix my logo for $5 but I want to stay local so I’m hoping you won’t charge too much more" 
      ~ A recent phone conversation with a potential client

I’m a freelance design professional in Spokane. By most standards I’m nothing special. Every day I get up, drink some coffee, put on yoga pants, and then attempt to follow a monastic rhythm of prayer and work, with a heavy emphasis on the prayer part. And because I’m nothing special (i.e. human), a typical week includes a good dose of irrational fear for added excitement.

Lemonade Graphics opened its doors in 2009, and since then I have to say “living the dream” hasn’t gotten any easier. While I’m grateful for the favorable Spokane business environment, what puts me in a negative space are the costs of being in business that consumers may not consider when evaluating my humble bid. 

Some items are not surprising, like the high cost of Obamacare for the self-employed , but many are hidden below the layers of mystique our culture casts like a pink bubble around the creative life (yes, my schedule is flexible, but I work long days and I haven’t had a real vacation since hanging out my shingle).

Which is the point of this beautiful post: casting a realistic light on the cost of freelance. At least from one local viewpoint. And since I’m a graphic designer it seems proper to put it in an infographic. I'd love to hear your thoughts about all of this. Thanks for reading!

For further musings, here is a wonderful (and sort of sarcastic) infographic by typographer, Jessica Hische, that explores the question: should I work for free?