• Ruth Lefcoe

Ten things you're paying for when you invest in a freelance professional designer.

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

The following ten things are what a freelance professional designer already has in their pocket. To run our freelance business and ensure that we are delivering on our promises to our clients, we have operating costs that include software purchase and subscriptions, community memberships, training courses, accreditation, and paid online courses. Then there are the countless hours over the years of honing in on skills, working with clients to increase our experience, growing through personal projects - done just for practice... You aren't just paying for a logo designer, but for the investment of money and time the designer has put into their practice. Let's take a look at ten things you're paying for!


1. Professional software.

To design a logo, brand a business, create successful ad visuals, we need the right software. Every program aids in different kinds of design, and professional freelance designers have a vast array of the professional software needed for a successful design practice.


2. An expert digital designer.

You need more than the design software installed - you need the expert skills to make use of every function within the program. A graphic designer's focus and strength is on always keeping up on how to use every graphic design program available in their design genre, from logos to promotional animations.


3. Artistic creativity.

A designer is an artist. It's not math or logic or skill alone that makes use of software and experience to design an ideal logo, brand, ad, etc. It takes artistic creativity. If you don't have an eye for composition, spacing, line thickness, and use of color, knowing how to use the software packages won't get your design to a professional and successful level.


4. Years of experience.

With every successfully completed job designers move through in their career, their ability to succeed on the next job increases. I don't know many situations in life where experience is not needed to succeed. Professional freelance designers with a strong portfolio and proper client list are more likely to be able to work well with their clients and meet their design needs!


5. Valuable resources.

Designers don't just have the base design software needed, we also already have accounts for stock photos, vector packs, fonts to chose from, and the greatest and latest software plug-ins and extensions. (And with that, the knowledge of how to use them to their fullest.)


6. Personal one-on-one consultation.

Whether your consultation is done by email, phone, or in person, with a freelance professional, you are getting one-on-one attention. We are not farming out your request somewhere offsite or using a premade template graphic. With an experienced freelancer, you will get a conversation. You are and will feel like a priority!


7. Branding trends research.

Delivering on our promises to our clients is our bread and butter. Professional graphic designers are focused on what they need in order to meet those expectations. One of those necessary tools is up-to-date knowledge of branding and market trends. We take the time to do the research that will provide this knowledge: colors, shapes, fonts, naming trends, and socially acceptable wording and imagery.


8. Dedicated focus.

Freelancers are known to work some odd hours! We don't have office jobs with an office-full of clients demanding we split our time which can result in thinning our focus on a project. You have our very dedicated focus!


9. Training and accreditation.

Classrooms, training, accreditation, online tutorials - we've done it and will continue to do it! Everything from college courses to self learning online is helpful (and necessary) in our profession. I haven't let one week pass without having focused on lessons from YouTube or paid online training offerings. If I didn't involve myself in advancing my knowledge and skills, I'd be letting my clients down.


10. Industry connections.

Freelance graphic designers tend to be members of communities and online groups with helpful resources, advice, tips and tricks. We find special deals, learn about plug-ins and advances in technology, and especially helpful, we have a forum in which to ask questions on everything from "how to" in Adobe Illustrator to advice on pricing, business operations, and best practices.


Action Item: Contact deRuth Design to find out more about the design process and if we can work with you on your next project!


About the Author: Ruth Lefcoe is a graphic designer based in the Washington, DC, Metro Area, with a client list covering the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. She has over 20 years of design/branding experience with large and small companies, U.S. Government agencies such as DHHS, NIH, SAMHSA, and private clients. Ruth has a 15-year-old son and a sweet beagle pup, enjoys creative challenges, digital art, cake decorating, and marathoning whole seasons on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and anything streaming.


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