graphic design quote
Graphic Design

Graphic Design Quote: What Should It Contain? How to Analyze It?

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This article presents all the elements that a graphic design quote should contain and explains how to analyze them.

Graphic design estimate: what are the mandatory mentions?

In order to conclude their contract, the design agency has to make an estimate. But what shouldgraphic design quotes contain?

Firstly, a step-by-step summary of the project, in order to inform the client about its progress and to allow the graphic designers to calculate its cost.

The estimate has the value of a legal contract: the more detailed it is, the more protected both parties will be. It must be signed by the service provider and the client to be valid. 

Whatever the service, the graphic design quote must contain certain mandatory mentions: 

  • The mention of “Quote”, which indicates that it is indeed an estimate,
  • The name of the graphic design agency
  • The address of the agency, 
  • The agency’s SIRET (or SIREN) number, a unique and mandatory identifier of the agency, which constitutes its legal identity,
  • The client’s contact information (first name, last name, and address), to reach him/her if needed,
  • The tax rates related to the project: VAT, HT, and TTC,
  • The list of the services carried out (see the part below),
  • The rights of use, with their duration (in years) and their scale of diffusion (regional, national, world, or other)

For better communication, the graphic design agency can provide their e-mail address, phone number, or any other means of contact for the customer. Nevertheless, this information is not necessarily mandatory. 

List of services provided

The graphic design agency’s estimate must contain a clear and concise list of services performed. This list constitutes the heart of the estimate.

Ideally, it is a question of writing a line by stage, in order to create a list point by point readable. The establishment of this list following a common agreement between the agency and its client allows to establish the concrete course of the project.

Of course, it is not a question of detailing steps, but rather of informing about the few major points of the project, to be carried out in order.

The steps must be precise enough to allow the designers to estimate the time it should take to complete each of them.

By making this estimate, the agency can propose a coherent price to its client. The more steps, the more precise the price will be.

On the other hand, the list of the carried out missions reassures the customer on the course of the project and on the professionalism of his provider. 

Thus, the list of services must be precise enough to allow an accurate calculation of the rate and a relevant follow-up of the project, but not too much to avoid superfluous.

Here is a concrete example of steps that can be included in a graphic design quote:

  • Creation of a logo
  • Creation of a Facebook cover
  • Layout of a brochure in A4 format
  • Change of format
  • Design of a cover page

Each step can contain details, but ideally, each one should fit on a single line. 

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Project timeframe and hours allocated to each task

To calculate the time needed to complete the project, the graphic design agency must add up the estimated time for each step, in hours. Then, he simply multiplies the result by his hourly rate to determine a consistent price for the project.

Ideally, the agency should be able to determine to the nearest hour how much time each of the services should take. Obviously, this can be difficult for a new provider, but their estimates will become more refined with time and experience.

Remember that specialization adds value. The more specialized the designers in an agency are, the higher their rate is likely to be. 

Thus, it is essential to verify that the rate remains consistent for the hourly volume, depending on the expertise and skills of the graphic design quote.

The quote must also mention a validity date. Once the quote is signed, the service provider must commit to respecting this date. 

Terms of payment

The graphic design quote must also mention the terms of payment for his work. The model of invoicing of the agency must be connected with the requirements of the customer: the method of payment is chosen in a common agreement.

It can be a payment by credit card, bank transfer, or transaction between two online platforms (such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.).

It is also possible to require a partial payment upon signing the quote. The partial payment, or deposit, is a way to financially bind both parties.

The graphic design agency will be motivated and reassured to have received a part of the invoice. The client, for his part, will probably not go and propose his project to another graphic designer. 

The deposit allows to feed confidence between the customer and the graphic designer. It is recommended for long projects. 

The estimate of the project must mention any partial payment. Also, the estimate must specify the deadline for final payment.

Assignment of copyrights

In order to complete the legal framework of the project, an assignment contract must be completed. This document is a way to justify the rights of the project. It confers copyright to either the agency, a specific graphic designer, or other designers on their work. Also, it offers publication and distribution rights to the client.

Thanks to the transfer contract, the project has a legal value that protects the graphic design agency and the client. The transfer of copyright must be recorded in writing to validate it. The contract must obligatorily inform:

  • The extent, the destination, the duration, and the place of exploitation of the transferred right
  • The type of rights transferred. Specify if it is a representation, a creation, a reproduction, an adaptation, a diffusion, or other
  • The terms of payment and calculation of the tariff relating to the assigned right

If the form of the work is still undecided at the time of the transfer, this must be specified in the contract before drafting up the graphic design quote.

In the case of a publishing right, the project owner can produce digital works: this is the case for the graphic design agency. The publishing contract must indicate the conditions of exploitation of the transferred right.

How to choose between several graphic design quotes?

For a graphic designer, it can be intelligent to propose several formulas of graphic design estimates to his customer, in order to let him decide the one that suits him best. 

By suggesting several formulas, the graphic design agency can discover which type of estimate is the most commonly chosen. They will then be able to determine the criteria to privilege to propose the best possible estimate.

On the client’s side, it is necessary to look at whether the quote is based on your company’s identity. Is it personalized? Does the agency use the right visual communication; colors, the typography, the logo, and any other element of your brand?

The quote should be neat in both form and content. A well-presented quote is a mark of professionalism that will distinguish the best provider. 

If you want to learn more about this topic, check out our complete guide to graphic design.


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