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Charging Rush Fees for Graphic Design Projects

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When working as a graphic designer, you are bound to have clients who want projects done on a short deadline. You will probably become too familiar with “I need this now.” When this happens, you have to first decide if you have the time to complete the project on deadline, and then decide whether or not to charge a rush fee. This should be handled on a case-by-case basis, and in the end comes down to the personal preference of the designer. There are, however, several things to consider that can help you decide whether or not to charge more for work done quickly.

  • Your current schedule: Will you have to rearrange your current workload or put off work for other clients to complete this job?

  • The deadline itself: Does the client need it “today” or just “this week.” Make sure it is truly a rush before you approach a client with a higher fee.

  • The client relationship: Is the client normally reasonable in his or her requests? Are they a top client in terms of income? It often pays to do a favor for a client to maintain a long-term relationship.

  • The scope of the work: How much work does the client need quickly?

Consider all of these factors when thinking about charging a rush fee. You don’t want to damage a relationship with a client, but you also don’t want to be taken advantage of. If you do determine a rush fee is reasonable, be open with the client. Let them know the fees up-front, the reason for the increase, and consider offering them an alternative schedule at your standard rate.

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