Working for Value


Graham is giving us a talk regarding business in the creative industry. How to get the best value out of the work.
Business orientated background, spent 3 years at PAC. And spent 7 years running a. Clothes business. ,spent a year working within studios. Didn’t enjoy the environment as thought he could run something like that and get paid a lot more. Runs his own studio for NGOs, charity’s and non profit organisations. His experiences not gospel truth and wouldn’t apply to everyone

Working for free.

Would you buy a typeface for 30 million? too expensive , don’t have the money.

Working for free. Minus working for minus moneys. As students know we all pay for the adobe creative suite, don’t torrent anything ha. Cost a lot. Approx 60 a month.

Friends and family. Let’s remind your mates that I am good at what I do, some overall costs, nothing is free, it costs your time, I’m which you would spend on another project. Make a deal with them, in terms of payment, doesn’t have to be of monetary value can be in return.

Startups will often ask for work for free, they still need to promote themselves.  So you can offer a discounted rate. By sending an invoice, it lets them know how much it all cost. Maybe agree within a time period that it will be payable in.  You need to cover your back.

Age old exscuse that it will be good for your portfolio. When you provide someone something for free , they won’t invest as much time and effort in the project . As they would unless you paid them, it would be a better project. Never put anything in portfolio that has been done for free, rarely happens. It’s a personal choice as to display projects, it ,au have got you somewhere the free project, if you like the work then it’s valuable to you. Took on the work and therefore got more creative control.

Chairty relies heavily on volunteers, there underpinned on people giving up there time for help and free, charity’s have millions so therefore you are well within your rights to cover your costs, that maybe travel, fuel etc. Could do the work for free. But I wouldn’t, as I believe there one of the biggest companies and they don’t need free work. They are more than capable to pay.

If someone says when you have a minute could you do this, we are in no rush. But as a designer you need a deadline, as why is there no rush, where does the value stand when there is no time limit.

Client gain.  May lead to more work. More work, smaller companies don’t often need alot of work , to be redone, therefore you are putting yourself out of pocket . It gets your foot in the door, allowing you access to the industry.

Upskill. Dummy run, more creative control , free information why work? Personal projects as an alternative. Always keep up,to date with the software, the design industry is changing and evolving , you need to do the same.

Experience, deadlines and budgets. Feedback by company. Deliver what is agreed. Every sector is different. Trying to get a large group,of people or a comitee to agree is hard. You could separate yourself if the project isn’t going in the direction it was intended to go. Getting a good testimony, helps towards future projects.

Marketing. Proof yourselves. Good work sells itself. Case studies.

Goodwill. Feel good. Image . Access.

Confidence. Self worth.  Take on a a project to not lose out and keep those creative vibes ongoing.

Worked for save the children. Massive company with a huge amount of wealth behind it. They have there own in house design team, where as if it’s a local project they will hire a local designer. This was when graham got invited to work with them. 150 to design some raffle tickets, big name good for,him. Gained experience working with a charity. Have to take on the tone of voice of the chairty, as each one will be different. Need to be a flexible designer, else will become pidgeon holed into certain design styles. The raffle ticket was printed 15.000 times. The second project t was an internal project. He donated the 150 back to save the children. As a gesture it meant a lot, helps build onto the next project for the next clients.

Crisis the charity had illegally sent in workers to help without the government knowing. This created a gigantic shitstorm.


The current national,living wage is 7.40.  Freelancing can’t charge the 9/5 hours, would have to work all hours to gain the. Most income. Trading time for ,only may suit people better.

Designer day to day costs. Have to charge what is relevant to cover all your outgoing day to day costs. These may change monthly etc. Want to,profit and grow, so by charging a reasonable yet effective amount for you. To,profit you double your costs. Still provide a service and a worthwhile one at that.

Cost of work doesn’t equate to value. Design is very subjective. Being paid for that logo is objective, to someone else it could be worth more. Real,objective in design is money.

Accenture paid a ,million dollars on there logo and branding . Can’t quantify how much a. Logo is worth, in regards as just a mark, but it how the mark is used and where it is placed that will make the money . It will add price and value to certain objects.

Time based pricing . So many hours equate to so much money. Can be a problem if you have done over the agreed hours. If you contact them when you have reached the allotted amount of hours,  can reinforce the, for the added time. Is a pitiful,of time based pricing as you can lose out quick effectively.  If you take longer then more money should be paid, but is that fair? S,are as if you were to do the same amount of work in less time, but then you end up,losing outt. One of you will lose and one will win.

Budget based pricing. Have to clarify if the project budget includes everything, development and print costs, web hosting etc. Make sure you know what your budget includes. And what is being asked of you. Have to think about what your hourly rate would end up being, laying the develops , photographers, coprywriters etc, will take quite a large chunk out of the budget.

Competitive based pricing. Within design it’s subjective as to who is better, which studio is better. Could come down to experience, testimonys, awards ,. Can use these variables to help sell yourself as a designer, to get ahead of your competitor. Relevant work will also help, as the client can then see your style towards there current sector. Competitors are important as they keep you on your toes. Big companies will always be able to outprice you as a freelancer, but there is one of you an can easily exspess yourself more, take an undercut in the pricing. If it gives value to you then take on the work . Could base your structure around your competitors , but would end up maybe losing ,Indy and being out of pocket.

Can show value with experience, and previous clients . Through awards etc.

Dont agree with everything that graham spoke about. He does a lot of work for charity’s and has a numerous amount of times, done work for free due to them being a charity.  But his approach to work is that of a good approach.

Images & Sources –


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