Difference Between High-End Brand and Website Designer Versus Low-End Designer

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Have you searched for a graphic designer, noticed a wide range in pricing and wondered why?  Did you feel like some designers were trying to get more money out of you? If you haven’t had much experience working with or knowledge of graphic design then it may seem that way.

Especially when you can find low-end graphic designers doing what seems to be the same type of work for a lot less.

Today, we’re diving into why there is such a variance in pricing and few pros and cons to using graphic designers from each end of that spectrum.

Difference Between High-End Brand and Website Designer Versus Low-End Designer

Have you ever went searching for a brand or website designer and saw prices range from $1000, $8000 or even $15,0000 and thought why is there such a wide range in pricing?

When it comes to pricing, the experience is the biggest determiner.

The more experience a graphic designer has, the higher the cost to hire them.  This is because you are literally paying for access to their knowledge, skill level, and expertise. The same can be seen on a corporate level or ad agency level. A Jr. Graphic Designer salary will greatly differ from a Creative Director.

And while school is great. I personally went to college and have a degree in Graphic Design but seeing and learning how what I learned in school translates to the real world is an experience of its own.

Strategy V.S. Beauty

I believe almost anyone can create a beautiful logo, sales page or website. But let’s be honest — beauty doesn’t sell. Typically, when you hire a lower-end designer, you have a well-thought-out idea or concept in mind. You just need someone to execute it. Essentially you’re taking part in a transaction. You give them something to create; they deliver it.

For a high-end designer, you’re paying for value. The designer comes to the table with marketing knowledge, sales strategy and expertise. They arent just delivering a beautiful brand. They’re doing hours of market analysis, understanding your business, your target market, your goals and creating a brand that resonates with all of that.

I’ve had numerous clients that have made back their investment tenfold in the following months of launching their brand and website.

The Actual Experience

When hiring a high-end designer you’re also paying for the actual experience. For most of my clients, we work together for 2-4 months depending on the project. I have a clear process I take them through. Over the years, I have crafted an experience starting from the initial contact form all the way through the delivery of the final files and even after that.

If you’re hiring a low-end designer you’re not going to get an experience. You may be primarily emailing them back-and-forth. Once again, similar to a transaction. They’re just simply not going to be as invested in your business or the project as a high-end designer would be.

I like the way Colleen Eakins, a freelance graphic designer explained it. She said: “Think of it in terms of hiring a lawyer.  You can get a “cheap” lawyer, fresh out of school and eager to please, to handle your case and they may do a good job.  However, the more experienced lawyer that has handled hundreds of cases like yours may get you a better result. There is a lot of knowledge gained with years of experience.  They have been tested and proven by every client before you. The same is true for designers.”

If pricing is the biggest hurdle when it comes to hiring a high-end designer then ask about payment options. For my clients, I offer 4,6,8 and sometimes even 10-month payment plans. Similar to a subscription, your credit/debit card gets ran once a month.

For all three:  the entry-level designer; mid-level designer; and senior-level designer, you can get good work.  Use your budget needs, their portfolio credit, and client testimonies to make a decision on the best fit for you.

  1. Colleen Eakins

    February 7th, 2019 at

    Thanks for including me in your post! I find this is a common question, even if it’s not asked by clients. Your post really does help to explain the wide variances in pricing. 🙂

  2. Amanda Shuman

    February 7th, 2019 at

    I loved your take on it! I think a lot of non-designers are confused and so I wanted to genuinely shed light on the differences. Thanks for your insight.

  3. How to Prepare for a Brand and Website Design | Carrylove Designs

    April 9th, 2019 at

    […] If you are considering investing in your brand and website design, I would recommend listing to Episode 3: Difference Between a High-end and Low-end Designer. It’ll help you feel more prepared to choose a designer and know what to look for when […]

  4. Creative Process: Timeless Styled Events Brand and Website Launch | Carrylove Designs

    April 10th, 2019 at

    […] you listen to my Brand and Plan podcast, then you’ll know one of the main differences between a low-end and high-end designer is the strategy. A low-end designer will merely create what you ask. A high-end designer will dig […]

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I am an award-winning website designer, brand strategist, and community leader. I help take our clients' visual brands to the next level. I am passionate about design and believe pairing a beautiful brand aesthetic with an intentional website strategy is the cornerstone for success, booking clients effortlessly, and creating a delightful online experience.

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