How Much Should You Charge for Magazine Design?

Are you a new freelancer or graphic designer trying to make a name for yourself? You may need a little help determining how much to charge for your work.

There is no standard rate for a magazine design. However, rates that are recommended include the following:

  • A full-page runs from $1,000 to $1,050
  • A full spread runs from $2,000 to $3,000
  • A cover runs from $1,500 to $3,500

These are average rates, but some magazines will pay higher or lower.

You need to tell your clients what your work is worth and find a rate that you are comfortable with charging. Look no further than this article to find out how much you should charge for a magazine design.

Is There a Set Rate You Should Charge for Magazine Design?

When it comes to charging for your work, you want to think about what is best for you and the client, considering all factors. You may charge different clients different prices. As a general rule, bigger companies should pay more significant numbers. Do not overcharge or undercharge, as you neither want to devalue your work nor be unfair to the client.

There is no set rate for charging clients for a magazine design because you will most likely be charging a varied range of rates. However, you should have an approximation in mind, especially if you are charging by the hour. It would be best to estimate how much time it takes you to complete projects.

You will need to consider many factors when determining what amount to charge for each client.

Charging by the Hour vs. Charging Per Project

Pricing by the hour is sometimes an inefficient way to charge. You could have two designers work at the same hourly rate, but the one who finishes first makes less money, even though both designers are equally gifted. However, the one who finished first was more efficient. It is unfair that the other designer did not make as much money.

It is also exceedingly difficult to itemize every minute you spend working on the design in the first place. It is because there may be specific problems you can run into:

  • You will not be assured a minimum payment for the project
  • The client does not know how much the project will cost
  • The rate is based on hours, as opposed to how talented you are as a designer
  • The rate is based on hours, as opposed to how valuable the work is to the company

Charging an hourly rate works well in some situations, such as revising an already existing print design. However, it may not be advantageous for larger projects. You will estimate the hours multiplied by your average hourly rate when you charge per project. You may also use this formula to assign a “flat rate.” If you choose both, you will need to adjust accordingly.

Give the company a detailed outline of the project and adjust the rate if it changes. Include all revisions in the outline.

Level of Experience

The level of experience you have as a designer will certainly influence how much you charge. If the magazine is looking for an expert-level designer, they will surely pay more for the design, and experience will turn more than a few heads. Even though this is true, designers have their independence, and regardless of the standard rate, take into consideration their:

  • Process
  • Design style
  • Knowledge
  • Approach to client relationships

The complexity of the project will tell the tale. If you create a design for one page, it will be less money than the full spread. Cover art is also a special niche for designers, as it solidifies them as true artists. Experienced artists will typically be in demand for that level of work.

A beginner designer who does not come with years of experience under their belt may be the right fit if the company is small and does not have the budget for a seasoned designer. It may take a lot of revisions, and entry-level or beginner designers do not usually receive the same paychecks as expert designers.

It also would not hurt to be selective and collaborate with clients who are open to ideas. If you are someone newer to the industry, you may be able to charge a bit more for your talent and creativity.

Licensing and Rights Management

The rule of thumb is that you expressly own the rights to whatever you create. If a client wants to infringe upon those rights and take the work for themselves, it can leave you in a rough spot financially. When someone legally becomes the author of your work, it takes away from the recognition and shines on your talents. See for examples of already existing art and designs.

It is a thankless job if the work is trademarked and used continuously, and you neither get the credit nor reap the rewards. It is your responsibility to have the client pay you for the rights to the design and the hours it took you to create it. There are some apparent factors to consider when it comes to the licensing, so ask yourself:

  • How long does your client want to license the design?
  • Can you charge more money for a reprint?
  • Will the license be unlimited, or will the company own the rights?
  • Will the rights be given over to you if the company is sold?
  • Is the company big or small?

If the client does not specify what usage right they require, you should have a standing quote in your arsenal. Try to price based on the length of time the company plans to use the design. You may also want to consider what context the client will use the work. If they have the right to use it on anything, they surely will.

How Do I Determine a Goal Rate?

Everybody has an idea of what they should be making in their career. Design is one of those jobs in which you have creative freedom plus the ability to charge based on your wants and needs. It is a good idea for you to answer all of the following. Some variables should give you an overall picture of how much to charge:

  • Your preferred net income
  • Your business expenses
  • A roundabout tax estimates
  • Exactly how much time can you spend on the project?

Luckily, designing a magazine is a job that does not often feel like “work” in the traditional sense. If you are fortunate and can develop a magazine, you may be willing to work more often than not.


It would be best to consider many factors when determining how much to charge for a magazine design. Designers need to quote prices that reflect their talent. If you are dedicated to your work, that is half the battle. You can charge a reasonable rate for quality work, but make sure you know your value first.