Recently I was asked by a client if I could do a “quickie” design project. This is a common question from clients, friends and family. This was not an official meeting that I was prepared for. Often clients will expect that something in the digital world takes less time and because graphic designers have the software and equipment they can just push a button and “poof!” In a lot of cases that may well be the case, but it’s not always the case and graphic designers should be aware of being lured in to this simplification of our industry. Just like anyone else we should be compensated for our time, services and overhead. Graphic designers as business owners like any other professional have to pay overhead. Just like repair services charge service call fees regardless if the problem is fixed, or the bank who has fees for every small little task, just like the medical specialist who charge for their time and the use of expensive medical equipment, we too have to treat our profession with the same respect. While I may freelance out of my home I still have to pay for utilities, upgrades, training, supplies and the list goes on as it does for any business. Equal or greater compensation must provide for that to make my business sustainable. So back to the quickie edit question if you ever find yourself in the same place; be sure to consider all factors before you give an estimate. Consider all processes involved and give an accurate estimate rather than giving into a simplified guesstimate. Have a minimum amount of billable time, for instance I charge by the hour but I bill in 15 minute increments as the lowest time interval. Finally don’t sell yourself short, your time is valuable, your software and hardware is valuable and your expertise is valuable, though it may be a “quickie” project, the client is relying on your expertise, your software which they may not have or be able to afford and your time.