You Get What You Pay For

“You Charge What?”

We’ve all experienced sticker shock at some point in our lives. One of the most famous examples is the story of a woman who approached Picasso in the park and requested her portrait be drawn. He studied her for 5 minutes, then in one single stroke, captured her essence and produced a wonderful portrait. The woman asked Picasso how much she owed him for such a piece, to which he replied, “$5,000.” Aghast, the woman asked, “How could you charge so much for this? It only took you a moment to create.” Picasso replied, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”

This example is one of many that illustrates a common misperception in the creative fields. Often a price is higher than expected or does not match the perceived value of the piece. What many people don’t realize, is that you aren’t just paying for the end product that appears on paper or the screen. You’re paying for the process, strategy, and thinking that went into the finished product, as well as the cumulative experience of the team creating the piece. In much the same way that it took Picasso a lifetime to create a beautiful portrait in a moment, it takes years of experience to complete a design, not just the time spent physically creating it.

“Don’t you just copy and paste?”

One major reason for the disconnect between the expected price and the actual price is a lack of knowledge of the process for a project. Many times, what may seem as simple as copy and pasting text involves time spent ensuring that the text looks professional, legible, and readable, through a variety of spacing, sizing, and other adjustments, which is not something that can be achieved by simply copying and pasting the text from an email or word document. Additionally, there is research and strategy that goes into every decision. In the same way that a builder needs blueprints before starting construction, a plan for the project ensures nothing is missed. For example, a website needs to have a logical flow and experience so that users are not confused and abandon the site. Before any design work is done on a site, a flowchart is created planning the pages of the site and their content, which allows us to find pages or sections that may have been missed and helps you determine what content is most important for your users. While this flowchart isn’t obvious in the finished piece and is often overlooked when considering the investment, it is an integral part of the project.

“My nephew said he’d do it for $100.”

Another aspect that contributes to the initial sticker shock of a project is the abundance of “do-it-yourself” or hyper-cheap options that are widely available. While these people and programs serve a purpose, as with all things, you get what you pay for. You can certainly build your own website using an online tool, but among the program limitations and challenges, you also need to dedicate hours of your already limited time, to learning the program, laying it out, and setting everything up. While you may appear to be saving money, the time to create the site must come from somewhere, leaving you with less time to run your business. Additionally, when you hire a very inexpensive freelance or off-shore designer, you approach a variety of other challenges. First and foremost, you’re only receiving the experience and support of one designer. Without the collaboration and input of other professionals, a good idea may be missed or a bad idea may run unchecked. Furthermore, if that person becomes ill or goes on vacation and you have an emergency need, they are not likely to be able to help you, which could result in a missed opportunity for your business. In short, using a do-it-yourself program or least expensive option may save you money in the short-term, but in the long run, your business may suffer for it.

You get what you pay for.

In the end, everything comes down to the age-old adage, “you get what you pay for.” You wouldn’t go to a sales meeting wearing the cheapest suit you found on the discount rack, so why would you put your website in a discount solution? You can get a website done cheaply, but it won’t showcase your expertise, build credibility, and call users to action in a way that resonates with the right audience. A website that reflects poorly on your company will negatively affect your whole business and can be a major factor in closing sales.

With an agency like fatrabbit CREATIVE, while the initial investment may be more than other options, the benefits are significantly worth the additional cost. Our team of creatives has years of experience and our structure encourages collaboration so that your project is supported by the whole office, not just one designer. Our office culture also ensures that if you have an emergency, someone in the office will be able to help you, whether they work with you regularly or not, so your business doesn’t miss out on an opportunity. Finally, our above and beyond mentality means that no matter what your project is, we always strive to give you more than you expect.

If you have an upcoming project and want a team with the skills, experience, and culture to strategize, design, and implement it while working closely with you throughout, we’d love to hear from you. Call us today or send your project details to and one of our team will be happy to discuss your next project!

Share this Article

Sign up for our newsletter.

get in touch.